Virginia Tech News

11 Jul 2019

Will High-Speed Container Transport Ever Work?

Figure 2 is a first pass sketch of what it may look like (I already see various areas for improvement on this sketch, but for illustrative purposes it will do). Photo credit: Martin & Ottaway, Inc.

Every few years I am handed a high-speed container transport proposal. Generally it consists of some type of high speed vessel design that would be able to move containers at high speed and thereby attract a new market by taking a chunk out of the air cargo market and the premium ocean market. Occasionally we are asked to look at the economics for potential investors, and it always falls short of being economically viable. While it is possible to move containers a little quicker over the ocean with faster vessels…

05 Dec 2018

Future Maritime Design: NETSCo Sponsors Student Design Competition

Team 9 – Black Friday, took First Place. Photo: Netsco.

NETSCo announced the winners of the 2018 Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Student Design Competition held recently during the 2018 SNAME Maritime Convention in Providence, RI. Many interesting designs were devised with over 150 students participating in the competition. Congratulations to our winning teams: First Place Team 9 – Black Friday; Second Place, Team 8 – PlayBuoy; and, Third Place, Team 5 – Team Boats.The Competition is organized by the SNAME Student Steering Committee (SSC)…

05 May 2017

Boykin Tapped as Next Newport News President

Jennifer Boykin (Photo: HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Board of Directors has elected Jennifer R. Boykin to serve as executive vice president of HII and president of HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, effective July 1. She will succeed Matt Mulherin, who announced that he will retire on August 1 after a 36-year career at Newport News Shipbuilding. Boykin, who will report to HII President and CEO Mike Petters effective July 1, currently serves as vice president, engineering and design for Newport News Shipbuilding.

24 Feb 2016

Modeling & Simulation Not Only for Naval Combatants

Figure 1: 6,000 Ton Training and Hospital Vessel Simulated at Sea. (Alion)

Throughout the history of naval warfare a consistent pattern has evolved between the development of anti-ship threats and the development of shipboard protective measures against those threats. Since the 1980’s, the combination of ship-board protective measures has been colloquially referred to as ‘survivability’ and is defined more precisely as the measure of a vessel’s ability to complete its mission after an attack. The measure of survivability considers one or more of the following aspects: susceptibility (the ability to avoid being hit)…

24 Sep 2015

Riding Waves & Tides to a Cleaner Energy Future

The European Way The Meygen tidal stream energy project is currently under construction off the coast of Scotland. By the early 2020s, MeyGen Limited intends to deploy up to 398MW of offshore tidal stream turbines to supply clean and renewable electricity to the UK National Grid. (Credit: Atlantis Resources Ltd.)

When one thinks of offshore renewable energy, one usually thinks of offshore wind. For the first time progress is being made in the U.S. to develop offshore wind resources. The first steel foundation jacket has been placed in the ocean floor to support the Deepwater Wind project off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. (See www.dwwind.com/press/#/1). But recently, progress is also being made in the development of tidal and wave energy resources closer to shore, which are known as marine hydrokinetic or MHK resources.

05 Feb 2015

Making Sailors 'SAFFiR'

U.S. Navy Firefighting Robot (image: courtesy U.S. Navy)

Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot Prototype at Naval Tech EXPO. Scientists unveiled a firefighting robot prototype Feb. 4 at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO, revealing details about its successful demonstrations last fall. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), walked across uneven floors, used thermal imaging to identify overheated equipment, and used a hose to extinguish a small fire in a series of experiments Nov. 3-5, 2014 aboard the USS Shadwell, a decommissioned Navy vessel.

05 Feb 2015

Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot

The Office of Naval Research-sponsored Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) undergoes testing aboard the Naval Research Laboratory's ex-USS Shadwell in Mobile, Ala. SAFFiR is a bipedal humanoid robot being devel

Scientists unveiled a firefighting robot prototype Feb. 4 at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO, revealing details about its successful demonstrations last fall. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), walked across uneven floors, used thermal imaging to identify overheated equipment, and used a hose to extinguish a small fire in a series of experiments Nov. 3-5, 2014 aboard the USS Shadwell, a decommissioned Navy vessel.

