Thursday, April 23, 2015

USNA's Third Annual Capstone Day

The United States Naval Academy’s Weapons and Engineering Division held its 3rd Annual Capstone Day in Rickover Hall April 22.

Photo by MC2 Jonathan Correa

Nearly 100 teams representing all the engineering disciplines at the Naval Academy presented their capstone projects.

“This is a great opportunity for midshipmen to show our staff, faculty, fellow midshipmen and outside visitors projects they have been working on this year,” said Lt. Cmdr. Spencer Temkin, junior permanent military professor of aerospace engineering.

Capstone design is the keystone experience for engineering students at USNA. It is an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge they have acquired and represents the culmination of their engineering education.

“This year my team and I have been working on a rocket for the NASA Student Launch Competition, which challenges participating teams to design rockets that address the research needs of different NASA missions,” said Midshipman 1st Class Hayes Friddle, project manager for the Navy rockets. “We built a nine-foot carbon glass rocket and 14-foot aluminum ground support system for the competition as well as for our capstone project.”

Working in teams, Naval Academy seniors from all of the engineering departments undertake ambitious capstone design projects that involve design, build and demonstration/competition phases.

Photo by MC2 Jonathan Correa

“Time is the midshipmen’s biggest challenge,” said Capt. Jay Bitting, director of the Engineering and Weapons Division. “Sometimes the midshipmen don’t finish a project, and it carries on to the next year, but now the groundwork is laid out for a new group to fix or expand on what was started.”

Among the visitors were representatives from different branches of government and civilian contractors.

“The interest from these government agencies and big civilian sector companies gives the midshipmen a chance to talk to someone who is working on the same things they are working on,” said Temkin. “Getting the opportunity to talk to professional engineers helps the midshipmen understand what part they will be doing in the Navy and the world after graduation.”

The day culminated in a poster session where the visitors could ask the teams questions about their projects.

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