Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentices Visit Webb

Pictured Above: L to R:  Jennifer Ryan ’99, Dawn Hardister, Jarrod Griffith, Gary Garner, Don Rickerson ’13, Rick Neilson ’70, Nic O’Brien

SNAME student members from the Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) Apprentice School enjoyed a weekend visit to Webb Institute on September 21-23, 2012.  The Apprentice School is a traditional shipbuilding trade school with a modern college curriculum that combines old-school practices with contemporary knowledge.  Students at The Apprentice School build and maintain nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the United States Navy.

This trip was made possible by the benevolence of the SNAME student section, and was led by SNAME section advisor and academic instructor, Jennifer Ryan ’99.   Highlights of the visit included a lecture on ship design, a campus tour, and a model testing exercise in Robinson Model Basin. 

Dean Neilson delivered a technical lecture to the apprentices in Webb’s Advanced Learning Center (ALC), located in the Luckenbach Building.  Dean Neilson’s lecture summarized the conventional stages of the ship design process and focused on prediction methods for ship resistance and powering.  Historic NNS ship designs were referenced as examples throughout his lecture to emphasize the common ground between Webb Institute and the Apprentice School.

The apprentices gained some hands-on experience in the Robinson Model Basin under the guidance of Webb’s lab technician, Pat Doherty. The group performed calm water resistance tests on a 1/25 scale model of a 147 ft. LWL motor yacht.  The day’s lessons were reinforced by calculating full scale effective horsepower from the laboratory data they collected. 

The event was a great learning and social experience for both the apprentices and the Webb students, and we were more than thrilled to host the event.

Pat Doherty instructs the apprentices in tow tank procedures.