24 Mar 2014

NRL Hosts Shipboard Fire Robotics Consortium

Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jamie Hartman

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR), partner in the Navy's Damage Control for the 21st Century project (DC-21), recently hosted robotics research teams from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to demonstrate the most current developments of advanced autonomous systems to assist in discovery, control, and damage control of incipient fires. Fighting fires…

18 Oct 2013

Interferry Urges Proactive Approach to Industry Challenges

Johan Roos, Interferry’s executive director

More than 250 top-level delegates attended trade association Interferry’s 38th annual conference in Malta to debate the major factors affecting ferry operations around the world. Under a new format mixing presentations with panel discussions and audience input, the event underlined the diversity of political, technical, operational and commercial issues challenging the industry. Among several sessions focused on safety, a former airline pilot confirmed the alarming certainty of human error…

03 Oct 2013

Bryan Jones Joins HDR Ports & Maritime Team in Boston

Bryan Jones

Bryan N. Jones has joined HDR in Boston as a senior project manager for the Ports & Maritime group, a growing team of HDR marine specialists in the Northeast to support an increasing number of assignments following Super Storm Sandy. He will also focus on business development with key ports clients and marine terminals to continue expanding HDR’s presence in New England. Prior to joining HDR, Jones was chief project manager and regional director of the Massachusetts branch office of Ocean and Coastal Consultants.

08 Jul 2013

International Submarine Races 2013 Awards

Submarine entrant in 11th series: Photo courtesy of isrsubrace.org

20 teams demonstrated their engineering prowess in week-long human-powered design competition. Intelligent Decisions (ID), Inc., a  global IT systems integrator, congratulates Virginia Tech HPS and their vessel “Phantom 6” as the winner of the ID Innovation Award at the 12th International Submarine Races (ISR). The sponsors also recognizes the efforts of the University of Washington: HPS Team and their vessel “Wolverine 2” for their second place Innovation Award and OMER’s vessel “OMER 8” for their third place Innovation Award. ID has sponsored the races and the Innovation Award since 2011.

05 Jul 2013

Safety-conscious Interferry Sets Sights on Perfection Myth

The trade association event takes place in Malta from October 5-9 with an agenda dominated by safety issues. Insights on how the aviation industry builds and maintains safety culture will come from special guest speaker Jarle Gimmestad of Norway-based operational safety consultancy Gimmestad AS. He was previously with Scandinavian airline SAS as a captain and then as human factors and crew resource manager, which included working with the accident investigation group. Pointing to the continuously improving safety record of air travel, he noted, “There is a significant tendency - while undesired events used to be caused by technical insufficiency, we now realize that most are contributed by human error. We have left the myth of perfection. Human error is a natural part of human behavior.

04 Apr 2013

Life-like Robotic Jellyfish Unveiled

Robotic Jellyfish 'Cyro': Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech College of Engineering

As part of a US Navy-funded project Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers have unveiled a life-like, autonomous robotic jellyfish. The jellyfish, the size and weight of a grown man, is 5 foot 7 inches in length and wieghs 170 pounds. The project aims to develop self-powering, autonomous machines that support various missions such as surveillance and monitoring the undersea environment, as well as studying ocean life, mapping ocean floors and monitoring ocean currents.

15 Mar 2013

Reduce Boatbuilding Risk by Starting with Requirements

CDI applied its ship design synthesis process and engineering model to US Navy T-AKE ships.

Managing the risks associated with a new ship acquisition, whether commercial or military, can be a daunting process. For the commercial operator, the new ship must make a reasonable profit after the cost of design and the annual operating costs are accounted for. The warfighter must fit his new acquisition into ever-shrinking fiscal budgets while ensuring that a vital mission capability is met. Programmatic Risk – Will the selected hull form and associated requirements successfully meet the owner’s needs?

09 Mar 2012

Ship on Fire – Send the Robot In

Fire-fight Robot: Photo credit NRL

To help further improve future shipboard firefighting capability, scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory have formed an interdisciplinary team to develop a humanoid robot that could fight fires on the next generation of combatants. A humanoid-type robot was chosen because it was deemed best suited to operate within the confines of an environment that was deigned for human mobility and offered opportunity for other potential warfighting applications within the Navy and Marine Corps.

