Engineering students explore career path

Nineteen engineering students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) travelled from Vancouver to Esquimalt in HMCS Vancouver on May 2, for a unique Navy experience. UBC students took part in the Canadian Students at Sea (CSaS) program, which is an opportunity for post-secondary students to gain a deeper understanding of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) through hands-on and immersive experiences, both at sea and ashore.

During the sail to Esquimalt, students had experiences and interactions primarily with engineering aspects of the warship. They toured various departments and learned about marine systems engineering, naval combat systems engineering, damage control, and emergency responses onboard ship.

On completion of the at-sea portion, while HMCS Vancouver remained at sea to continue on their program, students were transferred ashore at CFB Esquimalt via a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) ride. Over calm seas and sunny skies, the boat ride ashore was another highlight of the students’ experience during the CSaS program.

The following day, students visited various units at CFB Esquimalt, such as the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton (FMFCB), HMCS Whitehorse, the Naval Officer Training Centre’s Navigation and Bridge Simulator (NABS), and briefs from the Regional Operation Centre (Pacific) and the Marine Security Operation Centre (West). The Naval Personnel and Training Group (NPTG) also provided briefs and showcased interactive displays of new technologies used to enhance sailor training and exposure to their navy.

Davin Birdi, a fifth-year electrical engineering student, says the program gave him an opportunity to see things he would not normally get a chance to see.

“They built this tracking software, which is a very complete in-house solution to a problem. I thought that was a very interesting application, as well as seeing the machine shops,” he says. “It was really cool to see the scale at which things can be produced, like when they were cutting that really thick steel piece [at FMFCB]. That was really amazing.”

Hillary Oldford, a fourth-year ocean and naval architectural engineering student, says the tour allowed her to get a better sense of ship structure.

“With this program, I now have experience in two different aspects of shipbuilding,” she says. Oldford is an innovation intern at Seaspan Shipyards, working with virtual reality technology. She says learning about virtual reality and innovative solutions will help with her work at the facility.

LCdr Melissa Desjardins, Senior Staff Officer Strategic Outreach (Western Canada), says the program allows students to interact with sailors and learn about the important work they do on behalf of Canada and experience first-hand what it takes to put an operational warship to sea.

“This unique opportunity not only better informs students of the RCN’s mission, but also provides better awareness of career opportunities in the RCN,” she says.

Since the CSaS program is relatively new, LCdr Desjardins indicates their office is still networking with academic leaders to provide greater program awareness.

To inquire about future CSaS programs, contact: 

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.