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When working with military forces to solve complex mission needs, I use an engineer’s mindset, one that takes a fact-based, methodical approach to analyzing, solving, and presenting options.
I’m proud to have used that mindset to help develop some of the world’s most-used technology—like GPS, which I worked on for nearly 20 years. Now I work with Booz Allen clients to conquer cyber threats, strengthen the safety of their systems, and harness emerging technologies.
That’s what I get really excited about. Seeing technology solve problems and being able to really pull that together and be part of it.
Lorne Caddick leads our Advanced Systems Engineering and Integration (ASE&I) team, responsible for the growth and operation of a broad portfolio of businesses activities and customers surrounding communications and navigation.
His major clients include Air Force Space and Missile System Center and the Navy's SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific (SSC PAC).
Lorne spent 20 years at SMC where he held a variety of engineering and management positions.
Lorne received his B.A. from California State University Fullerton in business administration and his M.S. in software engineering from the National University.
Why are you passionate about what you do? I really enjoy solving very complicated client problems with engineering solutions. Running the Marine Corps Engineering and Science Management Team, and as chief engineer for the Navy/Marine Corps Western Cluster, that’s what I get to do.
Aside from designing solutions or processes, how do you think your engineering mindset helps you in the work that you do at Booz Allen? The engineer mindset leads you to gather the facts and analyze the information. Then, you come up with solutions or options and present those. Engineers do that with everything, not just with engineering! It’s a very fact-based, methodical approach to analyzing, solving, and presenting options. We just can’t help ourselves; that’s how engineers think.
What are some highlights from your career? I was involved in the Global Positioning System (GPS), at its inception. I started on that program when it first got going and spent close to 20 years on it, taking it through a very rudimentary, clunky capability to where it’s at today. So, starting out as a software engineer at GPS and then becoming the program manager for the first GPS systems engineering and integration contract, I think that was probably the big event for me.
How do you help your clients prepare for the future? We bring them the benefit of what’s going on in the commercial world to solve their problems. They don’t have the resources or time to be aware of everything that’s going on in technology that can help them. We bridge that divide for them.
What would you say is scaring your clients? They’re afraid of cyberthreat: vulnerabilities introduced by hacking and unauthorized access. Many government systems were designed in an era where the Internet was not well known or even in existence, so their architecture doesn’t always lend itself to protecting what they have. We do the best we can, but I think they’re very concerned about the security of their systems.
What’s the biggest untapped opportunity in your industry? Unmanned platforms. Many things that are now being done in a manned situation are migrating over to unmanned. As that unfolds, that will be a huge game-changer, to the point where you can have not just drones, but unmanned fighter aircraft with larger missiles. I think unmanned, autonomous operations is where is everything is going ultimately. Of course, that accentuates the need for security; if you don’t have a man in the loop, there’s no safeguard or anyone to be able to know if it’s being hacked and commandeered.
What’s an obsolete item you can’t get rid of? Paper. I like to print things out and then mark up and review. For me, it would be the ability to move around in a document without having to page through a file and make pen and ink markups.
What are your tips for managing and motivating your people? You need to be accessible to them. You need to be non-threatening to them; they need to feel comfortable with you, where they don’t think that there’s potential for them to make a gaffe and have a career-limiting moment.
What makes you excited to come to work in the morning? The idea of solving client problems. That’s what I get really excited about—seeing technology solve problems and being able to really pull that together and be part of it.