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Cmdr. Katy Giles

Permanent Military Professor
Systems Engineering & Graduate School of Defense Management; Ph.D. Systems Engineering, NPS ‘18

Cdr. Katy Giles began her career as a P-3C Naval Flight Officer in Brunswick, Maine where she deployed twice in support of multi-national and NATO operations. Following Test Pilot School, she transitioned to the Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer community where she served three tours in developmental and operational flight test. Her flight test work involved P-3C and S-3B mission system upgrades, developmental testing of the P-8A, and operational testing of the RQ-21A. Giles has worked in program management to support avionics upgrades for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft to meet civil airspace requirements, served as the P-3C production officer in charge of phased depot maintenance, and deployed as an Individual Augmentee in support of the NATO International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan. After completing her doctorate in systems engineering at NPS, Giles now serves as a Permanent Military Professor in the Systems Engineering Department and the Graduate School of Defense Management.

Can you tell us a little about your current research interests and projects?

Currently, my research is focused on multi-domain heterogeneous swarm robotics systems research with the Advanced Robotics Systems Engineering Lab (ARSENL). We just returned from Camp Roberts where we demonstrated several new swarm tactics (including a suburban fire-fighting tactic) that involved fixed-wing UAV platforms, quadrotor UAVs, and ground vehicles. We just submitted our final conference paper for the International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which takes place this month. I am also working on an aviation circadian entrainment human subjects research study for USMC Aviation with Dr. Shattuck’s Crew Endurance team that is looking to improve current practices for shifting aviators from a day flight schedule to a night flight schedule. This work builds on the prior successful work the Crew Endurance Team accomplished to develop much-needed circadian-based watchbills for the Surface Warfare community. Lastly, I’m supporting Dr. Giammarco’s Monterey Phoenix Virtual Internship Program which takes place over the summer. Developed here at NPS, Monterey Phoenix is a lightweight formal approach and user-friendly interactive tool for modeling behavior of complex systems.

What are you looking forward to the most with a return to in-person learning?

I’m looking forward to interacting with the students in person. I think we are all suffering from “Zoom fatigue” and I’ve found virtual learning to be subject to distractions. 

You and your husband are both Foundation club members. What have you found to be the benefits of participation, and why should students join?

The clubs, volunteer opportunities, and coffee cohorts are all highlights. The Foundation provides tremendous support to the clubs. For example, the cycling club has a stable of bicycles available to borrow for members who are interested in getting involved with cycling but perhaps need to borrow a bike. The Foundation has supported annual cycling club rides and trips to San Francisco, Paso Robles, and Lake Tahoe. We have also hiked Mt. Whitney with the Outdoors Club. Volunteer opportunities at Big Sur Marathon, Car Week, and other local events are a great way to get involved in the community.

What one thing would you recommend to all students during their time here in Monterey? 

Get outside! Whether it is road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, beachcombing, surfing, open water swimming — there is something for everyone here. Outdoor activities in Monterey are fantastic!

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