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I'm Designing an Icebreaker

(Academics, Class of 2018, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

This semester has been a whirlwind. We were assigned our Capstone groups for the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering major almost as soon as we returned to the Academy after summer training. I am part of a group of four who are working on creating a medium icebreaker with a focus on scientific research. For the first couple weeks, we concentrated on creating our design philosophy, and now we are moving on to actually developing our icebreaker using Rhino, a computer program that allows us to build a ship hull. Initially, I experienced some major struggles using the software, but thankfully after many hours in the ship design lab, I am slowly becoming more proficient at the program, and it is amazing to see ideas come to life.

Our Capstone group has also undertaken a yearlong interview/photo/social media initiative with the Public Affairs Office following our project. Last week, we were interviewed in the Henriques Room in Hamilton Hall. We were given the opportunity to speak with the Public Affairs personnel about our project and plans. Getting interview experience and public speaking practice, I believe, will help me immensely next year when I become an ensign, and getting to hear my groupmates talk about their outlook on the project was eye-opening as well.

Well, I realize this post has been almost entirely about academics but, presently, that is what my life is most centered around. Don’t get me wrong, military trainings, Glee Club, Fairwinds, friends, and athletics are still an essential part of my daily routine, but like me, completing our Capstone project is what most first class cadets are focused on. Have a great week, and feel free to email me any questions about anything! Hannah.M.Eshleman@uscga.edu

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First Phase: Eagle

(Class of 2018, Engineering, Eagle) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

The first phase of my 1/c summer has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I am sitting in the airport preparing to head out to Sector San Francisco after spending the first five weeks on USCGC Eagle. Eagle was a phenomenal experience. It is my third time being on board and honestly it keeps getting better every time I return. I chose to go for the engineering qualifications, as opposed to deck watch, and got qualified as an oiler and then an Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOW). This meant that I went on rounds of all the spaces throughout the ship to check on the various systems, did rounds in the engine room, and learned how to do all the collaterals for each. I also learned how to parallel generators, flush a reverse osmosis system, cross-connect different systems, and so much more. The crew on board are experts in their specialties and were so willing to teach cadets and help us learn more about actual applicable engineering skills.

Getting to stand watches for the crew made me feel like a valuable member on board, and while I am excited to see what this next phase brings I will miss being underway and being in an engine room. I am hoping to get to see some of the cutters out of San Francisco and nearby locations. Northern California is full of Coasties, which means reuniting with classmates and alumni that recently graduated. I am also looking forward to spending time with my grandparents who live nearby. Overall, firstie summer has been eye-opening and makes me realize how thrilled I am to hopefully become a student engineer next year as an ensign.

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Change is Possible

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

At the beginning of every new semester at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I always seem to expect that the previous semester and the new are going to be relatively similar. But no matter what year or season it is, I get a week into the new school semester and realize how quickly things change at the CGA. Last semester I had all engineering classes besides my Nautical Science III course. This semester I only have three engineering classes, and then I am also taking Atmospheres (a marine environmental science course), Personal Finance, Criminal Justice, and Personal Defense II. Overall, my workload, at least for now, seems to have slightly lightened. This gives me the opportunity to fill some of my time with what I choose.

So far, my days seem to go with school until 1500, workout until 1700, then dinner, Glee Club, meetings with the Guidon (the 2/c in charge of the 4/c cadets within Golf Company), and then more homework and bed. I applied for the privilege of being an MAA, or Master at Arms, for Golf and got it. This means that I work with the Guidon, one of my good friends, and the 4/c (freshman) to help develop them, while also working with the rest of the company staff to keep the company running smoothly and initiate new training ideas. What I am enjoying most about this semester is getting to understand how the Academy truly runs, and that the reason things get done around here a lot of the time is because cadets initiate and are it behind the scenes. It makes me realize that if you put the time and effort in, change is possible, and I can carry this lesson with me into my first unit after graduation.

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The Great Boat Race

(Class of 2018, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

Another October breezes by at the United States Coast Guard Academy. I barely realized the month was over until, well, writing this blog in fact, because this is the first time I’ve taken a breath to reflect on the events of this past month. For this post I’m going to focus a little more on my major – Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In my graduating class, there are only 23 of us. I really love that it is a small group. For our Principles of Naval Architecture class, our first truly nav arch specific class, we have a three hour lab every week. This week we started a three week long lab where we are going to create our own boat. This lab is called “The Great Boat Race” because for the last session of the semester we will compete against other lab groups to see whose boat has the best overall mission efficiency. The goal is to carry as many sodas (weight) as possible while still moving at a decent speed. We are using programs such as Orca3D to design the hull. At first we started looking at a double catamaran design in order to make our ship light and fast, but unfortunately due to dimension restraints on beam width we could not make two hulls fit with room for soda cans and space in between. So, we decided on a planning hull and we are in the midst of designing it right now. ShopBot is going to cut out our boat using a plastic material and then we will epoxy/paint it to get some aesthetic points. Fingers crossed the race will be a success!

