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WINTER 2012-2013 The Webb Institute Magazine

Volume 24 Issue 2

Webb Grads Take on Europe Jobs in Hamburg Offer Challenge, Adventure

A Champion Of Webb: Alumni Banquet Honors Carson

FIRST Place: www.webb-institute.edu

Robotics Conference at Webb


in this issue Features

1 2 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 14 22




M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T To prepare graduates for prominent careers by: • Providing a rigorous education in the principles of engineering and a broad-based knowledge of the fundamentals of naval architecture and marine engineering • Developing skills that will enable graduates to become leaders in and make significant contributions to their chosen profession, and to the social environment in which it functions • Instilling in our graduates the highest ethical standards and sense of professionalism; cultivating curiosity in the arts, sciences, and humanities; and providing the background and encouragement necessary to support life-long learning • Perpetuating the legacy of William H. Webb



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WebbNews Webb Institute Robert C. Olsen, Jr. President George Campbell Jr. Chairman of the Board Richard P. Neilson ’70 Dean and Professor of Naval Architecture Erica L. Hansen ’81 Director of Communications


Wi n t e r 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3 |

Supervising Editor Gailmarie Sujecki Executive Assistant to the President & Director of Alumni Relations Editor Christine Slattery Editorial Contributors John Carlson ’14 Nolan Conway ’15 Joseph J. Cuneo ’57 R. Keith Michel ’73 Brent Morrison ’11 Richard P. Neilson ’70 Colin Spillane ’13

Photo Contributors TJ Brackin ’16 John R. Carlson ’14 Matthew K. Graham ’14 Eric S. Harris ’14 Gailmarie Sujecki Design Lum & Associates

Volume 24 Issue 2 Webb News is published bi-annually in the Summer and the Winter by Webb Institute, 298 Crescent Beach Road Glen Cove, NY 11542-1398 1-866-708-9322 (Webb) www.webb-institute.edu


from the President Oh my goodness, my last Webb News column…

By Robert C. Olsen, Jr. President

It’s been yet another busy and important time period. Not the least of which, of course, is the selection of Keith Michel as the next President and the election of George Campbell, President Emeritus of Cooper Union, as our new Board Chair. This is quite exciting. I know that many, if not most of you, know Keith — but not so with George Campbell. I’ve had the privilege of knowing him for my whole tenure because of our mutual participation in the Association of Independent Technical Colleges and Universities (AITU) while he was still President of Cooper. I can’t think of two leaders better qualified to take the helm for Webb sailing into the future. This community is very fortunate. The students are doing very well. I am particularly proud of the SO leadership this year. A very mature and balanced team that has done a lot of good work to improve the culture, advance our leader development program without needing much input, and do a host of other neat things. A group volunteered their time to several communities after Sandy, and the motivation behind the FIRST Robotics event was all driven by student interest and participation. They have been real pleasure to work with this semester. I sit here reflecting a bit about my eight years; it has been a challenging but immensely rewarding period for Maureen and me. We all like to say that Webb is unique, special, a great education, etc., and it’s all true. Sure, the educational model focusing on first principles and full immersion for four years with eight months of required internships are key factors. But in looking back over my time here it is clear that there is one critical element that we don’t often talk about that is vital to Webb’s center of gravity and underpins everything that is good about what we do here: Every single student, staff member, professor, parent, and trustee is truly passionate about learning, teaching, and stewardship for the school and William Webb’s legacy. It is also clear that nearly all alumni appreciate their Webb education and continue to support the legacy. I have seen and felt it each and every day. It is indeed special. Serving your school and Mr. Webb’s legacy has been a great honor and privilege. Thank you for the opportunity, and for your support.

“ I sit here reflecting a bit about

my eight years; it has been a challenging but immensely rewarding period for Maureen and me.”


Water, Walkers, Weather Worries:

All in a

Family Weekend I

magine arriving for your first day of college orientation and being told that your first assignment is to walk on water.

Newly elected Parent Association Chairman, George Mouravieff and his wife, Tatiana.


That is what happened this year to the Class of 2016. Not sure if this was a joke or not, their worst fears were confirmed when they received team assignments, competition rules, and a list of materials. And so they embarked on the intimidating task of designing and building a pair of shoes that would allow two members of each team to walk across 25 yards of Long Island Sound in a timed relay. While the freshmen were trying to solve this problem, Dean Neilson anxiously watched the weather and, as the weekend approached, the steadily mounting chop. Walking on water is tough enough without having to do it in two-foot waves. Sunday

morning came, and it was obvious the competition couldn’t be held at the Webb beach, so Sound Shoes, students, and families were packed up and moved behind the breakwater at Morgan Park, where the flat calm was viewed optimistically by the competitors. As it turned out, their optimism was not well-founded. The competitors rapidly learned that their best means of forward movement of the shoes was to apply Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. So the “walkers” adopted the practice of diving off the shoes backwards in order to make forward progress. Of the 12 competitors, three were actually able to “walk” the full course, two of them on one team. While the performance of their designs was disappointing to many of the freshmen, their effort and determination was evident to all. I was very proud of them. It was a fun morning, and students learned about longitudinal and transverse centers of buoyancy, ineffectual complex devices, and the disadvantages of questionable construction techniques. Not a bad result from their first design and build project. –Dean Rick Neilson ’70








6 1 Class of 1973: John Knobel, Ted Slotwinski, Keith Michel, Jay Carson, Rich Celotto, and Bill Helming. 2 Stefan Wolczko ’09 and Austin French ’09. 3 Class of 1982: Mike Gerardi, Mark Gagnon, Spencer Schilling and Jim Moody. 4 WAA President, Matt Tedesco ’91 with Jay Carson ’73. 5 Class of 1987: Jay Edgar, Joe Marrone, Mark Pudlo, Dan Healy and Karl Pritchard. 6 Neil Spillane ’50 with grandson, Colin Spillane ’13.


Jay P. Carson ’73 Honored in Providence


ore than 110 alumni, family and friends attended the Alumni Banquet held in Providence, Rhode Island on Friday, October 26th, where Mr. Jay Carson was this year’s recipient of the William Selkirk Owen Award. Introductory remarks were presented by classmate Rich Celotto, and by Carson’s good friend Fred Harris of General Dynamics-NASSCO. The following is a reprint from the event’s Program: The Webb Alumni Association is pleased to present the fforty-seventh William Selkirk Owen Award to Jay P. Carson. Mr. Carson is a 1973 graduate of Webb Institute of Naval Architecture. He started his career as a marine engineer at Chevron Shipping in San Francisco. While attending graduate school at MIT, he worked for John Alden, Inc. in Boston and for Robert Cashman in Hingham, MA. Mr. Carson received an MBA from Boston University, then worked as a planning supervisor at General Dynamics Quincy before joining Temple, Barker & Sloane as a management consultant in Lexington, MA. Mr. Carson has served NASSCO in San Diego, CA, for many years, both as a consultant and as a manager. He retired from General Dynamics NASSCO as Vice President of Engineering in 2007 and continues to assist in business development and earlystage ship design. During his career, he has worked in both

ship construction and repair, for naval and commercial projects. Work has taken him to assignments in Iran, Saudi Arabia, France, Great Britain, South Africa and South Korea. For the past three years he has been a member of the Webb Institute Board of Trustees. As the Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee, he works to preserve Webb’s legacy assets and to expand our understanding of William Webb’s story and accomplishments. He has actively participated in the Planning Committee, developing white papers for the recent Strategic Planning Meeting held at Webb in May. Mr. Carson was proud to be invited to speak at this year’s Founder’s Day dinner at Webb Institute. Mr. Carson resides in El Cajon, CA, not far from another Webb alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees, Mr. John Malone.


For the past three years he has been a member of the Webb Institute Board of Trustees. As the Chairman of the Fine Arts Committee, he works to preserve Webb’s legacy assets and to expand our understanding of William Webb’s story and accomplishments.”


Expanding Horizons: Winter Work Term


he Winter Work term is always an exciting time for Webb students. For the freshmen, it means waiting to see which shipyards and boatyards offer positions and then negotiating for the one they really want. For some it means the anticipation of working in a production environment for the first time, coupled with the opportunity to live alone or with classmates in a new city. For sophomores, it is the anticipation of catching a ship to someplace unknown, living aboard one of the largest moving objects designed and built by mankind, perhaps seeing ports one has only read about. For juniors and seniors, the realization dawns that the time is fast approaching when they will choose the direction of their careers, and the work term represents the opportunity to audition companies for that potential first “real” job. While the allure of geography can be tempting, the faculty and administration at Webb encourage students to take the job that most closely matches their interests. And, of course, we are always grateful to the companies that offer our students the opportunity to gain valuable experience—especially the yards and shipping lines that accommodate our freshmen and sophomores. But as the world, and especially our industry, becomes more international, it is natural that our students become more aware of the opportunities that exist around the globe. Of their own volition—and with the help of faculty, staff, alumni and Board members—Webb students have increasingly sought winter work positions abroad. The sophomore sea term has long been a chance to see foreign countries, but last year, in addition to the shipping lines that have so reliably offered international experiences, a Maersk Lines vessel offered two sophomores the opportunity to sail to Antarctica to resupply the base at


Colin Spillane ’13 on the deck of the Stolt Emerald.

McMurdo. In addition, one senior worked for Global Maritime in London, and juniors took positions with Knud E. Hansen in Denmark, Stolt-Nielsen in The Netherlands, and Intermarine, Inc. in the United Arab Emirates. Over the summer, one rising junior worked for Herbert-ABS Software Solutions in Shanghai. This year we have seen more students look farther afield. Our four sophomores studying at Southampton University were able to make the crossing from New York to the U.K. aboard the Queen Mary 2, thanks to the intervention of Dr. Stephen Payne. New opportunities for sophomores have been arranged, on a military Sealift Command vessel based in Diego Garcia, and aboard liftbarges for Titan Salvage in the Mediterranean. While the latter is not a typical seagoing berth, the experience offers its own unique opportunities for learning and growth. As of this writing, we are also exploring the possibility of sea berths with Maersk in Denmark and with the British Royal Navy in non-frontline vessels. For the juniors and seniors, there are additional opportunities. One junior and one senior will be working for Titan Salvage in Italy on the Costa Concordia project, one junior will be in Finland working for NAPA on software development, two seniors will work for ABS in Busan, South Korea, one junior will be involved in the design of the new Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in Vancouver, Canada, and one junior has arranged to work for the yacht designer Carkeek Design Partners in Capetown, South Africa. We all look forward to reports from the students regarding their work term experiences. As we did last year, we will have a session during Homecoming so you can hear from them first-hand. Don’t miss it. –Dean Rick Neilson ’70

Successful Search for President, Chair


ebb’s Board has been very active during the past several months. We have been engaged in a comprehensive search for our new president in anticipation of Bob Olsen’s retirement at the end of the current academic year. A search committee was formed, chaired by former Board Chairman John Russell. The committee engaged a nationally recognized search firm, Witt/Kieffer, and they developed a mutually agreed process to establish key criteria in consultation with representatives from all of the Webb constituencies. One unique aspect of this search was that our then-current Board Chairman, Keith Michel, had expressed an interest in being considered as a candidate for the presidency of Webb. This possibility presented a challenge to develop a sound process that would ensure that Webb found the best available candidate. After establishing criteria the Board agreed that Keith would be interviewed and asked to complete several independent testing programs designed to measure aptitude for meeting the challenges of leading us on our path to a better, stronger Webb. Depending upon the outcome, the search would be either expanded or ended. Dr. George Campbell, Jr. R. Keith Michel ’73 has been Upon completion of the interview and testing process, has been elected as Webb’s appointed president-elect. new chairman. Witt/Kieffer reported to the search committee that Keith ranked high among the very best that they had ever seen as college presidential candidates. Based upon their recommendation, the committee unanimously agreed to recommend to the Board that Keith be appointed presidentelect, and the Board enthusiastically concurred. With Keith stepping aside as Chairman, we then sought his replacement, and it is with great delight that we can report that Dr. George Campbell, Jr., president emeritus of The Cooper Union, has been elected our new Chairman. Dr. Campbell brings an extraordinary background of success and experience, having spent many years in cutting-edge industrial research, followed by eleven years as president of The Cooper Union marked by the implementation of a successful major capital campaign. He is a member of several prestigious boards in industry and academia and has been recognized with too many awards to list here. It would be difficult to imagine a more ideal Board Chairman for Webb as we approach our 125th anniversary. For more information about the announcement, go to www.webb-institute.edu/president-electand-board-of-trustees-chairman-announced.html.

