Here is an inside snapshot of how the composites materials world is growing at my alma mater, Winona State University. Located in Winona, Minnesota, this university has the only accredited four-year undergraduate program for composite materials engineering in the US. Through this program, students learn the fundamentals of engineering while investigating different materials. This program challenges students both academically and creatively. Students are encouraged to ask questions and strive for a deeper understanding of why things are done the way they are done. From this, they can explore how things can be improved.
The employee-owners of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are proud to congratulate the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Class of 2016. Comprehensive Graduates (1st year)—Justin Bensley, James Biernesser, Daniel Cinal, Lauren Gaunt, Robert Hankenhoff, Sam Hoffrichter, Wayne Marmon, James Nelson, Mark Pugh, and Ariana Strazdins. Career Program Graduates (2nd year)—Mark Bilhorn, Caleb Gulder, Sean Libby, and Danton Thon.
Cover Photo: First place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.
For the past two years, the Drafting/Pre-Engineering class I teach at Tuscola Technology Center in Caro, Michigan has been invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Summit Racing. Students build a custom pedal car that is displayed and judged at the AutoRAMA show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Summit Racing either supplies participating schools with one of their stock pedal cars which can be modified and customized, or students may build their entry from scratch. We constructed our entry from scratch both years. Our first car was inspired by the Delehaye roadster and built of aluminum in an Art Deco style. Continue reading →
As summer approaches, keeping students interested in learning while wrapping up the school year can be a challenging task. I teach mechanical engineering at Hartland high school in Hartland, Michigan. My students learn the principals of technical design while guiding through a fun, hands-on, year-end design project. Continue reading →
In this issue, I begin a two-part series that will feature a custom boat project being built by Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City, Michigan. We featured a Van Dam-built boat in Epoxyworks 14, the beautiful and unique Alpha Z. We want to give our readers a glimpse into what is currently happening at this world-class boat shop. Continue reading →
I traveled to the U.P. (that’s what we Michiganders call the Upper Peninsula) on June 7th to attend the graduation ceremony and participate in the yearly on site PAC (Project Advisory Committee) meeting which I currently sit on. I arrived on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70s, a stark contrast from my last trip to the school in mid-April when I awoke to 4” of new snow and 3°F! For those of you who live in the southwest where the temperature has been hot for some time, by contrast, the great lakes finally became 100% ice free the beginning of June. Continue reading →
On November 27, 2006, ground was broken on a perfect waterfront site overlooking the Les Cheneaux islands in Cedarville, Michigan in a ceremony that marked the end of a two-year fundraising effort and the beginning of The Great Lakes Boatbuilding School.
The Les Cheneaux islands are a group of 36 small islands, some inhabited during the summer months, along a 12-mile stretch of the southeastern shoreline on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan about 30 miles northeast of the Straits of Mackinac. Les Cheneaux is French for “the Channels” which describe the extensive system of Continue reading →
After attending the 2012 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, I visited the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock, Washington. School instructor Bruce Blatchley was excited to show off their one-of-a-kind boat project, Sliver. The 62-foot double-ended daysailer was designed by well-known yacht designer Robert Perry and commissioned by Kim Bottles of Bainbridge Island, Washington. The Northwest School students of the 2011 and 2012 contemporary boatbuilding classes worked on the project. For a school that teaches traditional wooden boat building, learning to build a hybrid of wood/composite construction using epoxy was a unique challenge. Continue reading →