Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Internship 101

Good morning,
How was your Monday? I felt like the weekend FLEW by! Hopefully that trend carries on through the week until next weekend too :D

First things first, thank you to Jake for the shout out on his Tech blog. I've been reading his blog lately, and it's a great read. Chock full of updates about Tech and local happenings, so if you need some ideas on what to do in Butte, Jake is your man! Also it doesn't hurt that it's all delivered with witty comments and sound advice. Check it out if you haven't already.

As promised, I'll be sharing some "getting to know me" stuff over the next few posts. I'm sure we'll be great friends in no time :) This morning I decided to post on:

~~Where I Work~~

(Disclaimer: I am not allowed to discuss allot about the what I actually DO at work, how the aircraft carriers work, what carriers are currently at PSNS, and more that I "can't mention" ;) This is because of national security, and the safety of our Navy's seamen and women. So sometimes I will have to be a little tedious and vague when I talk about work. Also I can't take pictures on base, but try to hang in there with me! )

What: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility- PSNS & IMF
  • I'll be referring to this mystical place of employment as "PSNS," because I cannot get out that whole name in one breath, nor would I want to try. I am guessing that PSNS's leader company: Navsea, was more concerned about their mission "To develop, deliver and maintain ships and systems on time, on cost for the United States Navy" than coming up with a catchy name. Considering the importance of say- Pearl Harbor, the Navy's island hopping campaigns during WWII, and and how fundamental the Navy was to the success of the Desert Storm air offensive- we'll cut them some slack, si?
Where: Naval Base Kitsap. I work at one of several locations Navsea has. Here's an excerpt from the NAVSEA website:
  • "PSNS provides the Navy with quality, timely and cost efficient maintenance, modernization, and technical and logistics support. PSNS & IMF has sites in Bremerton, Bangor, Everett, San Diego, Boston, Japan and wherever its workers go to fix ships. The Bremerton site is comprised of property bordered on the south by Sinclair Inlet, on the west by Naval Base Kitsap Homeport, and on the north and east perimeters by the City of Bremerton. The Bremerton site (where I work) is the Pacific Northwest's largest Naval shore facility and one of Washington State's largest industrial installations."

History: Hang in there, home stretch! ... I took two weeks of training to learn what I'm trying to tell you in one post, Oy vey. During training they lured us in with scenes from "Top Gun"- The movie's aircraft carrier sequences were filmed aboard the USS Enterprise.

-Cheesy 'Danger Zone' and 'Take My Breath Away' tunes should be playing in your head all day now :p

Then then laid this stuff on us (and more than you'd ever want to know):
  • PSNS was established in 1891. During World War I, the Navy Yard constructed ships, including 25 sub chasers, seven submarines, two minesweepers, and 1,700 small boats. During World War II, the Shipyard’s primary effort was the repair of battle damage to U.S. and Allied ships. After WWII, PSNS started modernizing carriers, including converting conventional flight decks to angle decks. During the Korean conflict, the Shipyard was engaged in the activation of ships.
  • In the late 1950's the Shipyard entered an era of new construction with the building of a new class of guided missile frigates. USS SCULPIN was the first submarine to use  sustainable power that was worked on at PSNS in 1965. In 1990 the U.S. Navy authorized a program to ships like this at PSNS. Besides maintenance and repairs, PSNS also serves as home port for several carriers and subs.
What do I do? Basically: PSNS up keeps the Navy's aircraft carriers and subs. I work as an engineer to fix any problems with the carrier's steam-plant system.

As a special research project this summer I'll be designing, setting up, and running a test to use a thermal imaging camera to find steam leaks in pipes under thick insulation (steam pipes get about 400 degrees F- too HOT to be touchin' :o !! ) I'm really stoked I get to apply engineering concepts and principles on a project. My research isn't like in chemistry lab- where you're just re-doing what a gazillion kids before you have done, I'm actually be learning! :)
  • How it all works: heat water -> boil and makes steam -> steam turns turbines -> generates power -> ship has electricity, and is propelled through the water.

So that's all, thanks for sticking with me through all this info. I'm off to lunch with a friend, have a great day guys!

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