“ Upon completion of the

interview and testing process Witt/Kieffer reported to the search committee that Keith ranked high among the very best that they had ever seen as college presidential candidates.”


It’s a Smaller World:

International Education at Webb


aval architecture, marine engineering, and ocean engineering are multi-national occupations in the broadest sense. Whether we are talking about shipbuilding, ship operations, oil and gas exploration, offshore renewables, or yacht design and construction, there will inevitably be a global aspect to each business venture. Design and construction programs are often collaborative, involving teams from many countries. At Webb, we are committed to preparing our students for this highly competitive global environment. Global awareness, cultural understanding and sensitivity, and effective communication skills are critical ingredients for success in the maritime and offshore industries. These attributes are best developed through international exposure. We facilitate study and work terms abroad, and we provide opportunities for international students to study at Webb.

“ … the Southampton students at Webb bring a global perspective into our classroom.” The winter work sea term for sophomores has long afforded many Webb students their introduction to other cultures and lifestyles. The interest in international assignments for the junior and senior internships is steadily growing, as discussed by Dean Neilson in a preceding article. Likewise, Webb graduates are showing increased interest in pursuing post-graduate studies abroad. For example, recent graduates are attending Delft 8

University of Technology in Holland, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and Cambridge University in the U.K. Five years ago, Webb initiated an exchange program with Southampton University in the U.K., where three or four of our students spend the first semester of their sophomore year studying at Southampton and then a like number of Southampton students come to Webb. The program has been a resounding success. Our students thrive at Southampton, both academically and socially, returning to Webb with broadened horizons and new perspectives. Similarly, the Southampton students at Webb bring a global perspective into our classroom. We are now exploring opportunities for exchange programs with other universities. About 10 years ago, Webb’s longstanding policy of limiting admission to U.S. citizens was amended to enable permanent U.S. residents who are not U.S. citizens to attend Webb. A couple of years ago, the Board of Trustees further modified our policies to allow admission to Webb of international students, although none have been admitted to date. Our objective is to attract up to two international students per class once the program is fully implemented. International students are required to meet the same academic standards as other incoming freshman. U.S. citizens and permanent residents continue to receive 100% tuition scholarships, whereas international students will pay full tuition, set at $42,740 for the 2013-14 academic year. We are excited about these new opportunities to enhance global awareness at Webb, and seek the help of alumni in spreading the word about Webb to the international community. –R. Keith Michel ’73 and Matthew P. Tedesco ’91

By Richard Neilson ’70 Dean

Ownership and Respect:

The Dean’s Perspective


year has gone by, and Denise and I do not know where it went. Not having spent much time here before we moved into the White House, Denise finds Webb a place with which one can easily fall in love. I invite all of you to come to campus and look around with fresh eyes at the glorious setting, the sense of history, and the vibrant energy we get to experience every day. This is a good place to be. And so the cycle continued in mid-August with the arrival of 24 eager freshmen, 18 men and six women. Once again they come from across the country, many with strong ties to our industry already in place. Upon their arrival for orientation, virtually all the freshmen expressed surprise and gratitude for the welcome offered by the upper-class students in terms of a friendly face and a helping hand in moving into their dorm rooms. Before they got settled in, they were told that their first assignment at Webb was to learn to walk on water. More on the results of their efforts can be seen in the article on Family Weekend. Orientation began with some ice-breaking exercises and then, once again, Dean Emeritus Roger Compton returned to teach the sketching “Coursette” and provide common-sense advice on how to adjust to life at Webb. This class is an active group: they’ve joined the soccer team, sailing team, running club, basketball team and various volunteer organizations and have served as guides for our Open House weekend. Much to James Ludwig’s delight, 14 freshmen showed up at the first WooFS practice of the year. At least some of the credit for this enthusiasm from the freshmen comes from the open way in which the upper-class students have accepted and encouraged their talents as individuals. I believe we can look forward to four years of active involvement from this group. Leadership Week allowed the student leaders to discuss the coming year and formulate specific action plans. One program they have implemented is a student

mentorship program. An upper-class mentor has been assigned, from a list of volunteers, to each freshman, based upon observations during orientation. This program has been very successful in providing low-key guidance to the new class during their first months here, as well as giving each freshman at least one student he or she feels comfortable going to for advice. I’ve noted two primary themes running through the initiatives identified by the student leaders, ownership and respect. The students have taken ownership of their environment, on campus and off, and demonstrate it with a number of projects, including volunteering at Brooklyn Boatworks, a foundation created by Webb alumnus Carl Persak and his wife, Erin Shakespeare. Our students go to a school in Brooklyn or Queens once a week and help teach 11-to-13-year olds how to build an Optimist-class sailboat. Next spring, the kids will have the opportunity to sail the results of their work in local waters. It’s a great program: In addition to some basic woodworking skills, there are life lessons being taught. In terms of respect, our students increasingly accept each other for who they are and what they can do, regardless of what class they are in. And they also have demonstrated respect for those of us who work here, especially the people who make their lives at Webb easier. Many of our current students participated in the FIRST Robotics program back in high school, and have continued their involvement by volunteering as mentors and judges for FIRST Robotics competitions. Webb hosted a FIRST Robotics conference on October 14 which was initiated and organized by one of our sophomores. The intent of the conference was to provide guidance to local high school FIRST Robotics teams on how to mount a successful campaign. Presentations were made by our students and experienced mentors from Long Island. The result was a very successful program attended by 64 high-performing high school students, interested in engineering, who had never been to Webb before. We hope to make this an annual event. continued on next page


By Richard Neilson ’70 Dean

The Dean’s Perspective continued from the previous page

Satchel Douglas ’15 and Andrew Thompson ’15.

We have four sophomores at University of Southampton this semester. This is the largest contingent we have sent in the five years of the program, and we sent them with some trepidation. This class, however, is a very close-knit group and sufficiently strong to withstand the temporary loss of their classmates. Our four travelers, upon learning they had been selected for the Southampton program, approached me with the idea of making the crossing from New York on the Queen Mary 2. Since Stephen Payne had presented a Zeien lecture on his experience designing and building the QM2, and he is now a member of the Webb Board of Trustees, the students asked me to contact Dr. Payne to see if he could help with arrangements. With his guidance, the four temporary Brits arrived in Southampton in maximum style. Meanwhile, the rest of the class anxiously awaits the opportunity to choose ships for their winter sea term. The juniors have selected three courses for their electives this semester. Professor George Williams is teaching a course in Business Dynamics; Ms. Gloria Sosa, Professor Williams’ wife, is teaching Conversational Spanish, and Ms. Carol Bentel, a full partner in the firm of Bentel & Bentel, is teaching a course in Modern Architecture. Professor Williams’ courses are always well received by the students, and Ms. Sosa has taught here before. Because of her schedule, she holds her class in two 90-minute evening sessions during the week. I observed one class and, despite my only


Spanish training having been in high school many years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the manner in which she engaged the students. Because of her schedule, Ms. Bentel holds her class in two 90-minute sessions starting at 8:30 A.M. My wife Denise is auditing that course, so twice a week I receive a very enthusiastic report from her class notes. The juniors are also busy arranging their work term positions, with a significant number actively pursuing employment outside the U.S. and several professors providing contacts for them. The seniors, typically buried with Ship Design and a wide variety of thesis projects are taking full advantage of Webb’s research facilities. Thesis topics range from the analysis of weld distortion, to CFD studies, to experimental investigations of superhydrophobic coatings, to a historical development of the modern combatant, and more. Seven of the 10 thesis projects have support from outside companies or individuals. All 20 members of the Class of 2012 took the Fundamentals of Engineering examination last spring and passed with above average scores. We do not have a policy to teach “towards” the FE exam, so the continued good performance of our graduating classes in that regard speaks well of the curriculum. I’m sure a good number of you have been following the improvements made in the model tank, fluids lab, and marine engineering lab made possible by the grant from the Office of Naval Research. All proposed improvements are either completed or in process. The money has been so well managed by Professor Rick Royce, with help from Professor Neil Gallagher, that we had sufficient funds in reserve to consider purchasing a new testing facility for the structures lab. We applied for and received approval for a no-cost contract extension, and after discussing our needs, a group of professors agreed upon an Instron 8801 structural testing system. This equipment will allow us to perform tensile, three-point bending and fatigue testing. It includes an environmental chamber that will allow tests to be performed at temperatures from -150 to +350 degrees Centigrade. The equipment has been delivered to the school and will be installed this winter to be ready for student and faculty use in the spring semester. The Advanced Learning Center (ALC) has seen increased use as we learn and become more familiar

with the capabilities of this powerful tool. Professor Matt Werner continues to oversee the ALC, ably assisted by Ms. Kerri Allegretta. Professor Werner taught a marine engineering course to students at the University of Michigan this past spring through the ALC. Michigan has asked for this to be repeated. Because of a change in the curriculum at the University of Southampton, our sophomores cannot take a thermodynamics course there. Professor Ed Wiggins is using the ALC to teach thermo to them live and through recorded lectures. Without this capability, we could not have allowed our students to go to Southampton. And Professor Roger Basu has remotely given two lectures on offshore structural loading through the University of Maine. This is being done on a quid pro quo basis, which will result in a Maine professor’s providing lectures on offshore mooring loads next spring. I hope we will have a respite from all of the faculty changes we have experienced lately. Four of the 11 fulltime faculty members have been at Webb less than two years. The most recent addition is Professor Vincent DelGatto, whom we hired because of the retirement of now Professor Emeritus John Hennings. Professor DelGatto has taken over the electrical engineering courses. On December 3rd, we held what I have called the “launching” of the plaque that lists the names of all Webb alumni and undergraduates who took part in World War I and the hand-lettered scroll with a similar list for World War II. These two historic items were rediscovered over the last year or two, the first by several students who found it hidden away in the basement, and the second by Professor George Williams in the attic. Both came under my care until we could make proper arrangements for their display. The World War I plaque is mounted on the patio wall outside of the Keeler Reading Room, and the WW II scroll is mounted in the Visconti Reception Room. The locations were chosen by a student/faculty committee chaired by Professor Richard Harris, the latter location selected because the scroll was created by Charlie Visconti as a Beaver Day project directed by Dean Thomas Curran. They both look great. The brief ceremony was intended to allow our campus family members to contemplate how the efforts of those who came before us, both those whose names are listed and those in our personal lives, have allowed us to become the people we are.

The intent is to hold a more formal “commissioning” ceremony as part of Homecoming next spring, when we hope descendants of those whose names are on the plaque and surviving alumni will be able to join us. More information on that event will be coming soon. And so as I sit here post-Hurricane Sandy, I am grateful for the electricity provided by the on-campus generator and anticipate the return of land-line telephone connections and internet access. The tendency is to look back over the past year, but Denise and I find ourselves looking forward eagerly and with optimism to the coming year. As Columbo says, “Just one more thing.” In the past we’ve had Trick or Treaters come to the door on Halloween and Christmas Carolers in December. This year is the first time we’ve had Halloween Carolers when a group of about 20 students came to our back door on Halloween and serenaded us with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Oh, those pesky kids. Stay in touch and stay involved. Webb is worthy of your support.


