Friday, July 17, 2015

Midshipmen Complete Summer Internship at NAVSSESS

By Joseph Battista, NAVSSES Public Affairs

Midshipmen 1st Class Montana Geimer and Steven Dull got a head start on their capstone senior design project while interning at Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES) this summer.

They built a reduced-scale demonstrator of a Hybrid Energy Storage Module (HESM) to develop, implement and validate various advanced energy management and electrical power control schemes.

Photo by Joseph Battista

Geimer, from Annapolis, Maryland, and Dull, from Dayton, Ohio, are both electrical engineering majors eyeing different career paths. Geimer wants to serve  on submarines while Dull is thinking about becoming a naval aviator, but both saw an opportunity to expand their classroom knowledge by doing their mandated one month of summer professional training at NAVSSES.

The internship involved building a tabletop demonstrator of a HESM to investigate the design and performance of this potentially important component in future Navy power systems. The HESM will store energy until needed to operate advanced weapon systems such as a railgun, high powered radar, or lasers and to optimize power quality, continuity and stability across various shipboard architectures.

During their four weeks at NAVSSES, Geimer and Dull worked with Dr. Qing Dong and Stepfanie Veiga, electrical engineers with Automation and Controls Research and Development Branch and Machinery Technology Research and Development Branch, respectively.  According to Veiga, who oversaw most of their daily work, they completed the hardware build and were in the process of developing their own software simulations when their internship ended July 17.

“You can see how much they accomplished in just four weeks,” said Veiga, referring to the working hardware built on a 3-foot by 3-foot piece of electrical insulation board. “They’ll be able take this back to the Naval Academy and continue working on their capstone project during the school year by expanding and validating models using the installed hardware and real-time controller.”

Photo by Joseph Battista

Both midshipmen toured NAVSSES on field trips earlier this year and jumped at the opportunity to intern at the Navy’s principal test and evaluation facility for all naval machinery, which includes shipboard propulsion, power, auxiliary, and deck machinery, as well as hull outfitting, habitability, and the mechanical systems associated submarine sail and antenna systems.

“We’d both been here before on a tour, but I never realized what went into putting together the inner workings of a ship until I started working here,” said Geimer. “Seeing all the design work and testing they do is amazing. There are not a lot of people working here, but they do a lot.”

The field trips were organized by one of their instructors, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department assistant professor Cmdr. John Stevens. Stevens is an engineering duty officer who worked on the DDG 1000 land based test site at NAVSSES and was recently selected as a Permanent Military Professor at the Naval Academy.

Photo by Joseph Battista

“Being an electrical engineering student made coming to NAVSSES a logical choice,” said Dull. “I wanted to learn about how the power on DDG 1000 is distributed to the various ship systems. We really didn’t know anything about the HESM prior to coming here, but there are great people working here with an incredible knowledge base who helped us.”

Geimer and Dull did get to explore Philadelphia despite their limited free time – visiting many of the historical sites and museums, as well as a few of the more popular places to try a Philadelphia cheesesteak.

They will resume working on their capstone senior design project in the fall, after concluding their final summer requirement – fleet training. After leaving NAVSSES, Geimer went to Groton, Connecticut to work on submarines, and Dull traveled to San Diego to learn about Naval Special Warfare at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado.

Stevens worked with Dr. E. Michael Golda, NAVSSES’ chief technologist, to establish the internship opportunity. Golda and Stevens, both Naval Academy graduates, see summer internships at NAVSSES as an opportunity for midshipmen to gain valuable hands-on learning that applies directly to their academic major while also getting to see first-hand what goes into developing and maintaining the machinery systems on Navy ships.

The Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station in Philadelphia is the Navy's principal test and evaluation station and in-service engineering agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.

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