SNAME: Investing in the Future

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) has made a concerted effort to attract and cultivate a new generation to sustain not only itself but the industry. Excerpted here are comments from Philip Kimball, Executive Director, regarding the organization 's "Outreach " program.

Some time ago, I introduced the concept of Outreach in a previous View from the Helm column. I pointed to statistics, which illustrated the need to develop and encourage younger members to join the Society, and just as importantly, the profession itself. More than half of SNAME's membership is over the age of 50, with fewer and fewer young engineers and students joining the Society or maintaining membership after graduation.

Recognizing the fact that the future of our field and the Society rests on the involvement of young people, SNAME has sought many different avenues of "outreach" to generate awareness and interest in the maritime field in general, and Naval Architecture, Marine and Ocean Engineering, specifically. In addition to the ongoing projects I have already shared and will continue to share with you, SNAME sought, and achieved, funding from the Federal Government to create an Outreach Program. The ONR has agreed to fund a national effort to attract young people to the marine industry, and SNAME will be involved in one of the sub-projects, which will involve reaching out to students at the high school level. The University of Michigan will oversee the three-year project and SNAME, in conjunction with ASNE, has taken on a key role in this program. SNAME, together with ASNE, will be reconfiguring the Call of the Sea video onto a DVD, which can be shown to high school students to educate them about the field. In addition, posters, brochures, and personal contacts with the guidance counselors will be utilized to tell the story of the marine industry, and create awareness of the marine industry, and potential careers within it. This three-year project will enlist the membership of SNAME and ASNE as volunteers to visit roughly 10,000 high schools across the country, and will be a long-term effort to introduce high school level students to the broad based marine industry, ocean engineering, offshore oil and ships, both naval and commercial, from creative design to construction to operations. I will be updating you on the progress of the CD-Rom and collateral as we begin to move forward, following this year's WMTC. Your support will be crucial as we seek volunteers to visit your local high schools, talk with the guidance counselors, and offer to attend career fairs and guidance days to "outreach" to your local community. The ultimate success of this program rests on you, the membership, and your willingness to reach out to your communities and tell the story of the marine profession. Find Out More at SNAME's Annual Meeting What: 2004 SNAME Maritime Technology Conference & Expo When: September 29 - October 2 Where: Washington, DC Info: www.sname.org/AM2004/index.shtml Booth Sales: Rob Howard tel: 561-7324368

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