Colin Spillane ’13 Student Organization President

Semester Review:

Leadership, Floating Shoes and Sandy


he fall semester has flown by at breakneck speed, carrying with it a collection of students confused as to where the time has gone. Luckily for them we have kept a good record of the activities that have taken place within the Student Organization since the beginning of August, both inside and outside the classroom. The S.O. leaders began the semester with a very productive Leadership Week that included sessions with Mr. Murray on the science and tactics of good leadership. Chris Allard ’04 of Metal Shark Aluminum Boats discussed what is entailed in starting and running your own company. The week culminated with a day of planning that produced well thought out goals for the semester. While the S.O. leaders made plans for the year, the freshmen began their induction into Webb culture during the always-fun Freshman Orientation. Between a drawing class taught by Dean Emeritus Compton, naval architecture related field trips, and every teambuilding exercise in the book, they prepared for the first big project they would encounter at Webb, the Freshman Boat (floating shoes) Project that took place at nearby Morgan Memorial Park because of high winds off Webb beach. The calm seas allowed the Orange team to glide effortlessly across the water for a strong victory. While the freshmen were off in the woodshop designing their floating shoes, the rest of the school was anything but idle. Having risen from the bottom rung, the sophomores are embracing their newfound power by accepting chairmanships and leadership roles in the Student Organization. This semester, four of the sophomores have set out to study abroad at the University of Southampton in England. The juniors are daring to become cultured through their three electives: Business Dynamics, Conversational Spanish, and Modern Architecture. Members of the junior class have also researched and implemented a new credit card reader for the Student Organization. The seniors have been working toward a perfect balance of thesis, ship design, and social life, but surprisingly enough, they have found that it is quite difficult to have the three things occupy the same timeline. The senior class would like to personally thank all of the alumni who generously gave money in order to cover the cost of the seniors at the Alumni Banquet. It is always a good time when Webbies congregate in numbers and this year’s dinner did not disappoint. Networking within the Webb community is an unbelievably unique opportunity that none of us take for granted, and we look forward to becoming a more integral part of the community in the years to come. In response to the recent East Coast disaster of Hurricane Sandy, I would like to take a moment and express the gratitude felt not only by me but by the entire student body for the devotion that all of the employees at Webb have for the school. Thanks to them we did not miss one meal, and stayed on generator power the entire time. To show some of our support for the community, several student groups, led by Matthew Graham and Nolan Conway, bravely ventured past the gates to assist those in need, and a fundraiser led by John Carlson and Eric Harris raised a total of $1,300 to donate to the Red Cross. Actions such as these remind us all of the spirit of William Webb and what it truly means to be a Webbie.


German Engineering, Webbie-style

Webbies in Hamburg


hen looking for their first job after graduation, most Webbies end up focusing their sights on the major U.S. port cities along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts. However, five recent Webb graduates (Kyle Manis ’12, Nick DelGatto ’12, Schuyler Needham ’12, and Andrew Lachtman ’11 of Bruce S. Rosenblatt & Associates, LLC, and Dale Pederson ’12 of Herbert Engineering Corp.) bucked the trend. We have embarked on an exciting work adventure at Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and are getting a first-hand experience being in the engineering department of a first-class European shipyard. Blohm & Voss shipyard is typically known for building megayachts (such as Eclipse, currently world’s longest yacht) and German naval vessels (such as the WWII battleship Bismarck). The project that we are on is a different type for the shipyard, an FPSO conversion for deployment in the North Sea. Our roles working in the engineering department have run the gamut of shipboard systems, ranging from inert gas piping and topside module structural supports, to fatigue life enhancement modifications and turret mooring systems. Besides working with the engineers and designers in the office, we have had many opportunities to be involved with the shipyard production aspects of the project, such as plate cutting, welding and non-destructive testing, heavy lift operations, dry docking, and yard logistics and planning. Having the ability to work onsite with the ship owner’s representatives on the project and with class societies, as well as the international aspects of being overseas, has provided valuable insight into the non-technical aspects as well. Besides all of the thrills of working in a German shipyard, living abroad in Europe has provided many activities outside of the office. Whether it’s watching the Queen Mary 2 and hundreds of other ships on the Elbe river during the harbor birthday festival, admiring the Baroque and Gothic art and architecture of Northern Europe, travelling the Continent by high-speed rail (some of the trains even go on ferries!), taking an evening stroll down the Reeperbahn, or enjoying a local brew at the bierstube, there’s rarely a dull moment. This opportunity to work abroad has provided many great learning experiences for our eager, young minds. –Andrew Lachtman ’11


Alumni Spotlight

The Contrarian Conversations with Philip Thiel ’43



e’re sitting in a sunbathed, secluded café terrace near the University of Washington—Philip Thiel ’43 and four young engineers from the Glosten (’40) Associates. Thiel has begun to wax nostalgic about the 100-foot wooden tug on which he spent his Saturdays as a teenager. He gets as far as the engine room before he notices furrowed brows. “You know what a Scotch boiler is? You don’t? That’s incredible!” He pauses. “I really have to explain this.” Thiel reaches for a hand-sharpened #2 pencil and begins sketching on plain paper. The drawing starts as a circle beside a rectangle—a profile and a section. He names the components as he draws them, emphasizing the assembly process with subtle flourishes. Our brows furrow again; we’re frustrated that we can’t make sense of his clean, descriptive lines. Then he pencils in the water level, and a realization washes over us: Thiel has drawn this beautiful sketch of a Scotch boiler upside-down for himself so that it would be right-side-up for us. We had been blinded by our expectations. I recount our epiphany to Phil Thiel a few days later, and he chuckles. “You have to know how to draw upside down for clients as an architect,” he says. Now it’s my turn to chuckle, for I can’t imagine an architect or an engineer in my generation including upside-down sketching on a list of essential skills. Yet it isn’t so much that the 92-year-old Thiel is anachronistic; he’s just deliberately and unapologetically different. “My position is: I always do the opposite,” he says. “I’m a contrarian—by choice, because I think you discover more things by taking the opposite position.” Philip Thiel grew up in Brooklyn and on Staten Island, but had you asked him as a youngster where his home was, he probably would have pointed toward the nearest dock. From the time he was old enough to walk, Thiel would accompany his father, a marine freight forwarder, to the wharves every Saturday. While the elder Thiel attended to business, the younger Thiel would undertake a self-guided tour of the vessel and watch the stevedores work their steam winches. “That’s how I got infected,” he recalls. “It’s never left me. I’ve always been fascinated with ships and still am.”

As soon as he was employable, he leveraged his father’s connections into apprenticeships at local shipyards and nominal positions aboard harbor tugs and merchant vessels. Thiel’s high-school graduation gift? A two-month cruise to Valparaiso and back on a coastwise Danish freighter. Ironically, the contrarian followed a rather trodden path to Webb: as a youth he dreamed up his own boat designs, and when he read Howard Chapelle’s Yacht Designing and Planning, he decided to become a naval architect. He learned about Webb while visiting a shipyard associated with Chapelle in picturesque Ipswich, MA shortly after he graduated from high school. Phil Thiel remembers his time at Webb as “the best four years of my life because I was doing full-time—24 hours a day, seven days a week—things I loved. It was heaven. No distractions.” Well, almost no distractions: Thiel recalls mandatory ballroom dancing lessons with “beautiful young ladies” whom Admiral Rock had invited over. For his thesis, Philip Thiel designed and patented a “sectional ship,” a cargo carrier with an interchangeable barge in lieu of a hold—a proto-LASH, quasi-ATB concept. After Webb, Thiel returned to Massachusetts to design fishing vessels. He became an early proponent of the double-chine hull form, and within a few years he was off to the University of Michigan to subject this form to tank testing for his master’s thesis. His research led to an instructorship at MIT the following year. Thiel almost instantly began to feel restless: “I realized I needed to add some more dimensions to my life… another activity where I could use my creativity with more social involvement.” He followed his passion for art and design, became a protégé of György Kepes, and graduated from MIT at age 31 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. “I think I was the first person to enter MIT as an instructor and leave as a student,” he quips.

Alumni Spotlight “ Phil Thiel remembers his time at Webb as ‘the best four years of my life because I was doing full-time—24 hours a day, seven days a week—things I loved. It was heaven. No distractions.’ ” Thiel’s life changed substantially over the next several years: he worked briefly for Marcel Breuer, taught at Berkeley alongside Charles and Ray Eames, fell in love with artist Midori Kono and married her, started a family, and took his family on a long sabbatical to study traditional architecture in Japan. A teaching position awaited Thiel in St. Louis, but when the ship docked in Seattle—he still preferred to travel by freighter—it seemed as good a place as any to make a career. For the next 30 years, Thiel taught architecture at the University of Washington, expanded his family, published three books on design and drawing, founded the architecture department’s woodshop and photography studio, incubated the design for the building that houses the department today, and inspired a generation of architects and artists. After retiring from Washington in 1990, Thiel taught for several years at a progressive allied-arts college in Sapporo. “That was the best teaching I ever had,” he recalls. Philip Thiel continues to teach drawing to architects and engineers in the Seattle area. In 2002 he convinced the Webb faculty to add a crash course in drawing to the freshman orientation program. Thiel taught the first session to the class of 2006 plus one special guest—the dean, Roger Compton ’61, PG’64, who continues to teach the course even after his own retirement. Tradition now holds that the freshmen transform the main hall into a gallery, its walls bedizened with tentative sketches of shoes and tools and classmates’ faces, the unfamiliar portraits and signatures announcing the arrival of a new class. The Thiels, who still live in a house that they bought in 1961 near the university, remain intimately connected to their neighborhood. By the late 1990s, the quondam professor had recast his career in the manner of his late mentor and colleague Victor Steinbrueck, “applying urban architectural design to the service of the community.” With the help of Mike Whalen ’79, he recently brought an elegant sculpture featuring

a 70” Kaplan propeller to North Passage Point Park. His latest mission is to thwart a developer’s plan to build a block-long monolith over a new subway station near the university. Thiel insists that a public plaza would be far more humane. “They want to turn it into Hong Kong. I say: well, how about Paris?” Thiel sighs. “This is almost a full-time job.” Phil Thiel’s terrestrial vocations never squelched his romance with boats. When he toured Europe in his late twenties, he rented a lapstrake skiff at Oxford and plied the River Thames up to Letchlade over several lazy days. Thenceforth he was enamored of human-powered boats and the pace of life along the pastoral European canals. When he moved to Seattle, he delighted at the city’s interconnected urban lakes and waterways. As he began dreaming of a boat for this new context, he resolved the chief annoyance of his English idyll: “Paddling is tiring and rowing is backward, so what are our options? Pedal power, naturally!” Thiel designed and built one pedal-powered boat after another, from the sleek Skiffcycle to the homely Escargot. The plans, which are available for purchase, are ingeniously straightforward: even the propeller, optimized for a bicycle drivetrain from the Wageningen B Series, is laid out in templates for easy construction in laminated plywood. Although these exquisite propulsors are spinning in lakes, bays, and canals around the world, built by hands of all different colors and skill sets, I find myself compelled to skip the boat and just build a propeller for its decorative value: form and function perfectly balanced. Philip Thiel is difficult to categorize, and I get the sense that he likes to be this way. He loves boats and trains, yet

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Alumni Spotlight

Conversations with Philip Thiel ’43

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he remains unaffected by cars and airplanes. He uses a digital camera exclusively but he has no interest in owning a computer. During a Pacific crossing, he taught his children to draw using chalk and a hatch cover. He thinks Webb’s program should be extended to five years so that students could pursue graduate study in a foreign country of their individual choice. Thiel is part designer, part builder; part student, part teacher; a Janus figure, looking simultaneously toward past and future. Yet I know he will chastise me for reducing his philosophy to tidy dichotomies. “There are always alternatives,” he reminds us, “and sometimes you have to step way back to see things in a bigger context…You see things people wouldn’t think about or ever conceive.” –Brent J. Morrison ’11 Thiel’s finished sketch of a Scotch boiler. He started this sketch upside-down for himself so that it would be right-side-up for us.

