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An Integrated Approach To A One Semester Ship Design Experience At Uscga

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design Projects

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.194.1 - 11.194.11



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Paper Authors

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Todd Taylor U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Kurt Colella U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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William Simpson U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Integrated Approach to a One-Semester Ship Design Experience at USCGA Abstract

At the United States Coast Guard Academy, the transition from general education and general engineering -- to courses specific to the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (N&AME) major -- occurs in spring of the junior year. As such, the time available for a developmental (or incremental) approach to the design of a ship is limited. As a cornerstone to a strong design- based NA&ME education, the faculty has adopted an integrated one-semester ship design experience involving three courses. While the courses remain separate entities with three instructors, different meeting times, and largely non-overlapping content, the student experience is one of continuity and integration between the subject areas. The integrated approach is presented here with an emphasis on faculty cooperation and communication, as well as outside interest and participation from field design offices. A case study is presented to demonstrate the faculty coordination necessary to replace the traditional incremental approach to design with an integrated, comprehensive, one-semester experience. The benefits of this approach are discussed as well as the resources needed to sustain it in the long term.

The USCGA Challenge

The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) provides the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) with approximately 190 new Coast Guard officers each year. Each graduate earns both a commission (as Ensign, USCG) and a Bachelor of Science degree in one of eight academic majors. USCGA is one of four federal service academies and as such is focused on the academic, military and physical development of young men and women as leaders in service to our nation.

The education and training program at USCGA is four years in duration and upon completion, each graduate is obligated to five years of military service. Approximately 80% of the graduating class report to Coast Guard Cutters throughout the world and the remaining 20% are employed in flight training or marine safety and environmental readiness/response duties. They are paid on a common scale based on service longevity and a performance-based promotion system.

A typical cadet day at USCGA involves academics, leadership and military training, and some sort of athletic activity (NCAA division III or intramural). At least once each semester, each cadet is required to participate in an outside community service project either individually or as a group. All cadets must complete the academic requirements for their chosen major while participating in the equivalent of two full sports seasons (in addition to 7 semesters of physical education), in parallel with a 200 week training program. Of the eight academic majors, four are engineering and others include operations research, marine and environmental science, management and government. The academic workday runs from 0600-1540 and 2000-2200 (late lights beyond 2200 permitted with excusal). The general education requirement (“core curriculum”) for all cadets involves 17 courses and 57 credit hours. The ABET-accredited Naval

Taylor, T., & Colella, K., & Simpson, W. (2006, June), An Integrated Approach To A One Semester Ship Design Experience At Uscga Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--210

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