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A Busy Second Class Year

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

Second class year has begun and the whirlwind of activities and events occurring at the USCGA is just getting started. This semester, I have 18 credit hours, but all except for four are finally engineering focused. I am really enjoying getting to concentrate on my major in McAllister Hall (the engineering building) for the majority of the day and learning about thermodynamics, fluid systems, naval architecture, and electrical circuits and machines. The workload is heavy, but I am interested in everything I am learning about, which makes it all worthwhile. My one class not in McAllister Hall is Maritime Watch Officer (a.k.a. Nautical Science III). I’m enjoying this class as well because it is extremely fleet-applicable and soon our labs are going to be moved from the simulators to T-boats down at waterfront.

Besides a lot of homework, my schedule has been busy with Glee Club. We have 30 performances this semester alone. Today we got the honor of performing God Bless America and America the Beautiful down at City Pier in New London. This performance was for a 9/11 memorial service held by the Groton Submarine Base. Getting to interact with a lot of Navy active and retired personnel, local police, and civilians on this day helped remind me how great our country is and how we truly come together, especially in times of need.

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As October Comes to a Close

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

The fact that October is almost over stuns me. This month has flown by. Between academics, fall ball lacrosse, and various singing groups, there is barely enough time in the day to get everything done that needs doing. My favorite class this year is Intro to Mechanical Engineering Design. Today, we finished working on our finger engines. The finger engine is composed of a flywheel, shaft, post, base, blades, lever, connecting rod, and crank. We made each of these parts out of aluminum or steel in the lab. The lab lasts for three hours once a week and the class is two times a week for an hour. In the lab, we get to use (for my first time!) lathes, mills, drills, horizontal and vertical band saws, and more fun power tools. It is by no means a boring class. Next week, we start making our unloader projects. We will work in a group for this project instead of individually. The planning process for the unloaders has been happening for several weeks, and now we get to make our plans and designs real. Hopefully, our designs will work to move rocks and pellets from one bucket to another with two degrees of separation.

Outside of academics, fall ball for lacrosse is coming to a close. We have a tournament this weekend, and then we start getting ready for the spring season with the strength training coach. Even in the last month, we have already started to work better together as a team as we get to know everyone more. For Glee Club, we had the Coast Guard Foundation dinner in NYC last week and go back to NYC for the Yacht Club dinner next week. Fairwinds (a girls’ singing group within Glee Club) finished working on a Mamma Mia medley, and I must say it is stuck in my head constantly, but I really love that we’re learning new music. As always, feel free to email me with any questions/stories/concerns/etc. Have a great day!

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Classes, Lacrosse and Glee Club, Oh My!

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

I cannot believe that it is already September 21st. This month has flown by. My typical week this year has changed a lot since fourth class year. The workload is much greater but I am very interested in all of my classes. In my Intro to Mechanical Engineering Design class we are building finger engines. First we design them on SolidWorks (which I have never used before but it is a lot of fun) and next week we’re moving to the lab to actually begin constructing them. Getting to be hands-on in the classroom is exciting and challenging.

Sports wise, fall ball is about to begin for lacrosse. I am thrilled to get back on the field. I have biweekly meetings with my coach leading up until the actual season where we discuss anything and everything. Sometimes going to a small school can be frustrating because there is not much privacy, but I also really appreciate how close everyone is and how interested all of the teachers, coaches, and mentors are in their students’/players’ lives. It is nice to know people are looking out for you.

Glee Club has been insanely busy. Fall is the season for performances. I have my first solo called “O, America!” arranged by Dr. Newton. I sing the alto two part while there’s also a soprano and alto one part. We have our big NYC trip coming up in the beginning of October. Many people are looking forward to it. Getting to travel to sing is such a blessing, and I am so glad I was introduced to the club as a fourth class. Next weekend is Parents’ Weekend, so I am thrilled to show my parents around and tell them about all that has been going on here at the CGA.

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Returning to a New Role and Extracurricular Activities

(Extracurricular and Faith-Based Involvement, Engineering) Permanent link
Hannah Eshleman

So, I am finally back at school after a long, adventurous summer of sailing on Eagle and working at Station Ketchikan, Alaska. The school year is kicking off with Cadet Administrative Processing (CAP) week. I have gotten my schedule, which consists of a heavy load of science and math. I am super excited to begin my engineering classes, although slightly nervous. Coming back after fourth class year, I was not sure what to expect. Getting greeted for the first time by a fourth class stunned me. But I am excited to fulfill my place in the corps as a “role model” and I hope that I can be as good of a third class to my fourth class as mine were to me last year. I am also going to do my best to hold myself accountable and not fall into the “under the radar third class” slump.

Fall sports are starting up and I am participating in Triathlon Club for the first time. I am running my first triathlon this upcoming weekend! The team has been extremely welcoming. I have always loved long distance sports, so I am enjoying the sport thus far. The best thing about the Coast Guard Academy is having the opportunity to try new things, and I am attempting to take full advantage of as many of the options that are available while I am here. Glee Club is going to be very busy this year. I am in three singing groups: Glee Club, Fairwinds, and the Octet. Fairwinds is reworking their sound right now and we are attempting a new style of music. We have been singing the same songs for many years, so it is time to move on to some new pieces. Overall, this is going to be a very hectic year. There is a lot to learn before next summer when the Class of 2020 comes, and we will have to take on the mentor role of cadre. I am hoping to prepare myself as best as I can throughout the 2015–2016 school year.

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