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campus news Webb Students Provide Relief to Victims of Sandy While the majority of Long Island was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, with millions left without power, heat, or fuel, the students of Webb Institute were fortunate enough to live comfortably through this disaster. As a student body, we were incredibly grateful to everyone who ensured our comfort despite the widespread devastation, and we wanted more than anything to give back in a time of need. In true Webb spirit, a number of students have already volunteered their time to combat the damage inflicted on the local community by the

storm. We are very proud to report on the overwhelmingly positive student response when asked for volunteers. Led by Matt Graham, Webbies: Henry Jansen, Eric Harris, Gabe Poritz, Matt Weklar, Nolan Conway, Casey Brown, and Oleg Golubev led the charge with their efforts in Bayville. Later in the week the campaign continued through the efforts of Henry, Eric, Matt, and John Carlson. Easily the most significant effort, however, was spearheaded by Nolan Conway with his trip to one of the places most devastated by the storm, Oceanside. Casey Brown, Bryce Bartling, Alex Hanford, Gabe Poritz, Stefan Kuczera, Erin Hub, Brian Mills, and Mike Chen all went with Nolan, coordinating with Pat Doherty to help a neighborhood in severe need. These selfless individuals helped with home renovation in the storm’s aftermath, saving the residents from weeks of hard labor. Webb could not be represented by a higher caliber of person than the ones who have volunteered to help others, and those who pledged to help in the future. Thank you to everyone who has not only helped repair the damage around us, but also shown the selfless, giving nature of our community. –John Carlson ’14

Fall Open House Was Standing Room Only Sixty-eight students and their families—some from as far away as Florida and California—were in attendance at Webb’s annual Open House, held on Saturday afternoon, October 20. More than 180 visitors took tours of the Webb campus, led by some very collegial members of the sophomore class. The Model Tank and Haeberle Lab demonstrations were high points of the visit, along with discussions about Winter Work, the academic program, and the admissions process, all of which were held in the packed Henry auditorium. Current and potential applicants heard from Nolan Conway ’15, Rachel Walker ’14, and Roxanne Schacht ’13 about their experiences in shipyards, aboard an ice breaker, and at a San Diego design firm. Student

Organization president Colin Spillane ’13 spoke about student self-governance and the honor system. Parents involved in the Webb Parents Association, some parents of recent graduates, and recent graduates Ethan Wiseman ’11 and Jenna Ferrieri ’11, joined members of the faculty and administration in welcoming the visitors, and made themselves available for questions during the afternoon reception. The beauty of the campus, the uniqueness of the Webb opportunity, and the enthusiasm of all the Webb students with whom our guests interacted left an outstanding impression on one and all— and likely spoiled them for any other open houses they plan to attend in the months ahead. –Nolan Conway ’15


campus news FIRST Robotics Competition Held at Webb Institute On October 14, Webb Institute hosted a conference for high school students involved in the FIRST robotics competition. FIRST is an international organization for youth robotics competitions. The conference invited students from schools on Long Island to Webb’s campus, where they heard several lectures and talks about robotics-related topics. The conference brought in 65 students and 20 adult mentors from 12 different Long Island high schools. Presentations were given on strategies of design and team organization. All students and mentors were also given the choice of attending two of four lecture sessions: “Manipulators” presented by Mr. Frank Saladino (mentor), “The Control System: from FMS through the Robot” by Mark McLeod (mentor Team 358), “Drive Train Selection” by Pat Hughes (mentor), and “Scouting” by Nolan Conway ’15. Students marveled at our buildings and grounds as they walked from place to place between the activities. Lectures were given in the Henry auditorium, faculty dining room, ALC, and library. Current Webbies gave tours of the laboratories at various points throughout the day. The visitors were very excited, especially as perspective engineers, to see the laboratory


practices of current engineering students. Many of the younger students noted that they had been exposed to only mechanical engineering up to this point; they never realized that naval architecture could be as cool as what they saw in the model tank. We received very positive reviews from both the high school teams and from a representative of the School Business Partnership of Long Island (SBPLI), the organization responsible for supporting the Long Island annual FIRST robotics competition. We plan to repeat this event next year with even more students. Some of our guests returned the following week to take part in Webb’s open house experience. To stay involved, Webb students will again be volunteering at the regional event that takes place at Hofstra University this March. The regional event draws 50 teams and 10,000 spectators, and our students are proud to say we are having a growing role in making this event come together. We will also be volunteering at an off-season competition taking place during the month of November. –Nolan Conway ’15

Left to right: Jennifer Ryan ’99, Dawn Hardister, Jarrod Griffith, Gary Garner, Don Rickerson ’13, Dean Richard Neilson ’70 and Nic O’Brien.

Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentices Visit Webb Institute SNAME student members from the Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) Apprentice School enjoyed a weekend visit to Webb Institute on September 21-23, 2012. The Apprentice School is a traditional shipbuilding trade school with a modern college curriculum. Students at The Apprentice School build and maintain nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the United States Navy. The event was led by SNAME section advisor and academic instructor, Jennifer Ryan ’99, and current Webb Institute senior, Don Rickerson ’13. Highlights of the visit included a lecture on ship design, a campus tour, and a model-testing exercise in Robinson Model Basin. Dean Neilson delivered a technical lecture to the apprentices in the advanced learning center (ALC). Neilson’s lecture summarized the conventional stages of the ship design process and focused on prediction methods for ship resistance and powering. Historic NNS ship designs were referenced as examples throughout his lecture to emphasize the common ground between Webb Institute and The Apprentice School. The apprentices gained some hands-on experience in the Robinson Model Basin under the guidance of Webb’s lab technician, Pat Doherty. The group performed calm-water resistance tests on a 1/25 scale model of a 147foot LWL motor yacht. The day’s lessons were reinforced by calculating full-scale effective horsepower from the laboratory data they collected. Gary Garner, one of the visiting apprentices, stated in response to his experience, “A strong relationship with The Apprentice School and Webb should continue to grow. I feel both institutions can learn much from each other.”

Dates of Interest Winter Work Period Wednesday, January 2, 2013 through Saturday, March 2, 2013 Spring Semester Classes Begin Monday, March 4, 2013 Founder’s Day Friday, April 5, 2013 Seniors Take FE Exam Saturday, April 13, 2013 Spring Recess Friday, April 19 through Monday, April 29, 2013 Juniors Attend OTC Monday, May 6, 2013 through Thursday, May 9, 2013 President Olsen’s Retirement Celebration Friday, May 17, 2013 Alumni Homecoming Saturday, May 18, 2013 Webbstock Saturday, June 1, 2013 Finals Friday, June 21, 2013 through Tuesday, June 25, 2013 Commencement Saturday, June 22, 2013

–Donald Rickerson ’13


campus news Fall Semester Sports Report Time for Fun

Soccer Team’s Looking Up

Our naval architects in training keep busy in the classroom, but they also find time to have some fun. This semester the Webbies celebrated Irish and Mexican culture with St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo-themed parties in the pub. The last few weeks of the year Webb held some traditional events with great turnout: Webb welcomed friends and family to the 33rd Webbstock, headlined by Spider Nick and the Maddogs; Casino Night paid off, and the Gatsby Party was green-lit as well.

After a large hole in the Webb athletic roster was left by the ultra-sports minded class of 2012, the new freshmen have stepped up to fill that void. Coach Phil Schools praised the hard work seen at practice by the soccer team. Although Webb finished the season 0-8, the team has done better than last year in most matches, and that progress should not go unrecognized. Breakout stars of the soccer team have been freshmen Kate Chaffee and Ilya Mouravieff—and it’s worth noting that Ilya’s the third child in his family to attend Webb. Returning players with solid performances were goalie Tyler Totten ’15, and Captain Henry Jansen ’14.

Happy Hoopsters Due to poor weather conditions, the first two games of the season were cancelled which led to a late start for the Webb basketball team’s game schedule. However, Coach Ed Primeggia had his captains Kierstin Del Valle ’13 and Matthew Weklar ’15, as well as the rest of the team, practicing hard in anticipation of a competitive season. Webb’s current record is 1-1, and the team is looking forward to taking on Sarah Lawrence College, Culinary Institute of America, and Williamson Trade School in the next two weeks. Go Webb!

Born to Run In addition to the regular sports, Webb’s running club has been extremely active this semester. Headed by Justin van Emmerik ’13, the team has already completed half a dozen races, including a relay called Ocean to Sound, where the runners started at Long Island’s South Shore and ran a 50-mile course to the North Shore. Erin Hub ’16 placed first among women in her age range at the Great Cow Harbor 10k Run, with the rest of the team placing nicely as well. Justin van Emmerik and Dan Dwyer ’13 were scheduled to run the NYC Marathon but could not due to Hurricane Sandy; either way Webb is proud of their dedication and nerve. Top Left: Soccer on the Sound. Left: Members of the Running Club.


Sailing Team’s Looking Good The sailing team had six regattas scheduled for this season. Achievements announced by Captain Douglas Zangre ’13 this season were qualifying early on for the conference championship and winning Webb’s home regatta, the Coho Memorial. The team ended a successful season, placing 4th at the MAISA championships. Additional sailing events included the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, and Nathan Fast ’14 participating in the MAISA singles race at Annapolis. Right: Webb sailors place 4th at Club Team Championships.


WEBB INSTITUTE “The more you give the more you receive” One Corporate Center, Rye, New York 10580-1422 Ph: (914) 921-5237 š Fax: (914) 921-5060 www.gabelli.com š info@gabelli.com Christopher C. Desmarais


campus news faculty spotlight:

Edwin Wiggins A Life in Engineering Professor Ed Wiggins has B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in chemical, nuclear and mechanical engineering respectively. He spent 13 years in the US Navy as an engineering duty officer, serving as docking officer at Charleston Naval Shipyard and chief engineer of a guided missile destroyer. Leaving the Navy, Ed took a teaching job at Texas Maritime Academy, part of Texas A&M University at Galveston. He earned a license as a second assistant engineer (steam) and made three training cruises on the Texas Clipper. In 1982 Ed became head of the engineering department at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Five years later he joined the faculty of Webb Institute, where he finally settled down. At Webb, Ed has taught a wide variety of courses ranging from chemistry and materials science to thermodynamics and heat transfer. His favorite is Marine Engineering 4, which features the design of a combined cycle (gas turbine and steam turbine) power plant that is suitable for the propulsion of an LNG ship. During his time at Webb, Ed has represented SNAME at the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). He served 11 years on the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and three years on the ABET Board of Directors. Ed chaired numerous accreditation visits in the US and one in Saudi Arabia. Also he served as an ABET program evaluator for naval architecture and marine engineering at universities in Turkey, the Netherlands, and Egypt. In January 2013 Ed will be chairing a mock ABET visit at a university in Ecuador. This exercise will help the institution to prepare for their real ABET visit later that year. Ed is a fellow of SNAME, having served as chairman of the NY Metropolitan Section and as a regional vice president. He is currently a member of the Scholarships Committee and the Audit Committee. In addition, Ed is a fellow of IMarEST and a member of ASEE. Thermal Engineering Associates, an organization based in Knoxville, TN, organizes continuing education courses about heat exchangers, and Ed participates by teaching heat exchanger design. Most of Ed’s publications have been in the Computers in Education Journal, which is published by the American Society for Engineering Education. Many of those articles relate to the application of Mathcad software to his courses. In November 2011 Ed made a presentation on heat exchanger design to the NY Metro Section of SNAME. Ed and his wife Cynthia have two daughters. One lives in Pittsburgh, PA and the other outside Washington, D.C. Each daughter has a daughter, and one of those is named for Cynthia.

