Professional Events 

Every semester, Quarterdeck brings in various companies and presenters from the marine industry to discuss current projects and research, give company overviews, and recruit UMich NA&ME students for internships and full time positions. If you are interested in presenting to Quarterdeck, please contact us at to set up a meeting.

Past presenters include Newport News, Bay Shipping, Electric Boat, Chevron Shipping, GD Bath Iron Works, ExxonMobil, Vigor as well as Steve Kemp, Donald Winters, and Bruce Rosenblatt, and many more. We also occasionally have panels such as top industry leaders discussing their careers and accomplishments and students describing their internship experiences.

We also run the Mentorship Program, which connects younger and newer students of the department to older ones through both professional and social events. If you'd like to join the program as a mentor or mentee, or to learn more, please email us at




Presentation:  The Captain Ralph R. and Florence Peachman Lecture: "Future Ship, Offshore and Nautical Research: Bridging the Gap Between Design and Operations" by Bas Buchner
When: Thursday, October 19 at 4pm
Location:    General Motors Room, Lurie Engineering Center

Bas Buchner is the president of MARIN, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands. MARIN has become a reliable, independetn and innovative service provider for the maritime sector and a contributor to the well being of society. Their mission is to provide industry with innovative design solutions and to carry out advanced research for the benefit of the maritime sector as a whole.

His lecture description follows:

Developing safe, smart and clean ships, offshore structures and ports is the challenge of the maritime industry. What sort of trends do we foresee in transport over sea, naval ships, offshore energy and nautical port design? Is it really possible to develop zero emission ships? Is offshore renewable energy going to be an alternative for offshore oil and gas? Do floating ports and cities help in times of sea level rise and overpopulation? Research should be focused on supporting this challenge.  What should be our focus in this research? What interesting physics need to be studied? What will be the tools of the future? What is the role of the human factor in this?


Presentation:  ExxonMobil
When: Wednesday, 20 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Exxon Mobil is an American oil and gas corporation. They came and spoke to Quarterdeck about their industry and internships. 



Presentation:  American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
When: Tuesday, 19 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

The American Bureau of Shipping, who "has been at the forefront of marine and offshore energy innovation for more than 150 years," presented to Quarterdeck about what their company does and how to qualify for internships. 


Presentation:  Fincantieri Marine Group
When: Monday, 18 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Fincantieri Marine Group spoke with Quarterdeck about their current projects, shipyards and various internship opportunities. 

Presentation:  Bath Iron Works
When: Monday, 18 September at 7pm
Location:    138 NAME

Bath Iron Works spoke presented their rotational program to up and coming graduates. They also discussed their internships and gave a little history about their shipyard. 


Presentation:  2017 Peachman Lecture: "A Brave New World - How Smart Ship Designs are preparing the maritime industry for the Digital Age" by Howard Fireman
When: Wednesday, 12 April at 4pm
Location:    Gerald R. Ford Library

Howard Fireman is a Michigan Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering alumni and the ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. He discussed the future of Smart Ship Designs and the maritime industry. He is one of the leading experts in technology in the maritime field, served 35 years in the Navy and has been recognized by SNAME, ASNE and UM College of Engineering for his work.


Event:  Great Lakes & Great Rivers Section Meeting
When: Wednesday, 15 February - Thursday, 16 February
Location:    Cleveland, OH

Quarterdeck headed to Cleveland, Ohio and partook in the 2017 Winter GLGR Section Meeting. This meeting's technical presentations included:

Lake Carriers' Association - presented on ballast water compliance in the Great Lakes. Specifically, they addressed how they are overcoming the technical challenges presented by the new Great Lakes ballast water regulations.

Sean Pribyl - Blank Rome LLP - discussed the uses and opportunities for drones in the maritime industry. Recently, many innovative applications for drone technologies have promised to change marine operations and safety. This presentation reviewed current applications and provided a perspective on the regulatory and risk issues that pose possible implementation obstacles.

United States Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems (CG-NAV) - spoke about Automated Identification Systems (AIS) and new navigation technology regulations.


Presentation:  Fincantieri Marine Group
When: Wednesday, 25 January at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Eric Nicholson from Fincantieri Marine Group presented to Quarterderdeck about their company and history about the American shipbuilding industry.




Presentation:  Electric Boat
When: Thursday, 17 November at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

General Dynamics Electric Boat presented to Quarterdeck about their company, which designs submarines, and also conducted interviews for internships.


Presentation:  CAPT Paul Rinn, US Navy (retired)
When: Tuesday, 15 November at 6pm
Location:    1109 FXB

CAPT Paul Rinn of the US Navy spoke of his time aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58), which was one of the final ships in the US Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided missile frigates (FFG). Commisioned in 1986, the ship was severly damaged by an Iranian mine in 1988. This is the story, told by the Commanding Officer, of courage, leadership, and engineering prowess as the crew fought to save the ship. He emphasized the power of knowing your people, all of your people, second changes, and will power paired with thorough knowledge.


