By Becky Close, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center Public Affairs,
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC), in collaboration with University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), hosted the Problem-based Initiatives for Powerful Engagement and Learning in Naval Engineering and Science (PIPELINES) final presentations and Design Challenge Awards at the Seabee Museum at Naval Base Ventura County, Aug. 3.
“This program allows us to link driven, dedicated individuals with professional engineers, show them the incredible reach of the Navy, and share what opportunities are out there for them,” said Maria Teresa Napoli, PIPELINES program director. “Every year, I have been thrilled and impressed by the group of students that participate. We keep setting the bar higher and the students excel each time.”
NAVFAC EXWC Technical Director and event moderator, Kail Macias, spoke on the importance of supporting initiatives such as the PIPELINES program.
“As a leader of the Navy and the Department of Defense in science and technology, it’s important that we stay at the forefront and recruit the best and brightest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers,” said Macias. “Our recent designation as a Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory gives us the authority to employ talented individuals while still in school and to potentially hire them full-time upon graduation.”
Six student intern teams spent eight weeks of the summer with NAVFAC EXWC, NSWC PHD, and UCSB mentors working on engineering design challenges. The teams of two to three students enrolled at state and local community colleges were assigned a themed project and given the freedom to develop unique solutions for real-world situations.
The six PIPELINES Design Challenge projects included: Design of Testing Device and Procedures for Navy Bollards; Enlisting the Sun: Optimizing Portable Solar Energy; A New Maritime Buoy Pump System for Refueling Operations; Modernizing Navy Resource Allocation and Distribution Logistics; Miniaturizing a Subsea Fiber Optic Repeater for Naval Applications; and Increasing the Resiliency of Navy Fuel Pipelines.
Prior to judging, team mentors briefed each project by providing background information. The student intern teams then presented their design challenge solution by using PowerPoint presentations and poster boards to the judges and audience of more than 100 educators, engineers, and guests. The four judges representing Navy leadership, engineering expertise, and education scored each presentation on three aspects: technical level or challenge of the project, readiness level, and the clarity and persuasiveness of the presentation.
The PIPELINES Design Challenge project winner was Modernizing Navy Resource Allocation and Distribution. NSWC PHD Logistics interns James Byrne, Alessandro Guaresti, and Cole Morter received recognition for their accomplishment from NAVFAC EXWC Commander Vince Fonte, executive officer (acting). An honorable mention was awarded to Miniaturizing a Subsea Fiber Optic Repeater for Naval Applications by NAVFAC EXWC interns Matthew Martinez, Natalie Holliday, and Andrew Serna.
The 2018 PIPELINES program was the final year funded by a 3-year Office of Naval Research grant, initiated in 2016, to develop real-world engineering and science solutions to ongoing Naval issues.