Tag: training

The year is not quite over, but, since I wrote a 2012 top 10 Maritime Things blog, I now feel somewhat driven to think about a 2013 top 10. Like last year, the subjects I am picking may not be entirely 2013 subjects, but they certainly came to the fore to me in this year.

 

So here it goes in no particular order of preference:

 

1.      MARITIME STEM

 

STEM education, which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math education is the really big thing in education in the United States in 2013. Incredible amounts of money are spent to figure out ways to teach STEM more effectively. Meanwhile some schools and educators are shrugging their shoulders about STEM because they already know how to do it and are not struggling at all. Those schools are the maritime high schools and maritime academies. Those schools have developed seamless programs that integrate STEM in the normal course of the day simply by placing the students in a maritime setting. Since maritime education is deeply cultural it actually has already driven past the STEM concept and more accurately operates in the STEMPHLA arena where Science Technology Engineering and Math are tightly integrated with Philosophy, History, Language and Arts education. read more »

Engineering is an unusual profession. While it is often thought to be related to math and science and thought to be exact, it actually is a very complex blend of perspiration, inspiration, communication, confusion, calculation and evaluation and the math and science is only a tiny part of a much larger whole.

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We all like to kid about acronym soup, and it is pretty difficult to keep up with all the new ones. I remember that as a young engineer I was always hesitant to ask in public, because I was afraid that asking the question would prove my ignorance.

 

Somewhere in my career I crossed that bar and now when somebody uses an acronym that I don't know (well, at my age, it generally is an acronym I can't remember), I no longer worry about admitting my ignorance and simply ask what it means. Occasionally I even emerge victoriously without trying when the acronym dropper cannot tell me what it means. 

 

Martin & Ottaway has been deeply involved in a specific acronym progression that has roiled the maritime industry for a while now. It began in the 1990's with QMS, it begat TQM, then it begat ISM, which begat SMS, which begat STCW, which begat ISPS, which begat ECP and dozens of derivative acronym offshoots. And to deal with all of it, the industry developed the corporate HQSE department and Martin & Ottaway functions as an HQSE consultant. HQSE stands for Health, Quality, Safety and Environmental. At first glance, this acronym is reasonably inclusive of the systems that a well run shipping company needs to have in place to satisfy the demands that are not directly related to the company's income producing model. We like to call them "for the public" systems, because they allow a company to function as a responsible world citizen (and more importantly, based on our experience, they actually add to the corporate bottom line). 

 

But the acronym is not complete and misses a number of important concepts.

 

I was struggling with this when writing a paper about recent HQSE system issues that I will be presenting at the SNAME annual meeting on October 26. That paper shows that training systems need to be an integral component of HQSE systems. This led me to wonder about how to introduce the "T" for training into HQSE.

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On a recent trip to Sicily to deal with construction issues on a number of high speed catamarans, I saw this forklift parked in a director's reserved parking spot.

 

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