“ At Webb, Ed has taught a wide variety

of courses… . His favorite is Marine Engineering 4, which features the design of a combined cycle (gas turbine and steam turbine) power plant that is suitable for the propulsion of an LNG ship. ”


alumni news

in memoriam 1952 D. W. “Bill” Lerch passed away on October 25, 2012 in Burlington, Vt. while visiting family after our Class Reunion in Falmouth, Mass. on October 11-14, 2012. He worked on large yacht design with M. Rosenblatt & Son in 1953, joined Luders Marine Construction building MSOs and sailing yachts, got married in 1955 and moved to Bellingham Shipyards in 1956 as project manager on MSI minesweepers, then as chief engineer. Bill joined Marine Construction & Design Co. (MARCO) in 1959; he earned his PR license in 1961 and served as chief engineer, chief naval architect, vice president engineering and manager of the pollution control division. He managed Astillero MARCO Chilena from 1965-68, constructing fishing vessels and the first gasoline tanker built in Chile. Bill also designed a new product line of oil spill cleanup vessels in 1972 and pioneered tractor oil skimmer designs with the 36-foot U.S. Navy transportable skimmers used around the world. One of the 1992 “Distinctive Small Ships” was the 75-foot tractor design Burrard Cleaner No. 9.

1955 Albert S. Hove passed away on August 10, 2012 at home in Conroe, Texas. He is survived by his daughters and their families. After graduating from Webb Institute, he spent the majority of his life and career in Texas. He was a loyal supporter of Webb and stayed in touch with many of his classmates.

The Class of 1955, represented by Charles and Roberta Visconti, planted a tree on Webb’s campus in his memory.

of the FFG class of frigates and assisted the Naval Shipyard in reactivation of the battleships, U.S.S. Missouri and U.S.S. New Jersey. David was appointed Captain, USN, and retired in 1984. He is survived by his wife, brother, son, daughter and three grandchildren.

Honorary VADM C. Russell Bryan, USN (Ret.) passed away on June 7 at the age of 89.

PG’67 Capt. David G. Kalb, USN (Ret.) passed away on July 4, 2012 after a valiant fight with cancer. He was appointed to the USNA with the class of 1960, graduating with a B.S., and was commissioned Ensign in the USN. He then attended Webb from 1964-67. Among his many Navy career duty stations, David served aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Lowery. From 1967-70 he was assigned to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as ship superintendent and subsequently program manager for new construction. In 1970 he served in Saigon, where he advised the Vietnamese Navy in the construction of Ferro cement boats and was awarded the Bronze Star as a result of his service there. He was assigned to supervisor of ship building in 1980, served as resident Shipbuilding Liaison Officer and he was appointed to the rank of Commander, USN. During this time he met his wife of 35 years, Brenda. From Spain he was reassigned to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard from 1977-80. In 1980 he was assigned to command the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Officer in Long Beach, Calif., overseeing the construction

Our alumni will remember him fondly: “Admiral Bryan was a great man who guided many young lives along honorable and hard-working paths” and “He was one of my favorite and most admired people I have had contact with in my life” are a few of the comments made after hearing of his passing. Adm. Bryan was also an honorary member of the Webb Alumni Association. Admiral Bryan was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on November 15 with full military honors and a chapel service at Fort Meyer.

In 1945, following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy and submarine school, he reported to the USS Hammerhead in the South Pacific. After receiving the professional degree of naval engineer in 1952, he was designated an engineering duty officer and served at Portsmouth and Mare Island naval shipyards. He then served as a submarine design project officer and as special assistant to Chief, BuShips. After a tour as design superintendent at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, he went to ComSubLant as assistant Chief of Staff (Material). Immediately prior to selection for flag rank, he was the Submarine Program manager, Naval Ship Systems Command. After three years as fleet maintenance officer at CincLantFleet and two years in NavShips, he was promoted to vice admiral and assumed the position of commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. He retired in 1980, when he assumed the presidency at Webb Institute of Naval Architecture through 1986. He was past president of ASNE and served on the Visiting Committee, Ocean Eng., MIT, the Marine Board, National Research Council and ABET. He is survived by his daughter, Sidra; son, Curtis; and seven granddaughters.



alumni news

class notes 1950

Come to Webb Institute’s graduation next spring: Niel Spillane’s grandson will be graduating with the Class of 2013. We all are wondering how many previous old grads have had a grandson graduate from Webb.

J. Niel Spillane wrote: In my advancing years I have avoided the term “retirement” since in some ways I am now enjoying my sixth career, albeit not full time. My early careers were Army infantry in World War II in Europe, then Air Preheater Corporation, which was suddenly terminated when the U.S. Navy demanded my service during the Korean War, where I spent my time as a ship superintendent and later type desk jockey at the Charleston, S.C. shipyard. After 25 years at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics building submarines, I moved onto a lengthy consulting partnership with another Electric Boat retiree where we created new shipyards, modernized others, designed container ports, and in others returned them to profitability, mostly in the commercial shipbuilding world.

M. J. “Whitey” Laurier wrote: “My book Greenway, Glass Marine and Chesapeake Fiberglass Workboats was recently published. The book is a memoir about resigning a management position at General Dynamics and, with much support from wife Lee, purchasing a once thriving boatyard in Gloucester, Va., and reviving the business while facing our share of hard times and setbacks—plus also developing and building Chesapeake Bay boats for commercial and private fishermen, including several USCG inspected vessels. Not being a professional author

“When the American shipbuilding climate declined in the mid-1980s I found I could ‘retire’ and, living in Mystic, Conn., joined the Mystic Seaport-Museum of America and the Sea as a staff member. I am still on the staff and have had a wonderful time playing with wooden boats and ships. There are not many better places where you can frequently use everything you ever learned as a naval architect and enhance it with historical skills and understanding of the historical impact your profession has made to our country and the world. It has also been my great pleasure to

Whitey Laurier wrote: I’ve had a good telephone conversation with all the still-remaining members of Class of ’50. The most pleasant outcome from these conversations was that all eight of us are still enjoying reasonably good health and are looking forward to Webb Homecoming in 2015, hoping for a full turnout at our 65th year Class Reunion. I also did receive some specific recent happenings: Al Delli Paoli reported he had just recently become a three times great grandfather, two boys and a girl.


this project took nearly twenty years to complete.”

Class of 1952 reunion. find that my grandson Colin decided to enjoy the blessings of a Webb education, as he expects to graduate with the class of 2013. Sadly my life partner and lovely wife of 60 years, Dorothy, died peacefully in January 2011, and I have found much joy helping as a board member with a local seniors-helping-seniors organization. It is based on the Village to Village model created in Boston where seniors help each other remain in their homes. In my church work, we have been instrumental in supporting most of the staff of one of the many schools destroyed by the Haitian earthquake and one of the few now rebuilt. With the vast destruction and few remaining natural resources, education is the best hope for that country’s future. After two years as an Einstein Fellow with the National Science Foundation, my daughter has returned to college to pursue a Ph.D. at George Washington University on an NSF grant. Her brother with many years in the music world, first as music director at a local high school in Connecticut and then as

director of choral studies at two Wesleyan colleges (first in Iowa and then in Rochester N.Y.), has now returned to his ‘dream job’ as DCS at the University of Connecticut.”

1952 As planned, the class held its reunion in Falmouth-Woods Hole, Ma. in mid-October. It was a wonderful reunion but marred by the untimely death of Bill Lerch. Attendees were Gillette, Lefebvre, Lerch, Schorsch, Sims and Zeien, with their wives, and Bob Baker. Our headquarters for several days was the comfortable Captain’s Manor B&B in Falmouth, built in 1848. The group picture, left to right, back row are Gaby Lefebvre, Fran Sims, Ruth and Gene Schorsch, John Sims; front row are Gail and Bill Lerch, and Tom Gillette (a few are missing).


Frank Nicastro and Ed Tornay. These ’56 Class Notes were assembled with input from all who answered the call for news: Our class is aging as gracefully as can be expected from this rag-tag group. The 2012 homecoming attracted a 40%

class turnout to celebrate the passage of 60 years since we first laid eyes on each other. Luckily, eyesight has faded a bit and, inevitably, the party was cut short by bedtime. We all received the sad news in August that Bill Young lost his beloved wife Betty at home while in hospice care. They met on a blind date in Washington, D.C. in 1960, were married after a three-month courtship, and enjoyed a wonderful 52 years together. Bill reports he is faring well and keeping busy with his writing. While Linc Cathers continues his fight with cancer, he is encouraged by support from family and friends as well as his participation in NIH

clinical trials of new drug treatments. Linc reports he is active with normal family life as well as a project to build a new Lake George camp house large enough for all the kids and grandkids. In closing, please note the start of a recruiting project involving young and old alumni from various classes focused on helping Webb grow and diversify the new applicant pool. Alumni will reach out to selected high schools, tell them about Webb and help identify talented students. If anyone would like more information or has interest in participating, contact Pete Johnson.

1959 From Jo and Pete Gale: “We have been enjoying our grandchildren, and have made a few local trips this fall. We spent a week at Rehoboth Beach, Del., in late September and a few days in the Brandywine Valley in October. Our youngest daughter, Allison, received her Ph.D. in geo-chemistry from Harvard University in late August. She immediately drove to St. Paul, Minn., to start her academic career at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls campus. She is

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alumni news

class notes now attempting to keep one lecture ahead of her students, as Larry Ward did when we were seniors at Webb. “We greatly enjoyed our 52nd year class reunion at Tiburon and the Napa Valley last fall. Our recent class reunions have led to other get-togethers between classmates and their spouses. We look forward to our 54th year class reunion in Newport, R.I., next fall.”

Donene and Larry Harrison Donene and Larry Harrison made a pilgrimage to Israel in April. “It was great to experience a region with such a range of geography, history, religion and politics. We better understand our own religion and the position of the Palestinian people. Then in late August, we completed a cruise and land tour of

Alaska, starting at Vancouver, B.C., and ending in the Arctic. We were able to canoe up to the edge of glaciers, tour Denali Park and float down an arctic river-seeing all the fall colors. Alaska is an amazing, pristine region which seems to beckon another trip. “Our extended family, which ranges from a grandson in third year of college to a seven-month-old granddaughter, are doing well. “I recommend reading Donald Rumsfeld’s book Known and Unknown. The book is his autobiography and memoir. He has some great insights on the personalities of the presidents and government officials that he served under and with. Regardless of any judgment of his decisions in his various roles, the book helped me understand his reasoning. Incidentally, Donene and I met him last year on our Alaska cruise for a brief chat. He was very personable.” Bill Hurt writes from Germany: “All well here; looks as though Ruth and I will be here for at least another year. It’s a nice situation where the customer doesn’t

want us to leave.” (Bill works under a Boeing contract with NATO, developing avionics software for AWACS airplanes.) “Sorry, we’ll not be there for the reunion next October.” Bob and Donnell Johnson enjoy their home on the shore of Chesapeake Bay. Bob works in business development for CDI Marine. He has no plans to retire, but continues with a 32-hour work week. Bob keeps in touch with classmate George Kerr about once a month, and sends best wishes to all our classmates. George Kerr lives at home in Newville, PA, near Carlisle, with caretakers, the Roberts family. They describe him as “a very fine man,” to which we can all agree. When reflecting on his classmates, Bill Marrin expresses gratitude that some friendships stand the test of time. “Most of my spare energy for the last couple of months went into preparing a speech. I was asked to kick off a lecture series on the Second Vatican Council held at nearby St. Joseph’s College. I’m kind of passionate about that council because it attempted to open up the church to contemporary culture instead of pretending that the human race reached some spiritual peak in the Middle Ages. The speech went over successfully, and now I’m trying to figure out where else I can get my ideas heard.” Alums interested in Bill’s speech could request a copy from him at bcmarrin@verizon.net. “For the rest, Carmen and I are busy with our psychotherapy practice, our grandchildren,


some renovations on the house and the daily struggle against entropy.” Ed and Diann Shope have their hands full of family these days. “Our older son Scott and his wife Jocelyn and two young sons moved out last May, after living with us for half a year. They have found full-time jobs and an apartment that’s big enough for now. We still see them weekly, sometimes for a family sleep-over. “Our younger son Michael and his fiancée Mary will move in next. They’ll get married in August of 2013, and be the first occupants of the backyard cottage we’re all designing. It will be an 800 square-foot nest for two. Meanwhile, Michael’s electric-bike-conversion-kit company continues to grow. If you want to see some fun photos and testimonials, go to cleanrepublic.com. “When your house gets too crowded with family, the best antidote is a long trip. In April, Diann and I spent five weeks traveling to Romania and southern France. We were hosted by Mary’s parents, first in Bucharest and then on a road trip through Transylvania. Talk about stepping back into history. First we saw crumbling, rusting wreckage still standing from the communist era, then fortified churches from the Middle Ages. And yes, there are storks in the chimneys and wild dogs on the streets. The food and wine were plentiful and cheap, and the countryside was beautiful. I’d go again. Then it was on to Provence and

the vineyards near Avignon, and a family reunion with dearest relatives. Our sadness at leaving was softened by the gentle trip home on the Queen Mary II. After a cold night on Seattle’s docks, I announce I’m going to retire from marine surveying, but Diann reminds me we won’t be able to afford these trips. “I’d like to recommend a novel I’ve just finished: The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It’s about two very plucky teenagers who live—really live—with terminal cancer, and it may change some of your ideas about life.” Oren Stephans has recovered from successful surgery on his right knee last May and cataract surgery on one eye.

