A team of Northrop Grumman engineers set out to create a safe, reliable and affordable way to connect electric currents in a wet or corrosive environment and keep the power surging. NiobiCon™ is a revolutionary self-insulating wet-mate electrical connector that can be mated and de-mated while fully exposed to water — a first of its kind. Contacts will not corrode and electronics will not short out. This new connector technology has the potential to be less expensive, smaller, lighter, more reliable and safer than current wet-mate connectors. https://www.northropgrumman.com/Careers/Life-At-Northrop-Grumman/Pages/mixing-electricity-water-spark-idea-niobicon.aspx Northrop fellow Harvey Hack was using the metal niobium for its corrosion resistance on connectors. Niobium is estimated to be the 34th most common element in the earth’s crust. This sparked system engineer Jim Windgassen to think about how to apply fundamental principles of tantalum capacitors to make underwater connectors. Niobium and Tantalum are similar metals and it made Windgassen think about how a tantalum capacitor works in the first place, thus becoming the genesis of innovation: NiobiCon™.