Looking back at the years since I graduated from Webb, it’s hard to believe just how far I’ve gone, and also funny to think that I’ve ended up in almost the same place where my journey began.
I grew up a New Yorker, having been born in Manhattan, lived in Queens, gone to high school in the Bronx, and spent every possible moment on my family’s boat in Brooklyn. My apologies to fans of Staten Island, but I figure four out of five boroughs isn’t too bad. At the time boating was my life, and cruising the waters off New York and SCUBA diving on the shipwrecks beneath them, I always knew that I would be involved with ships and the sea. Webb was just the place to help me turn my passion into my career, and, despite what at times seemed like four long and hard years, not only was the experience worth it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read more…
Twelve years ago when I was leaving Webb, I would have laughed if someone had told me I would be anything other than a naval ship concept designer for my career. Well, life has happened — as it does — and fantastic options have presented themselves. My course first diverged when I went into new construction ship design management by working on the LPD 17 Class. It was an honor to work on the 9/11 ships (USS New York, USS Arlington, and USS Somerset) and to participate in full-scale shock trials. We dealt with some tough technical issues directly impacting ships in the fleet and in construction.
It’s been almost 13 years since I graduated from Webb. Immediately following graduation I spent a year in England obtaining a master’s in marine engineering. Once complete, I returned to the US and took a position as a naval architect with Donald L. Blount & Associates (DLBA) in my home town of Hampton Roads, Virginia, as many of my classmates probably guessed I would. Read more…
Life After Webb – Round Three
Retiring on the occasion of my 50th Anniversary of my first graduation from Webb, my wife, Jill and I left Webb – for the third time – in 2011. We returned to our home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and have been catching up on homeowner’s chores that had been neglected for 13 years. With three colleagues from the Naval Academy, I’m coauthoring an undergraduate textbook, Practical Naval Architecture, which, hopefully, will serve to tie together undergraduate courses over the four years of a normal naval architecture program. With frequent, and where possible, internet-based, references for the details of specific naval architecture specialties, and problem sets to exercise basic concepts, we hope to summarize and combine many years of course notes across the full scope of undergraduate naval architecture.
Jill and I have returned to our favorite avocations – community theater and choral music – in the Annapolis area and have taken up golf to fill our spare time. We continue to enjoy sailing our Mystic 20 catboat and entertaining our six grandkids on our power boat. On my bucket list are (1) learning to play the piano, (2) completing the segments of a world cruise, and (3) getting back to oil painting. I have been honored to be asked back by Dean Neilson to share Webb philosophy and “lessons learned” with each incoming freshman class–and, oh by the way, to develop some confidence in their freehand drawing abilities (which may be latent, but are already very impressive). Life is good! It was all made possible by William H. Webb.
Into the Wild: Canada is often referred to as the Great White North, and St. John’s, Newfoundland is no exception. What better place to study the effects of extreme weather on ships and structures?