One more eye to go. Oren is about to retire as vice president of his condominium association, where he has been in charge of insurance matters. He likes life in Fort Meyers, Fla., but may decide to leave long enough to attend our class reunion in 2013. Don Szostak modestly reports that he and Pat spent a whole year travelling about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Way to go Don and Pat! (Along the way they spent a happy mini-reunion with Ed and Diann in Seattle.) And they did take time to collaborate with the Zuerners about planning our class reunion. “Other than that, we are looking forward to the

Class of ’59 reunion in Newport next October.” Bill Webster says that he and Betty have been to their usual places: Ashland, Oregon, in June for a week of plays at the Shakespeare Festival, and a few days in Chicago before one week at the Chautauqua Institution. “We are both just getting over a bathroom remodel and are slowly getting back to normal. Betty had a hip replacement in January and is improving slowly. “I have been commuting back and forth to Asia (Thailand, China and Japan). In June, I presented a paper in Rio. In the spring, some Thai friends and I went on a two-week whirlwind tour of France, Spain, Italy and Germany. In

between these I go back and forth to Houston (to consult with my client Technip) and to Washington (to the National Academy.) All in all, about 150,000 miles this year! “Several books that I’ve liked were: In the Garden of the Beasts, by Larson, and Hinterland, by Nagorski, both about the 1930s in Germany, but from different perspectives; Confront and Conceal, by Sanger, about the challenges and ethics of modern warfare; Fall of the Giants and Winter of the World by Follett, a saga about several families from before World War I until after World War II;

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alumni news

class notes

broccoli & cauliflower cooked à table. Very Japanese; Judy is second generation. Steve was part of Mamari’s all-girl crew, Kos-Hydra, June, 1967. All girl crew? Anne, Nan & Steve? Two out of three not bad.

Ken Court—Jasper Lake Mountain. and The Greater Journey, by McCullough, about Americans in Paris during the 1800s.” Gene and Mary Yourch have had a wonderful summer. “Around July 4 all of our children and grandchildren came for a fun-filled week of togetherness. The rest of the season was full of great boating. We went to Essex, Conn., three times. This involves a trip across the sound. We had to watch carefully for the right weather conditions. “Our son Chris and his family have moved to Santa Cruz, Calif. The rest of us are planning a trip out there at Easter vacation. The other two families are still in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Raleigh, N.C. We wish a good year for all. ”Dick Zuerner writes: “Since our reunion last October, Joan and I have had two enjoyable visits with the Szostaks to plan our 2013 reunion in Newport. We also had a nice lunch with the Marrins on their way back from summer vacation in Maine, during which we discussed the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz. “We have added one more granddaughter (Lola, nine months,) for a total of


five granddaughters, (no grandsons.) All live within a ten-minute drive. My youngest son, age 31, has announced his engagement, with the wedding probably next summer. My other children just eased into marriage with no formal ceremony, so this will be a first for me as father of the groom. “Joan and I are relatively healthy; we’ve stayed out of the hospital. I still see patients four days a week and continue to enjoy it, and Joan still runs her shop four days a week. We plan a brief trip to Florida for a reunion with a few grammar school friends next month. Now we’ve joined the crowd and both have iPhones, so every day I get four or five pictures of my grandchildren on Instagram, but we’re not on Facebook. “Looking forward to our next reunion.”

“I showed my ‘Mamari Around the World in 80 slides.’ Actually 185 slides—80 is a catchy title. ‘Around the World,’ not quite, no Panama Canal. Judy was pleased to finally meet the subject of Steve’s tales. “Went by ferry to Victoria. High Tea at the Empress, then to the museum for Haida art and other First Nations memorabilia. The next day, it was the impressive Boutchart Gardens and then home. Oh, ‘First Nations’ is Canada’s way of describing what we call Indians, to give honor to their rightful place in our land. Their land. “The following day was Whistler; we rode by gondola to the top of Whistler Mountain where we were surrounded by snow and snowcapped peaks; they were still snowboarding on top. The town was crowded; it was Canada Day, their Independence Day. ”From Vancouver we went by rail, the Rocky Mountaineer, for two days through the Canadian Rockies

1960 Ken Court: “Our summer trip to Canada went well. Stayed in Vancouver with Mary Mac on the trip Waikiki to Tahiti; the first five months of 1965, the beginning of Mamari’s voyage. The three of us had dinner at Judy and Steve Taylor’s home. Chicken, cabbage,

Ken Court, Mary and Maggie..

and rode in a dome car for spectacular views. We stayed overnight in Kamloops so as not to miss any scenery. “Then two nights in Jasper Lodge. We hiked around the lake, and toured the National Park where we saw one black bear. Our park tour was by bus as were our next few days: Lake Louise, where we had a buffalo steak dinner overlooking the lake. Quality, not quantity; thence to Banff, a tower room and a bottle of champagne to greet us for our 10th anniversary. “What did we do? Marveled at the snowcapped, rugged mountains. Photographed a handful of waterfalls, lakes and went up on a glacier. Then the final tour: a helicopter ride over sharp peaks. Maggie was given the bubble seat next to the pilot. Calgary was an overnight stop, followed by a 3 a.m. rise to catch our flight. A wonderful, packed 12 days. Home to 90-plus degree weather.

1962 Joe Burns was elected to a three-year term as Dean of the Faculty at Cornell University, starting July 1, 2012. The chief administrative officer of

Cornell’s 1,800-plus faculty, Joe represents their interests to the University’s president, provost and board of trustees. Dick and Marie Schmitt spent ten days in July in the remote village of Giira in Uganda. While there, they attended the ordination of the nephew of a priest from their parish. They had the opportunity to visit St. Luke’s Chapel whose construction is being supported by their parish. They also visited the local school, surrounding town and took a boat ride up the Nile to beautiful Murchison Falls. They report: “It was a wonderful cultural immersion and eye opener to life in a third world country. You don’t know just how much you have until you stay with people who have nothing but loving hearts.” Pete Silvia claims to have the best day job since 1963. He spends every weekday morning in the neighborhood wood shop mostly making bowls on a very good lathe and doing other kinds of woodwork. He’s also the village knife and scissors sharpener and has finally dusted off his banjo and hooked up with a couple of old-time music jams. Members of the classes of ’60 to ’65 may remember he

Bert Bowers Liberty Launch.

became a pretty good banjo player while at Webb. Joe and Judy Burns have organized an exhibit, Spectacular Saturn, which opened in October for a year at the N.J. State Museum in Trenton. It contains 75 NASA photos taken by the stilloperating Cassini mission. Dan and Cyryl Yannitell had a marathon summer of travel, starting with Webb’s Homecoming in May 2012, including graduation of the Class of 2012, a month in Staten Island enjoying the pleasures of New York City, a cruise from Barcelona to the Italian coast, visits to several classmates, and ex-wives of classmates, attending the State of Webb meeting in Houston and finally returning home at the beginning of October. Mark Henry is a member of the U.S. Fencing Team that competed in the Veteran World Championships tournament October 16-21 in Krems, Austria. This is Mark’s second Veteran World Championship tournament; he finished in 16th place at last year’s event, held in Pore, Croatia. We hope by the time this goes to press he has had a successful tournament.

Class of 1963. Dick Pomfret continues to support the Marine Well Containment Project as Marine Engineering Advisor. The project was established by four oil companies to develop a complete system to respond quickly to an oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico similar to BP’s Macondo oil spill. Bert Bowers: “I have enjoyed sailing this summer in a boat I designed and built, but which has had a long development that has been an adventure in naval architecture and marine engineering. The design was originated for a pedal-powered launch that I built back in the late ’80s. I built a cold molded wooden plug to create a fiberglass mold for what I hoped would be many such pedal boats. I had the wooden plug lying around for a few years and decided to make it into a sailing boat. In the spring of 2012, I designed a standing lug rig, and built the mast, boom, and yard. I have spent some time tweaking the rig and the controls, but she sails well and is quite fast. I have sailed from my launch ramp in Brighton, Ontario, to a lighthouse two miles distant in a moderate breeze in 20 minutes for an average of 6 mph (charts on the lakes are measured in statue miles). The long

straight keel and considerable deadrise give her exceptional directional stability. I can let go the tiller and she’ll continue to work her way to windward. She is 17 feet in length and 4.5 feet in beam.

1963 From July 24-27, nine of the surviving members of the class of ’63 met for a pre-50th reunion on an island in Lake Erie. You’ll see the photo of the distinguished assemblage. Bill and Linda Smith, who live in nearby Lakeside, Ohio, undertook the thankless task of attempting to find a place and plan activities for the herd of cats comprising our class. There were sailing, biking, and walking trips on and about the island, and I am happy to report that there were no casualties. At our 45th we decided to make the 50th at Webb, so we decided that a warm-up where there were fewer ghosts would be appropriate. While the various group activities and dinners were fun, I most enjoyed a dinner with just the nine guys at a local brauhaus. Not as picturesque as the North Country Bar and Grill,

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alumni news

class notes

said that the most notable project is floating diesel power plants to be used in the Middle East, where oil from the wells goes directly to the moored vehicles to make electricity. Mary and John Russell hope to see them on Bainbridge Island next month.

Members of the Class of 1967.

but still quite acceptable. Attendees were Bill Hall, Ron Kiss, Bill Lindenmuth, Hank Olson (just in from a 6-week European vacation), Randy Rodger, Mike Silber, Bill Smith, Bott Weiss and Bill Berkhead. None of us are still working full time, but only four are totally retired. Ron and Randy do consulting work; Mike retired in August; Bott still teaches at MIT, and I occasionally hang around my law firm and around Bay Diesel Corp., hoping a paycheck might fall my way.

At the brauhaus, at Ron’s insistence, we spent about five minutes talking about our 50th at Webb next year, and the possibility of a gift. We were thinking maybe new shower curtains or maybe a new tree by the parking lot to replace the one Larry Stephens took out after a hard night at the North Country. We spent the next several hours looking at photos, ragging on each other and enjoying multiple belly laughs. It was impossible to know 50 years ago that the four years of enforced intimacy and togetherness, when “TPS” was on the tongues of most of us, most of the time, would create bonds that would last this long. I can just hear Randy shaking his head and


muttering “butt-heads” when he reads this. Hoping for even a better turnout next May.