Presentation:  BMT Designers and Planners
When: Monday, 14 November at 6pm
Location:    1012 FXB

BMT Designers and Planners spoke to Quarterdeck about their work and also conducted interviews for an internship position.


Event:  SNAME Maritime Convention
When: 1 November through 5 November
Location:    Bellevue, WA

Quarterdeck was able to take 15 students to the 2016 Annual SNAME Maritime Convention in Bellevue, WA. These students, as well as several other Michigan students, attended technical presentations, built their professional networks, competed in a student design competition, and more. Some notable outcomes for our students include the following:

  • James Coller was elected Vice Chair of the Student Steering Committee, which oversees and supports students and their university sections in SNAME.
  • Taylor Allen, Andrew Earhart, Robert Emmitt, and Mark Parra-Shostrand, under faculty advisor Matthew Collette, took 3rd place in this year's Dr. James A. Lisnyk Ship Design Competition for their ice hardened medium-sized combatant design proposal.
  • Macheng Shen won the John V. Wehausen Scholarship, and Teri LaForest won the SNAME Undergraduate Scholarship.
  • Our Quarterdeck website, managed by Teri LaForest, took 1st place in the SNAME Microsite Design Competition and won $500.
  • Darrell Hall and Quincy Lowman were on the winning team for this year's student design competition, which involved vessel speed and damage stability components, and they earned cash prizes and steins.
  • Teri LaForest won a SNAME firepit from Metal Shark in a raffle.




In addition to outstanding student success, several Michigan alumni attended the conference, including one who earned a medal:

  • William Hurley, Jr. won the Vice Admiral Emory S. "Jerry" Land Medal, a prestigious award for a person with outstanding accomplishment in the marine field; currently Mr. Hurley is the Chairman of Glosten.
  • Joseph Comer, III served as SNAME's President starting in 2015 and will be wrapping up his term at the end of the year.
  • NA&ME Department Professor Matthew Collette gave a technical presentation about his research regarding the H.L. Hunley, the first successful submarine in history and sank the USS Housatonic but was lost due to unknown causes.

THANK YOU to all of the individuals and companies who generously donated to Quarterdeck. You are directly supporting the growth and careers of the students in our NA&ME department. Also, shout out to our Quarterdeck officers, especially Commodore Jess Reid, for organizing a successful trip.


Event:  USS Detroit Tour
When: Friday, 21 October at 11:30am
Location:    Detroit, MI

Made possible by Gibbs & Cox and their Chief Naval Architect Ben Capuco, NA&ME students were welcomed on board the USS Detroit for a ship tour before she is commissioned. Students were led through the littoral combat ship (LCS), learn about its features and systems, and ask questions of those operating and working aboard the ship.

Mr. Capuco was one of the lead designers of the LCS and presented about his work to Quarterdeck the day before. We are very thankful that we were able to hear from him about his experience and that he made this trip possible!




Presentation:  Ben Capuco, Gibbs & Cox
When: Thursday, 20 October at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Mr. Ben Capuco, Chief Naval Architect of Gibbs & Cox, spoke about his company and the design projects they work on. Recently, the company held interviews with interested students, so this was also a great networking opportunity. In addition to discussing the company, Mr. Capuco presented about the LCS for which he was one of the lead designers of the mono hull LCS.


Presentation:  SUPSHIP Bath (San Diego)
When: Thursday, 20 October at 7pm
Location:    138 NAME

SUPSHIP Bath spoke about their company's work and discussed employment opportunities in Bath, Maine, Marinette, WI, and San Diego, CA. Bob Fitch and Marcos Velarde were also available to speak with students who were interested in working at the company.


Presentation:  Chevron Shipping
When: Tuesday, 11 October at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

The energy-focused company Chevron Shipping presented to Quarterdeck about their company and recent projects.


Presentation:  ExxonMobil
When: Wednesday, 21 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

ExxonMobil spoke to Quarterdeck about employment opportunities at their company, which focuses on energy and transportation.


Presentation:  Austal
When: Tuesday, 20 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

A global defense contractor, designer, and manufacturer of ships, Austal presented to Quarterdeck about their company and career opportunities available to UMich students.


Presentation:  Fincantieri Marine Group
When: Tuesday, 20 September at 7pm
Location:    138 NAME

Fincantieri Marine Group, which builds naval ships as well as works on ship construction, repair, and conversion projects, presented about their company and answered student questions.


Presentation:  Marc Castillo, SAFE Boats
When: Monday, 19 September at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Marc Castillo of SAFE Boats presented to Quarterdeck about his company, which designs and builds in-house vessels used by the military, law enforcement, fire safety professionals, and general civilians.


