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by Mariah Vinson, Hanqi Yu & Hallie Collopy

Edited by J.H. Vazquez

April 25th, 2019

Three students from the University of New Orleans School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering attended this year’s SNAME 24th Offshore conference held in Houston, Texas. The conference hosted industry professionals and students from many geographic regions who share a common interest in offshore technology. Students, Mariah Vinson, Hanqi Yu, and Hallie Collopy, share their experiences.


Editor’s note:  Mariah and Hanqi are in the graduate program.  Hallie is a graduating senior. In addition to their participation with student posters, Hallie co-authored a paper for the symposium with Dr. Vincent Xiaochuan Yu, Yi Li, Ken Hagimoto, Haozhan Meng and Scott Arbeiter.  Their paper is entitled EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF A DROPPED MODEL ROCKET IN THE TOWING TANK OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS.

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From left to right: Hallie Collopy, Hanqi Yu and Mariah Vinson

Hanqi Yu’s Notes, Observations and Perspective

I am so glad that I could have the opportunity to attend this year’s SNAME 24th Offshore Symposium. As an international student, this was really an impressive eye-opener for me. I met a lot of professional experts as well as excellent students from Texas A&M, who brought novel ideas useful and practical in the offshore industry.


During the morning session, the changes of using residual curvature installed piles for deep water mooring was introduced.  I found it quite interesting and meaningful. During lunch, the speech on environmental-friendly supplement for energy, given by Dr. Bas Buchner - president of MARIN, was unforgettable.  The idea of multi-body design and wind power is, to some extent, the realization of the future technology as well as the sustainable development, closely combined with the title of “Blue Oceans.”


As a poster presenter, I was lucky to meet with a variety of professionals from the industry. They kindly provided some advice on the work I have done and inspired some new ideas on the next steps of my work.


Students should take opportunities to keep contact with current industry to fulfill ourselves.

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Hanqi Yu, presenting her poster

Hallie Collopy’s Notes, Observations and Perspective

This was my first conference and I am very glad I went. First of all, it was an eye-opening experience to learn about the different companies and new technologies.  During the student poster session, I met with students from the University of Michigan, Texas A&M, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at Austin to discuss their fascinating ongoing research. I was grateful to share a research project both through poster and through a full technical paper/presentation. The symposium had a very friendly setting where people could ask questions, offer advice, and comment on interesting aspects.  This level of feedback would be impossible without attending.


As an undergraduate student, I have had little exposure to the offshore industry. I learned about companies like Wood PLC, who presented an interesting study on new materials for deep water dis-connectable moorings. I met with individuals from ABB and learned that they design not only propulsors but help customers with the entire propulsion design concept from prime movers to propellers. I also met with MARIN, which does novel extensive model testing and numerical modeling for the offshore industry. The key note speaker, the president of Marin gave a riveting speech on advances of renewable energy including wind turbines and floating solar panels that I found inspirational.


It was great to meet a variety of working professionals and learn about the industry through the presentations. I was exposed to challenges faced by offshore companies. During the morning panel session, the current standards for mooring lines were discussed. One challenge is new mooring line materials can be implemented instantly but may take a couple of years to be adopted into rules from the class societies.


I think students should try to stay current with new technologies to align to the needs of the industry. As soon as I returned to New Orleans, I encouraged classmates to attend next year’s conference. I look forward to attending future conferences held by SNAME!

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Hallie Collopy, presenting her poster

Mariah Vinson’s Notes, Observations and Perspective

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN in December of 2017.  I am currently attending the University of New Orleans for a graduate degree in NAME. Although graduate school brings about an even greater and more time-consuming work load, the seeds sown from my undergraduate professors in the value of attending engineering symposiums has left a solid mark on my educational career.  I recall they would tell us about how informative, insightful, and fun they can be.


I am so grateful to have attended the 2019 SNAME Offshore Symposium in Houston. It was my first SNAME conference to ever attend! First, I chose to attend the symposium because I wanted to support my friends Hallie and Hanqi. I am very proud of them and just happy to be there for them. Also, I wanted to familiarize myself better with the offshore industry and the kinds of projects being done in this field. There were so many different topics of discussion that I had never heard of, but just to sit and listen provided me with a greater depth of understanding quite different from classroom lectures. I cherish these moments because it opens up a new way of learning and thinking for me as a student.


I am thankful to have been introduced to Dr. Jose Vazquez by my professor Dr. Vincent Xiaochuan Yu. My classmates and I were blessed with getting to talk with him and ask questions. He was very informative about the work he does as a professional, on an academic level and within the industry. It broadened my horizon just to learn about how vast this field of study is and where it can take you.


I also enjoyed learning about the company MARIN.  The topic by the keynote speaker and President of Marin was very interesting and it peaked my interest about planning for future maritime challenges.  Furthermore, it was great to meet Mr. Arjan Voogt who works for Marin as well. It was a pleasure to talk with him and receive his guidance about the different offshore companies and what they specialize in.


Overall, attending the symposium was truly wonderful.  I hope to attend it again next year and this time with more of my classmates. Sure, I’m still catching up on assignments since the day I attended the symposium; but missing a few classes to learn about the industry was worth it!

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Mariah Vinson

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