1967 John and Barb Sirutis moved back from Spain to Adelaide, Australia, in March. John continues to work on the Air Warfare Destroyer Program. Keel-laying was in September, and the ship is coming together quickly. In August, John’s eldest son Sean and spouse Chris were blessed with the birth of their second child, Mia, John’s second grandchild. Year-end is their next decision point for staying on in Australia or heading back to San Diego. Jim Hancock gets the Candor Award: “Life has been comfortably dull recently.” Jim would never make it in presidential politics or used car sales. Dr. Richard Storch (“Richie”) and Lois have a new granddaughter born in January. Richie’s been on sabbatical until March and has just returned from Turkey and Greece. They visited the Naval Architecture Department at Istanbul Technical University, where he says that they have a decent-sized, commercially capable towing tank, and two Turkish shipyards. He

Dave and Phyllis Yannitell have moved to Texas to join his brother Dan and his daughter, and Dave’s two sons and daughter. Dave retired from the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) on June 30, after working there for 15 years. He told us about selling an old family 1956 Wurlitzer Centennial jukebox in an hour after posting on ebay, for $6,500. Paul Chapman moved to Vail a couple of years ago after visiting it for a dozen years. Paul touts the skiing there and for the non-skiers, road biking, mountain biking, golf, summer concerts, hunting, fishing, river rafting, snow shoeing, hiking (and you get the drift), and invites Webbies to visit. Tom Koster sent this photo of Dave and Phyllis Yannitell, Dave’s brother, Dan ’62 and his wife Cyryl (who live in Lago Vista, Texas) and Tom at the recent Houston Region State of Webb meeting. Bob and Joyce Hall spent almost a month in Beijing this past summer, teaching English at a university to a receptive class of 13. They also spent several days in Tokyo visiting long-time friends, and a few days visiting Bob’s brother Bill (also a Webbie) near Seattle. John Russell and Mary Fellows have no new

grandchildren or even granddogs. But John has nearly completed a stint as chair of the search committee for Webb’s new president, who will take office when Bob Olsen retires on June 30.

PG’67 Jack Ringelberg has “shifted his flag” to Panama City, Fla. He is still active as CEO of JMS Naval Architects & Salvage Engineers, Divers Institute of Technology and the Ocean Technology Foundation (OTF). With regards to OTF, they recently conducted a joint operation with the French and U.S. navies searching for John Paul Jones’ ship the Bonhomme Richard which sank during the Revolutionary War in the North Sea.

1970 Eric Linsner and his wife Pat, visited Stu Bunnell ’70 in Anchorage as part of their epic tour of Alaska. Al Face has been named an honorary member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the organization’s highest honor. Founded in 1904, ACI is the world’s preeminent society dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of concrete technology. It annually publishes more than 400 standards, reports, and manuals on material science, construction methodology, building code requirements, testing, inspection, and related topics. In 1990, Al was the first ever recipient of the Construction Innovation Forum’s NOVA Award for

outstanding contributions to American construction technology, and in 1996 was named an ACI Fellow. He will receive his honorary membership next spring at the Institute’s annual awards banquet in Minneapolis, thereby becoming one of only 135 living recipients.

1975 Mike Bradford reports: “I retired from General Dynamics Land Systems in July of 2011, somewhat unwillingly. I am now engaged in a retirement job in a small hydraulic cylinder manufacturer sans pressure, meetings, processes, status reports rendered in 3D color, etc. I am upsidedown on a rental property that I have to pay down until I can sell it. But life is not all work. When we aren’t entertaining our grandchildren or traveling, we tour different areas of Michigan and surrounding areas in our Pontiac Solstice. If any of you are in the Detroit metro area in the future, please consider giving us a call to arrange a get-together. There are a lot of things to do and see in this area.”

Mike and Dorothy Brooks Mike Brooks reports: “I am still employed at General Dynamics NASSCO in San

Diego, Calif., as principal engineer in their marine engineering department, a total of about 37 years there —even longer if you count my intern time back in our Webb days. I spend weekends with my wife at our cabin in the high pines 6,000-feet up in the San Jacinto Mountains in Idyllwild, Calif. Weekdays, to be close to work, my dog and I live on my old Westsail 28 sailboat on San Diego Bay. This works for us, giving my wife some time each week to enjoy the peace of the mountains without an annoying husband under foot. I, of course, can’t help but love life with one foot in mountain wilderness and the other on the waterfront in a near tropical paradise. So although I am not yet retired, overall, life is good. My wife and I did buy a small motor home about 1-1/2 years ago and are really enjoying motorhoming all over the western U.S. and Canada, working our way eastward. I highly recommend to see the country this way. Maybe we can plan a Class of ’75 RV reunion somewhere one of these days when we are all retired.” Tim Knowles reports: “Susan and I have been married for 32 years and are still best friends. We have two adopted sons, Albert who is 24 and Will who is 21. After working at JJMA in Washington for close to 4 years, I went to law school and have been practicing law since 1982 in Bradenton, FL (home town). I am a principal in Porges, Hamlin, Knowles & Hawk, PA, a general service law firm. My practice has been centered in real estate and other business

transactions. (I barely know where the court house is.) The real estate market has been tough but I still enjoy the work and have no current plan to retire. Susan was a music teacher but stopped teaching when our children arrived. She is now back working part time for a Florida charity called Take Stock in Children, where she is a coordinator of scholarships for needy high-schoolers. This is a very rewarding job, which she enjoys. In addition to hunting, fishing and a little woodworking for fun, I have become very involved with our local Boys & Girls Club and the Florida State Association of Boys & Girls Clubs (the Alliance). In January, I will be going back for my eighth year as chairman of the Alliance (not consecutive) and during the previous 7 years I was chairman, we lobbied and received over $10,000,000 from the State of Florida for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Florida.” Dave Little reports: “Janet and I have recently celebrated our 36th anniversary and live in Springfield, Va., just south of Washington D.C. We have been blessed with three great children: Jennifer (30), Kevin (28), and Katie (26). Jennifer is a mom of two (the

latest as of October 3), works in cognitive psychology, and is living in Hawaii; Kevin is a chef in Miami; and Katie is a veterinary nurse here in Springfield. And yes, we are empty nested. Janet has been working as a teacher and facilitator of various parenting classes sponsored by the county and also works as a care giver for seniors. I am (still) gainfully employed, for the last 15 years at Alion Science and Technology (ex John J. McMullen Associates) and the previous 15 as a civil servant for the Navy in numerous positions. Throw in a few other prior employers to fill in the years since Webb. It just doesn’t seem that long ago.” Gary McCue reports: “Joanne and I have been living in East Lyme, Conn. for 22 years. I left Computer Sciences Corporation in 2004 and became a consultant for Dasault Systemes, specializing in the shipbuilding industry. From 2006 to 2011, I was in Brunswick, Maine assisting Bath Iron Works with their implementation of our CATIA, ENOVIA and DELMIA software for the DDG 1000 and DDG

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Dave and Janet Little with their family.


alumni news

class notes

51 Restart programs. Joanne joined me occasionally and we enjoyed getting together with Chris and Cricket Tupper. All this talk of retirement is making me jealous, as I have no plans to retire anytime soon. Joanne retired from her bank teller position several years ago. We have three children: Sarah is married, living in Maryland and has three children; Paul is married, living in upstate New York and has one child; and Sandra is married, living in central Michigan, pregnant with her first child. Being a grandfather is great, but I wish they lived closer.” Doug McPherson reports: “I have not been involved in the maritime industry for a long, long time. The only times I have had anything to do with things that (sort of) float in the water is when my employer has had projects with the Navy. I went and got a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1991 and have been working breaking gears since then. Yes, breaking—I run a fatigue laboratory. While I lived in Nashville I married Colleen. We were married a bit over 12 years and she passed away from cancer. The three kids I will claim are from her first marriage. I am playing with ideas for retirement, but it will be next summer before I can seriously think of acting.” Joe Mott writes: “Charlotte and I have been married for 26 years. We have four grown children ranging in age from 42 to 35 years and three grandchildren. We live in White Bear Lake, Minn. and have been here


for 21 years. I am director of operations for a sheet metal fabricating firm in St. Paul that employs about 200 people in two facilities and makes fabricated metal components for industrial, electronics, and medical technology companies. We enjoy vacationing on the northern shore of Lake Superior, and are planning to retire in 2015.”

Chris and Cricket Tupper. Chris Tupper reports: “Cricket and I are still in Maine. I worked on a small boat design for Norm Hamlin’s cousin Cyrus Hamlin for nine years. I met and married Cricket during the startup of the Landing School in Kennebunkport. Cricket continues there as a trustee, but I retooled as an EE via the University of New Hampshire. We live down the coast in Cundy’s Harbor, and I am now developing and fielding variable-speed fixed-frequency AC electric generators. These have not found any marine applications, but they are used in fire apparatus and are beginning to be used in renewable energy applications. Our two kids are married and on their own. My son Alan is an animator in Atlanta, and my daughter Emily is in grad

school for communications at the University of Maine in Orono. Cricket serves as chief of our local volunteer ambulance squad, and is an artist and lobsterman. We have my father’s 26-foot sloop for sailing on Casco Bay, but not quite enough time aboard. I know this is silly, but winter nights are long in Maine and this is the last surviving group that might appreciate a method for deriving a real slide-rule using only a tickstrip and pencil; contact me if you would like the how-to PDF file.” Tony Urbanelli reports: “I retired in April 2011 after 25 years with ExxonMobil, nine years with McMullen Associates and three years with American Bureau of Shipping. We plan to remain in The Woodlands, which is about 30 miles North of Houston. Debby and I are together after 37-plus years. Our daughter Katy graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in political science and Spanish, and is looking for a job in Washington, D.C. with a government agency, think tank, etc. (Any job leads would be appreciated!) Our son Anthony is in his junior year at Rice University and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He also is on the Rice cross country and track teams as a distance runner. I’ve gone on a healthy-living kick since retiring, and quit smoking and lost about 70-plus pounds so far. The major parts of my habits are eating less fat and going to ‘hot’ yoga four or five days a week. It was a strange adjustment in retiring as you become so ingrained with

your habits and lifestyle. We have traveled a little bit since I retired. I’ve got my Precision 18 sailboat back into sailing condition, and it is always nice to get out on the water.”

Brett and Linda Wilson Brett Wilson writes: “I continue to work for ExxonMobil Development Company, where I make viewgraphs, talk on the phone, type emails, mess about with numbers in spreadsheets and go to meetings where I talk to management and they tell me what to do. Lots of fun, still enjoying it. Couldn’t do a Larry Ward problem if my life depended on it. Linda and I have been married now for 37 years. Our two sons are grown: one married and lives in Portland, Ore. and the other works for an NGO in Central Asia. We are looking to retire in the next year or so, with a possible move to the West Coast.” Karl Witmer reports (from Togo, West Africa on a mission project to build a hospital): “Debbie and I have been married 32 years. We met in the Philly area, married, then moved to Maine in 1981. We have been blessed with three kids: Karen (30), Joel (27), and David (23). Karen is married, lives with her husband in the Boston area, and recently had our first grandchild. Joel is

working near us in Maine and is looking at going to grad school. David is in grad school (computer science) in Pittsburgh. We have enjoyed Maine, but are now better appreciating why some move south, at least for the winter! After the first six years at Sun Shipbuilding in Chester, Penn., I have been at Bath Iron Works for 31 years altogether. I have skipped around the company a lot—in design, IT (MRP system implementation), and most recently, production planning. Courtesy of BIW, I took my family to New Orleans for five years to work on the LPD 17 program. Three years ago, Debbie and I took the wonderful opportunity to go

to Australia for 14 months, where I worked on the AWD Program in Adelaide. What a wonderful place, with great people! A shame we can’t retire there… . The Lord has blessed! Cheers.”

Steve Pagan reports that he and his wife are still in Jakarta, but may be returning to the U.S. in the middle of next year. They need some U.S.A. time after being mostly overseas since 2006.


