Monday, December 31, 2007


Last year, I worked on a detail design project, leading a team that put together a package for the Marine Sealift Command. They had just started testing the first ship of the T-AKE 1 Class, the USS LEWIS AND CLARK. Based on their shakedown experience, they asked for some modifications to the cargo spaces, the galley and messrooms, and the forward mast.

I did not do most of the work; it was done by our experts in arrangements, electrical engineering, structures, etc. However, I managed the overall project, and created the concept designs for the modifications. I may not have created the detail drawings, but I decided what would go where, with some guidance from my boss, and input from the customer.

The shipyard implemented the changes at the ship's Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). I haven't seen the ship since we did a ship check at the beginning of the project. On the left is an image of the forward mast as it was when the ship was built.

Today, I received an invitation to attend the commissioning ceremonies for the 5th vessel of the class. I've been getting invites for each ship, since I was involved with the detail design reviews about 4 years ago. The invite prompted me to see if they had implemented the modifications we designed.

On the right is the mast of the first ship as it is today. Note the addition of the radar up high, and a new middle platform where the existing horn has been shifted, and joined with a second horn. It may not look like much, but it is exciting for me. I designed that! It's the first time in the 5+ years I've been working that I've seen something I designed actually take shape in steel. I've spent most of my time doing analyses and design reviews, rather than actual design work. So this is quite a thrill.

1 comment:

Matt Boulanger said...

Congratulations, Dan! And Happy New Year as well. Actually, beyond your accomplishments here (and its physical manifestation), what amazes me about your post is that you've been at this for more than four years, longer than I've ever even had a single job. I guess if there's ever a transferrable development rights program and base zoning established in Seeley Lake, Montana, I'll have a similar post to make. Congrats again! Matt