Webb’s Latest Campus Improvements
by John Ferrante
Over the course of the last academic year, the Facilities Department completed the repurposing of the four Stevenson Taylor Hall classrooms into 20 new dorm rooms. We renovated two Stevenson Taylor Hall west- side bathrooms; created a new mail room, added carbon monoxide detectors to the Stevenson Taylor Hall fire alarm system; renovated the patio tile; installed 435 interior “storm” windows; replaced the carpet in seven offices in the Luckenbach Building; installed two EV charging stations; completed the renovation to the pier and added new fencing and railings (many thanks to MetalShark).
In addition, we also replaced the two steam boilers in Stevenson Taylor Hall along with associated piping, supply tank and controls, and added a stainless-steel liner to the chimney.
We also repaired the stucco and waterproofed the gym. New lighting was installed in the Cuneo Courtyard and the student parking lot.
The design for renovations to the second floor of Robinson Model Basin has been finished and plans submitted to the local building department for the required permits. Currently there are nine dorm rooms on the second floor which we will be changing to three apartments. The design was done by Kirk Lehman P’22.
Keith Michel’s Retirement Celebration
by Bruce S. Rosenblatt (Hon.)
On May 21, 2022, Webb hosted retiring President Keith Michel’s Retirement Reception & Dinner. This sendoff was a fitting tribute for a great Webb President who served the Institute with distinction for nine years. 270 guests in all, including current students, alumni, members of our faculty, administration, and staff, Board of Trustees, friends of Webb, and members of the Michel family, honored our retiring President by attending this memorable occasion. Speakers included current students, the Webb Alumni Association President, our Dean, a Vice Chair and three current and past Board of Trustee Chairmen, all of whom offered fittingly high praises for the former President.
It is still hard to believe that it was almost 9 years since Peggy & Keith Michel came to Glen Cove, and Webb is in a much better place today because of their tireless devotion and dedication. The accomplishments Webb realized during Keith’s tenure were many. To mention only a few, he drove Webb’s most successful fundraising campaign ever; architected the inspirational Couch Academic Center; and reimagined Stevenson Taylor Hall by retrofitting the old classroom as dormitory rooms. Keith will be the first to point out that these accomplishments were only possible because of the efforts of Webb’s Board of Trustees, faculty, administration, and staff, and a host of incredibly generous benefactors, among others.
After the speakers expressed their appreciation for Keith, Keith addressed everyone with a brief, humble and powerful message. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. In his remarks, Keith focused on the achievements of others and expressed his deepest appreciation to every part of the Webb family.
In Joe Cuneo’s remarks, he described Keith as “one of a kind.” More fitting words could not have been spoken. Keith has forever raised the bar in what one should expect from a college President. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of Webb’s Board of Trustees during his tenure.
Webb’s Summer Engineering Academy Returns for 2022
by Dean Matthew R. Werner ’95, PG’97
After a two-year hiatus resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Webb’s Summer Engineering Academy (SEA) restarted for the summer 2022. This year’s single two-week session hosted a full complement of twenty-four high school age participants and immersed them in engineering through lectures, design-build projects, competitions, and more. Professor Golden took the lead on this year’s program which included a variety of new design-build-test exercises and a field trip to visit FDNY fireboats at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. As is tradition, the program ended with participant teams competing in the Long Island Sound with boats that they designed and built as family members watched and cheered them on. The overall program was a great success despite the hot and humid weather conditions and a few sunk boats.
Registration for the SEA 2023 will begin after the new year. Information and registration materials will be posted on webb.edu. The limited number of spots are sure to fill up fast, so spread the word to any potential participants.
The Newport Bermuda Race
Aboard the Desperado by Abner Mills ’24
My Experience on Desperado for the Newport to Bermuda Race was very different from Zach’s on Groupe 5. We sailed with 12 people with a set of 3 watch groups and a Navigator that was separate from the watch system.
On a distance race like N2B, it’s very common that you will spend time in every role at one point or another. I am usually a bowman, and I very much did take part in the majority of the sail changes but I also spent a lot of time trimming sails and driving the boat. The first day of the race was miserable weather, it was very lumpy seas and loads of rain which tested my stomach for sure. The following day leading up to the gulf stream had high winds and decent waves for surfing. We were seeing boat speeds in the high teens very often and I believe our max boat speed was 23kts. We had to gybe out before the gulf stream to avoid the adverse current but after a few hours, we were heading to Bermuda again.
On the morning of our last day, the breeze started to die down and the rest of our race was a bit slower. We finally got in after an elapsed time of 73 hours 51 minutes and 22 seconds. Zach may have a better telling of the conditions than I, he is better at remembering those details, also they were in relatively close proximity for a good majority of the race.
We ended up coming 2nd in the Gibbs Hill Professional Division and 1st in Class 18 for this Race, quite the showing for a student-filled boat.
• Offshore Team Co-Captain along with Zach Doerr.
• I first learned to sail by taking the small boat sailing merit badge at boy scout summer camp.
• In order to continue sailing and learn more, I found a group called the Cayuga Lake Cruising Fleet. I would have to travel an hour and a half one way to be able to sail every weekend. I sailed a Tanzer 25 usually in a mixed fleet of around 5 to 8 other boats. My boat did okay usually.