Vicky Dlugokecki reports that she has been spending quite a bit of time in Seattle in the past few months. “I get to see Matt ’91 and Cathy ’94 Tedesco pretty often, and even joined them and their personal trainer for some kettlebell sessions. While waiting for my take-out lunch one day, I also bumped into my old NASSCO compadre Roy Neyman ’77, who now works for Jensen Maritime Consultants, along with a bunch of other Webbies.

Dean Schleicher has accepted the position of subject matter expert for combatant craft and boats with NAVSEA 05D. He has left Donald L. Blount and Associates after 13 years and six months of exciting and challenging endeavors. Christine and the children are doing well, and we are all looking forward to a new chapter.

While on the East Coast, at the NSRP@NAVSEA Day, I got to say ‘Hi’ to classmate Steve Matz ’88, who was passing through on his way to a meeting. I’ll be at the Workboat Show in New Orleans in December. So, keep your eyes open, and you may bump into me on any coast.”

1992 Tess Haven: “This is me on a BP team-building fishing trip in the Gulf of Alaska, fishing and enjoying the stunning scenery, wildlife and weather… . Could you guess from this picture how utterly continued on next page


alumni news

class notes Still young at heart, Peter Wallace was slightly put out by receiving solicitations from AARP.

2008 Luke Soletic is in the thick of his first semester at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, and back in Webb study (and lack of sleep) mode!

Jake Neuman found a way to spend a weekend with the Corvelli family in London and enjoyed being immersed in their beautiful family. Tess Haven. seasick I was a couple hours earlier? My colleagues were really sweet to me despite the wretched sounds I was making (!), although some folks were quite amused about my difficulty with the sea considering my maritime background.”

1993 Erik Nilsson and Josie visited Machupicchu, Peru, in May and climbed Mount Kalhabuk in Arctic Alaska in June. No trails on the mountain, but we met a crazy miner who told outrageous stories. Erik, as trusting as ever, borrowed his ATV for a ride up into the mountains to see an old outhouse perched on a cliff, but was a bit disturbed when the miner followed toting guns.

1999 J Bergquist graduated from medical school in May: “I now live in Rochester, Minn., and am a first-year surgery resident at the Mayo Clinic. I am getting used to living in the upper Midwest by going sailing on Lake Superior and exploring the boundary waters by kayak in all the free time that a work week limited to 80 hours can afford. If you are in the upper Midwest, and want to meet, call the clinic main number and have them page me!” In April 2012, Jennifer (Rogers) Ryan took the P.E. exam in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and passed! Yeah! Additionally, in June, Jennifer and Patrick celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary. Abby (6) and Will (4) are doing great and are very active children.


Erik Nilsson and Josie.


Heather (Halberg) Barden, her husband Ben, and their 18-month-old son Luther were delighted to welcome Sonia Valor Barden into their family on February 7, 2012. Baby is healthy, and mom is recovering slowly from the emergency C-section but healthy otherwise. Luther turned 2 in August 2012

Heather Barden and family. and is busily acquiring vocabulary. Sonia is working on mobility skills like rolling and scooting around the floor. Heather is working half-time at Carderock; the family lives in Falls Church, Va.

2007 Robert Barra accepted a new job with the U.S. Coast Guard at the Marine Safety Center, Small Vessel Branch. Over Labor Day Weekend, 10 members of the Class of 2007 gathered on Lake Erie for our “official” 5-year reunion. We enjoyed a fun-filled a weekend of volleyball, Frisbee golf, boating and of course libations. A big thanks to the Leivo and Mather Families who hosted us over the weekend. The event culminated in the traditional oldest (Adam) and youngest (Jon) Webbie cakecutting and group photo.

Class of 2007’s five-year reunion.

Porter Bratten: “Kami and I are going to South America for 10 weeks, from November 24 to February 12!” Alana Smentek: “After spending most of my life in school, I am no longer a student! I completed my Ph.D. in ocean engineering this summer. In February, I will begin a fellowship in marine policy with NOAA. Phil and I will be moving up to the D.C. area sometime after the new year.” Dan Mannheim is still using all his vacation time to travel when he’s not required to be at work. He has recently traveled along parts of the east and west coasts of the U.S., and he just flew to Geoje, South Korea to visit the Webb expats over there. Where should he go next? Vince and Sarah (Patrick) Wickenheiser spent part of their summer holiday hanging out with the Dutch Webb contingent, investigating old buildings

is very much looking forward to being reunited with California for the holidays after the longest sunshine separation of her life.

2011 Class of 2008 Ryan, Jon and Leah in the Arctic. and in-transit refueling methods. Vince has started his Master’s at Virginia Tech. Leah Sosa is now finishing up her last few classes and is in the process of selecting her Master’s thesis at TU Delft. Recent travels have

taken her to Norway’s Arctic mining town, Longyearbyen, with Ryan Pfeifer ’11 and Jon Dowsett ’09, and to Stockholm, Sweden, for the christening of her darling goddaughter Livia, the daughter of Marten and Lindsey Lindgren ’08. Leah

Dave Donatelli’s membership in the Korean Student Association at MIT resulted in his recent relocation to Korea, where he works for Maran Gas at DSME. In his free time, Daeboo studies Korean and misses America, but he has developed a taste for the local cuisine.

Ben Fisher has been working in Tacoma, at a new facility for Safe Boats. He and Maria are in the process of buying a house in Port Orchard, Wash., and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first baby sometime in June! Casey Harwood is living in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he keeps himself occupied with a combination of graduate school, graduate school and graduate school. He also enjoys the occasional jog across the border to Canada, where he fantasizes that graduate school cannot follow him.

Tophi Rose still doesn’t speak Dutch. continued on next page

People who know Crowley know we’ve always set the gold standard for marine technology. In 1896 when gold was discovered in Alaska, Americans left San Francisco in droves aboard northbound ships hoping to strike it rich. At the same time, Tom Crowley, the local owner of a fledgling marine transportation business, noticed whalers returning from Alaska with heavy garments made of animal hides and furs that they no longer needed in California’s mild climate. Realizing that gold seekers would need these clothes for Alaska’s bitter cold, he decided to buy the garments from the whalers and sell them in bulk for a $900 profit. He then used this profit to build the Bay area’s most technologically advanced vessel at the time – a gasolinepowered launch boat named Jenny C. Tom Crowley always set his sights on technologically advanced equipment as does his grandson, Tom Jr., who’s at the helm of Crowley today. To find out more about the technological advancements we’re making, call us at 1-800-CROWLEY or visit www.crowley.com.


alumni news

class notes Justin Klag is continuing his work at Gibbs & Cox. He has been active on the Chesapeake SNAME Section Executive Council, and is trying to help expand the PE Continuing Education options for the Chesapeake Section. Lidia Mouravieff is still working at BMT Designers & Planners, and has moved into a new apartment in Alexandria, Va. She was fortunate enough to spend time with over half her class this season when they helped her break in her new place and at the SNAME Annual Meeting. Ryan Pfeifer has moved back to Trondheim, Norway, to

complete his Master’s degree. He recently attended an Arctic offshore engineering class in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, where he did many northernmost activities. The highlight activity was enjoying a beer at the northernmost pub in the world with Jon Dowsett ’09 and Leah Sosa ’08. Ryan will graduate in July 2013 and is looking to start his career in Norway. After Southampton’s graduation in July, Elie Amar went travelling between Ukraine, Brazil and Japan. It was really cool. Now, he is happy to be back home in New Caledonia, spending most of his time fishing and sailing!

Members of the Class of 2011 at SNAME.

If you have any individual notes you wish to publish in the next Webb News Magazine,

Stango’s Close Its Doors The Stango/Cocchiola family has kept Stango’s Restaurant operating on the same corner in Glen Cove for about ninety-four years. They have decided it’s time to step away. Their last meal was served on Sunday, November 25th. It will re-open in the Spring, with new ownership. The family is not leaving completely. The new owners will be keeping the old recipes and traditions alive, while adding their own new ideas and energy. Stango’s will be better than ever, and Stella will still be coming in, but at ninety-six years old, will hopefully take a few more nights off. There were a lot of memories made at Stango’s over many years.


please send them to Gailmarie at gsujecki@webb-institute.edu

heritage society Work, Play, and “Giving Back”: Dr. Kenneth Fisher ’64 Dr. Kenneth Fisher ’64 has been a member of the Heritage Society since 1998. He is spotlighted here because of his sincere dedication to Webb Institute for nearly 50 years. He was instrumental in officially starting the Webb Alumni Newsletter in 1968 and was also the fifth member of the Alumni Committee. Dr. Fisher is president of Fisher Maritime Consulting Group, founded in 1976. Fisher Maritime provides quality consulting services to the maritime and offshore industries, and expert witness services. Additional areas of expertise include contracts and disputes in shipbuilding, shipboard injuries and boating accidents. The Dunderberg Scholarship at Webb was provided by Fisher Maritime and is awarded annually to students in their first year with proven financial need. Dr. Fisher attended the University of Michigan from 19641967 for an M.S. Engineering and Doctoral program. From 1967-1969 he was Assistant Professor of Naval Architecture at New York Maritime in the Bronx, where he developed a degreegranting B.S.N.A. curriculum while concurrently assisting research at Webb Institute. In 1969 Dr. Fisher became a Lecturer in Naval Architecture at The University of Sydney and University of New South Wales. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Economics at The University of Sydney in 1973. From 1973-1976 Dr. Fisher was the head of the Management Sciences Division at John J. McMullen Associates. Under his guidance the division grew to become an international “think tank” for LNG, port and tanker projects. Dr. Fisher has had an incredibly successful career, which he continues to enjoy immensely. He will never retire and considers “going to work” actually “going to play.” Throughout the years, Dr. Fisher has been an expert witness and an arbitrator for shipyard project disputes, as well as an expert witness on numerous personal injury cases in relation to boat design.

The Webb Heritage Society was formally established by the Webb Board of Trustees in 1991 to honor those who have displayed generosity and foresight by taking steps to remember Webb Institute in their estate planning. There are currently 169 members. To learn more about the Heritage Society, please contact the Development Office at (516)759-2040.

Ken Fisher and family.

His most cherished accomplishment, however, is an extraordinarily successful three-day training program that he developed called Contract Management for Ship Construction Repair and Design. He began the training program in 1988, and after more than 350 presentations, he still presents the program 15-18 times a year for organizations all over the United States and around the world. In addition to working on hundreds of maritime consulting jobs worldwide, Dr. Fisher has written several books and papers published by SNAME, RINA and others. Dr. Fisher and his wife Susan Davis have three sons and a daughter. They also have two granddaughters ages 8 and 6. Ms. Davis retired as the National Director of Physician Practice Management Consulting at KPMG for many years, and she and Dr. Fisher travel internationally several times a year. One of their favorite hobbies is searching for boutique vineyards around the world that produce good quality red wine. Dr. Fisher recalls that upon his arrival at Webb he was the only freshman to come with his own sailboat—a wood snipe. His most memorable experience at Webb was when he was put in charge of the snack bar; a position that required him to make sure all his classmates returned all their soda bottles. He took this job very seriously and was extremely diligent at encouraging his classmates. One day he awoke, ready to go to class, and to his astonishment there were a few hundred bottles lined up across his doorway. He had no choice but to go out the window to the next bedroom in order to get to class on time. Gene Miller, who was his roommate at the time, knew about this prank in advance and made sure not to sleep in their room that night. Dr. Fisher, who was awarded the Chaffee Memorial Prize upon graduation, says he fit into Webb like a hand in a glove, and that Webb instituted a quest for quality and great achievement in him that completely shaped both his career and personal life. He is extremely grateful to Webb and all that it did for him and his family. “He just wants to give it all back.” 37

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Profile for Webb Institute

Webb News Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 edition of Webb Institutes Magazine

Webb News Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 edition of Webb Institutes Magazine