The "capstone" senior design experience in the NA&ME major at USCGA involves the conceptual/preliminary design of a Coast Guard ship. During this year-long experience, students work in design teams, combining their fundamental engineering skills with the latest analysis tools in the NA&ME discipline. Their challenge is to develop an understanding of how subsystems interact and gain an appreciation for the compromises that are necessary to fully integrate a complex engineering system with an expansive mission profile.
As juniors, the cadets take a class called Principles of Naval Architecture and as seniors they take four classes which all tie in with the Ship Design Project: Ship Propulsion Design, Principles of Ship Design, Ship Structures, and Ship Design/Systems Integration. During these classes the cadets use various software tools (Microsoft Office, GHS, Rhino, NavCad, ProSurf, and various “in house” design tools) to complete and submit work on the following topics related to their design:
Design Philosophy, Ethical Considerations/Social Responsibility, Similar Ship Study, Hull Form Development Arrangements, Profile (inboard/outboard), Deck Area Budgeting, Hydrostatics, Cross Curves, Floodable Length, Bulkhead Placement, Tankage, Intact Stability/Trim, Weight Estimating, Seakeeping, Lines Drawing, Longitudinal Strength, Midship Section, Structural Details, Power Estimate, Power Plant Tradeoff, Power Plant Details, Damaged Stability, Piping Design, Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning Requirements, Electrical Loading, Crewing Study, Cost Estimate