• Since starting at Webb I have logged over 3500nm.
• Most of my Webb sailing has been on Figaro 2’s with my 2nd semester of sophomore year including much more sailing on Desperado for races such as Vineyard (Fall semester), AYC Spring Race Series, EDLU, Block Island Race, Newport – Bermuda Race.
• Over the summer between freshman and sophomore year, I stayed on campus with a few others and raced in the Block Island Race Week, Around Long Island Race, and many other races on the Long Island Sound.
Aboard the Figaro 2 by Zachary Doerr ’24
I sailed on a modified Figaro 2 in the Double Handed Division with my coach Vlad Shablinsky. The start for us was amazing conditions. We had a small upwind portion while leaving Newport before it became a tight jib reach in around 18-20 knots of wind from the southwest.
Within two or three hours, however, the wind shut off. At this point, we had fairly large leftover swells making the boat quite miserable to be on. These conditions lasted the rest of the first day. We did a lot of sail changes in the light and fluky conditions as a cold front passed over us.
After the front passed in the middle of the first night, the wind began to fill in beautifully from the northwest at 20 knots. We put up our running spinnaker, which we carried for the rest of the race. The waves built and there was a lot of good surfing opportunities. The top boat speeds going down waves was typically 16-20 knots, with a top speed for the race of 21 knots. Throughout the second day, it increased in strength as we approached the Gulf Stream. At the Gulf Stream, we gybed into a southeast moving eddy and stayed with it for most of the second night. We had some serious squalls with winds into the low 30 knot range. We carried our big spinnaker the entire time, and Vlad and I both worked hard that night to keep the boat upright.
As morning approached, the wind steadied at around 25 knots, and after exiting the Gulf Stream we gybed onto starboard tack again, and decided to sail low, keeping east of the Rhumb line. As the third day went on, the wind began to shift right and eventually to slowly die during the third night. We were lifted nicely to Bermuda and had to throw in just a few gybes within sight of the island. We finished on our fourth day at sea in about 10-12 knots of wind with an elapsed time of 77 hours, 41 minutes, and 22 seconds. We ended up correcting five hours ahead of our nearest competitor in the double handed division and nearly eleven hours ahead of the next boat in our class, taking first place in both class and division.
• Offshore Team Co-Captain along with Abner Mills
• From Butler, PA
• Learned to sail first on my dad’s Capri 22, he sold that and bought a Cal 24 which I continued to learn on. I then started sailing sunfish and eventually Hobie 16s as well. I also had some experience with J80s and Flying Scots before Webb. Most sailing was done on a small lake in PA with a little bit of Great Lakes sailing and Chesapeake Bay sailing as well.
• I have done several regattas on the Figaro 2s, and have done Around Long Island Race 2021, Vineyard Race 2021, Block Island Race 2022, Newport Bermuda Race 2022, and Bermuda Short Handed Return 2022 on Groupe 5.
• Like AJ, I also stayed on campus last summer.
Webbies Win U.S. Department of Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition
by Juliette Lehman ’22
Webb Institute was a first time competitor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC), which is hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The MECC requires participating teams to complete a technical design, business plan, and financial analysis of a particular marine energy solution. Teams are also required to participate in various forms of community outreach to increase understanding and interest of marine energy.
The Webb MECC team also completed the optional Build and Test portion of the competition. The team was comprised of seven students: Juliette Lehman ’22, Sasha Kritsuk ’22, Luke Kiely ’22, Minh Tran ’22, Adriana Torres-Rodriguez ’23, Si Cong Chen ’23, and Rebecca Ashmore ’25, and was advised
by Professors Michael Martin and Richard Royce.
The team submitted their report, “An Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter for Small-Scale Disaster Relief” along with a poster and presentation of the research. This research was then presented to a panel of industry professionals.
The Build and Test portion of the project was taken from Juliette Lehman ’22 and Sasha Kritsuk’s ’22 thesis, The Design, Construction, and Testing of an Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter. Financial analyses were performed based on Luke Kiely’s ’22 thesis, A Feasibility Study of the Installation and Operation of a Floating Offshore Windfarm in the United States. The focus of the technical design was to create a simple, cost-effective oscillating water column that could generate enough power to operate an ambulatory health-care facility and desalination plant. The business plan targeted areas that are particularly susceptible to frequent natural disasters.
For its community engagement, the Webb team worked hard to create educational materials and kits for young students, host and attend community events, and interact with industry professionals. Professor Bradley Golden connected the team with the Girl Scouts of America, who visited Webb to learn about wave energy and build their own model oscillating water column! The team also attended the Brooklyn Boatworks Launch Day, where students also built and interacted with their own wave energy converters. Adriana Torres-Rodriguez ’23 and Si Cong Chen ’23 attended Water Power Week to gain an understanding of the elements important to creating a business model for wave energy converters.
The team was excited to receive awards for both Best Outreach and Community Engagement and First Place Overall. While the team was thrilled to perform so well in its first year of competing, there was also much to learn from this first year. This competition not only provided resources and funding for research but was also a wonderful opportunity for Webb Institute to form an inter-class team of students. This year’s team is excited to hear that another Webb team has been approved for next year’s competition and we wish them the best of luck!
More information about the team can be found on webbmecc.wordpress.com!