20 Jan 2012

Resolve Adds to New Orleans Team

J. Reed Ameel

Naval Architects Matt Bierwagen and J. Reed Ameel Join the Growing Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Group. RESOLVE Engineering Group, LLC has added two Naval Architects to its full-service naval architecture and marine engineering group in New Orleans, LA. Matthew Bierwagen joined RESOLVE from Trinity Yachts, LLC and Trinity Offshore, LLC, Gulfport, MS, where he was Staff Naval Architect. His experience includes shipbuilding, manufacturing, new product design and engineering for both private yachts and commercial vessels. Bierwagen is a graduate of Virginia Tech and holds a B.S.

05 Nov 2011

ROBOBOATS: Autonomous Boats Aid Maritime Security

The theme of the 4th International RoboBoat Competition, sponsored by The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was “The Four Elements.” Teams of students designed and built autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) that faced challenges involving earth, air, fire and water. The competition was held at The Founders Inn and Spa, Virginia Beach, VA, June 8-12, 2011 and included 15 teams representing colleges and universities around the world.

20 Sep 2011

Navy's First JHSV Christened

The 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans are designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable even in shallow waters, making them ideal for transporting troops and equipment quickly within a theater of operations. (U.S. Navy photo Courtesy Austal USA/Released)

USNS Spearhead, the first of the Navy's joint high-speed vessels designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment, was christened Sept. 17 during a ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. Military Sealift Command will own and operate Spearhead and the other joint high-speed vessels, or JHSVs, that are under contract to be built for the Navy. Spearhead will be crewed by 22 civil service mariners working for MSC who will operate, navigate and maintain the ship.

15 Sep 2011

U.S. Navy to Christen Military Vessel at Austal USA

Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Spearhead

U.S. Navy Christens New Military Vessel in Mobile, Alabama at Austal USA. The Navy will christen the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) Spearhead Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony in Mobile, Ala. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kenneth Wahlman, U.S. Army (Ret.) will serve as ship’s sponsor. His daughter Catherine, a Staff Sgt. in the Army ROTC attending Virginia Tech University, will assist her father in the christening, Mr. Wahlman’s wife, Chief Warrant Officer Five…

25 Aug 2011

ASCE’s Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers Honored

ACOPNE Induction Ceremony

Specialty certifications programs are growing in most professions as the knowledge needed to practice continues to rapidly increase. Specialty certification supports the explosion of continuing professional development. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Academy of Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE) held its 6th Diplomate Induction Ceremony to honor 21 of its members for their higher education achievement during its annual meeting Monday, August 22, 2011, in San Diego, Calif.

11 Apr 2011

Inmarsat Makes North American Team Appointments

David Helfgott and Peter Hadinger Photo source: ISCe 2005 Conference Program Bios

Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) today announced two new appointments to its North American teams. David Helfgott becomes President of Inmarsat, Inc and Head of Business Development, Americas and Peter Hadinger joins Inmarsat Global Xpress™ as President of Inmarsat Government Services Inc (IGSI). Both will be based at Inmarsat's Washington DC office. David Helfgott will be responsible for external representation of Inmarsat Inc, and will head strategy and business development in the Americas.

25 Mar 2010

Thornhill Science Advisor, MMS Director

The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced the appointment of Alan Thornhill as Science Advisor to MMS Director Liz Birnbaum. In this capacity, Thornhill will assist Director Birnbaum in the review of scientific and technical data that will ensure the effective management of energy resources located on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf — including the development of offshore renewable energy — and the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas. Thornhill comes to MMS from the Society for Conservation Biology where for the past eight years he served as the Executive Director. In this capacity, Thornhill was the head of the largest professional association of conservation professionals in the world.

20 Dec 2009

Cox Heads Crowley Sales and Marketing, Anchorage

Crowley announced that Bob Cox has assumed sales and marketing responsibility for the company's petroleum distribution group in Alaska. This is in addition to his role as general manager of the company's supply and distribution functions. Cox will remain domiciled in the company's Anchorage office and will continue reporting to Craig Tornga, vice president of petroleum distribution. Cox is responsible for the sales and marketing function of Crowley's petroleum terminals, which have a combined fuel capacity of 39 million gallons. A veteran of the Alaska petroleum sales and distribution market, Cox also brings transportation experience to his position. Prior to joining Crowley in 2007, he was vice president at both Petro Marine Services and Alaska Railroad.

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