en·gi·neer·ing - noun: the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures. 2. the work done by, or the occupation of, an engineer: the action of working artfully to bring something about.
That definition is not a new one but the projects being completed by today’s Academy engineering students are cutting edge. Engineering is one of the original two majors first offered by MMA in 1891 and continues to attract the most students. Today, three of the seven majors offered at MMA are Engineering. The Department recently challenged students to come up with a project based on personal interest in the rapidly changing field of electronics and integrated computer systems. Each Electronics Lab section of twelve students had the freedom to choose a research topic from a list of Emerging Technologies and all of them knocked the ball out of the park!
2/C Sean Finerty, a 2010 grad of Sandwich High School (Sandwich, MA), did his project on Dynamic Positioning, A New Advancement in Shipping Technology. “Dynamic positioning is when ships can remain in a fixed position at sea in relationship to a stationary object such as an oil rig by the use of sensors and computers,” Finerty explained. “This process is used widely on Mobil offshore drilling rigs allowing them to stay in an exact location while drilling, and offshore supply vessels,” he added. Finerty has worked as a commercial fisherman since the eighth grade and plans on shipping out as a marine engineer after graduation.
2/C Sarah Lewis, graduated from Barrington Community High School (2003) in Deer Park, IL chose to attend the Academy after sailing with NOAA as a mate. Her project showcased Hybrid Electric Vehicles: When a Brake Pedal Isn’t Just a Brake Pedal. “I focused on the sophisticated computer programing needed to optimize driving, battery charging, and fuel efficiency. Essentially the brake pedal isn't only attached to the brakes. The brake pedal feeds into a computer that calculates how much you want to brake and takes the braking power and uses it to recharge the hybrid battery,” she noted.
2/C Jack Radke, graduated from York High School, York, Maine, in 2011. His project addressed The Future of Power Plant Emissions. This cadet showcased the benefit of electronics in future power plant operations. His project stressed the advantages of improving emission controls by either producing a cleaner burner efficiency, filtering exhaust gasses, or both.
Academy Engineering grads are not just ready to solve today’s problems, they are working hard to stay one step ahead of tomorrow’s challenges on both land and sea.