Presentation:  American Bureau of Shipping
When: Monday, 19 September at 7pm
Location:    Rosenblatt Room

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) presented to Quarterdeck about their company, which is a ship classification society that, among other things, develops safety standards and surveys ships.

Presentation:  Jeff Hough, Director of US Navy Center for Innovation in Ship Design at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division
When: Monday, 19 September at 7pm
Location:    138 NAME

Jeff Hough presented to Quarterdeck about his work and his company, which designs, builds, delivers, and maintains ships and systems for the US Navy.


Event:   NA&ME Annual Spring Reception
When: Friday, 15 April at 6pm
Location:    Michigan League Ballroom

On a fine Friday evening, the NA&ME Department and Quarterdeck hosted a spring banquet to celebrate this year's accomplishments. We honored this year's Honorary Commodore Mr. Edward Shearer, who gave a speech filled with advice and wisdom for aspiring naval architects and marine engineers.

Also, we honored our Outstanding Faculty Member Dr. Armin Troesch, Outstanding Undergraduate Student James Coller, and Outstanding Graduate Student Harleigh Seyffert.The Outstanding Faculty Member was voted upon by the students, and the Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Students were voted upon by the faculty. In a fun new tradition, paper plate awards were voted upon by NA&ME students prior to the reception and awarded the evening of.


Left: Honorary Commodore Mr. Edward Shearer. Right: Quarterdeck Officers and Warren Noone.


Event:   Navigating the Marine Industry Panel
When: Tuesday, 12 April at 6pm

Location:    138 NAME

A few of the marine industry's top professionals came to speak to Quarterdeck about their experiences and answered students' many questions about a variety of topics.

- Bernard Bentgen, Director of Marine Sales at Tognum America Inc.
Benedict Capuco, Chief Naval Architect at Gibbs & Cox
Edward Comstock, Senior Engineering Fellow at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

They spoke to the advantages of graduate school as well as international experiences; gave their projections of where they see the marine industry is headed; and shared some of their favorite projects, which were ones where they could oversee an entire project from conceptualization to its actual building and launching. Additionally, all emphasized the connections they made with others, particularly mentors, people who have been in the field for years and are able to share their knowledge. We'd like to give a huge thank you to our advisory board speakers!



Event:   Round Table Night with the Mentorship Program
When: Tuesday, 5 April at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

We held our first Round Table Night with the Quarterdeck Mentorship Program! As the we dined on pizza, students rotated between stations that focused on internships, senior design, graduate studies, and research/study abroad opportunities. This gave younger students the opportunity to speak with older students about what to expect in the upcoming years in the NA&ME department, and they could ask questions, share stories, and get to know each other.


Presentation:  Tom O'Reilly, Astro Wave Systems
When: Wednesday, 30 March at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Astro Wave Systems is a startup company that specializes in the development of advanced aerospace and naval systems for commercial purposes. It uses a distributed development model with engineers located in seven states from Florida to Massachusetts to Washington state. Currently the company has satellites under development, airborne systems for commercial use under evaluation, and surface and submarine products in development. In addition to presenting about the company, Mr. O'Reilly also spoke with NA&ME students about current and future opportunities.


Presentation:  Steven Kemp on the Glomar Explorer
When: Tuesday, 29 March at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Steve Kemp, an accomplished Michigan NA&ME alum and current Chair of the SNAME Great Lakes & Great Rivers Section, has 45 years of experience in the naval industry including working at Global Marine Inc., Chevron Shipping, and MTU Detroit Diesel and owning Stephen G. Kemp Marine and Process Controls LCC. For his presentation, Mr. Kemp talked about the Glomar Explorer, which was a ship designed to recover a Russian submarine from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in secret. To design and build this ship in secrecy and on an extremely tight schedule, as Mr. Kemp described, the engineers on the project had to successfully innovate, integrate, and implement numerous complex systems to ensure the vessel's stability and ability to retrieve the submarine.


Presentation:  Dave Singer on Graduate Programs
When: Thursday, 24 March at 6pm
Location:    138 NAME

Dave Singer discussed the ins and outs of the NA&ME graduate programs (SGUS, Masters, and Ph.D) and what to expect in life as a graduate student. He explained the advantages and opportunities that are opened up with a graduate degree including higher salaries and better starting positions, and although you may be overqualified for some positions, you may not be able to attain other positions. Particularly for students aiming to get Ph.D, the sooner you start planning and determining what area of research you want to focus in, the better as this enables you to start talking with professors about future opportunities. Also, Dr. Singer highly encourages students to speak with current graduate students about their experiences to help you make the best decision for your goals.

Interested in a NA&ME graduate program? Check out this link to get you started:


Event:  Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium 2016
When: 17 Mar - 20 March
Location:    Annapolis, MD

UMich NA&ME students had the opportunity to attend the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium at the U.S. Naval Academy.


Looking for older events? Check out our Archived Events page!