Where to go from The Landing School

Discussion in 'Education' started by solbergg, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. solbergg
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: Maine, US

    solbergg New Member

    Hello all,

    This is my first post on the boatdesign.net boards. There appears to be quite a wealth of knowledge collectively offered by the patrons of it.

    I am currently enrolled in The Landing School yacht design program. I am loving the course and am learning quite a bit, but I am concerned about what my next step into the marine industry will be. I would prefer to get a job upon graduation, but realize that it is very unlikely, since I have limited nautical and engineering experience.

    If unable to earn a design position, my basic options are to attend more schooling to achieve a Naval Architecture degree, or to do an alternate marine-related job.

    Does anyone have any ideas about possible compliments to a Landing School education? I have a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, but am young enough (23) to be able to work for a BS (although perhaps a bit poor). I looked into the Coast Guard and Naval academies, but I am apparently too old for them.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Coast Guard

    If you are interested, you might be eligible for Coast Guard Officers Candidate School.

    This is a 17 week program for people who already have degrees:


    After you make LT, they send officers to graduate school (at their expense, with pay).

    You can also try for an MS at UMICH, UCB, etc. This will take longer than if you already had a BS in engineering, but is common.

    Note though that the job market in rec boat design is practically nil, regardless of your education. There just aren't enough boats being designed. It's a very small market.
  3. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Well, having been on the Design Program Advisory Board at the Landing School for many years (retired earlier this year) I know that the Landing School has a placement program for all school graduates. Be sure you ask your instructor Steve Dalzell about it. You will be looking for jobs come spring, and the Landing School has a record of placing 95% of their students in meaningful, industry-related work. You can also use the Landing School's alumni-only website for job opportunities long after you graduate. So if you want to change jobs later, you have special access to the school leads by virtue of being a graduate.

    You will also be doing work study for two weeks in the spring, usually in April, and you will be going on field trips to boatbuilders and repairers around the New England region. You will be listening to guest speakers just about every week. In all, you will have plenty of opportunity to make contacts and see what the business of boat design and building is like. I was a guest speaker for as long as I was on the advisory board, about 7 years. I retired because I just moved to St. Augustine, FL, from Newport, RI, so continuing to be of service was going to get physically harder, so I recommended some fresh blood take my place.

    Please give my best regards to Steve Dalzell. I was on the search committee that recommended that he be hired, and I know we made an excellent choice. We stay in touch regularly.

    Good luck!

  4. Stephen Ditmore
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Smithtown, New York, USA

    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    I think The Landing School is about as good as a one year program can be, but if you can get additional schooling before having children I highly recommend it. The program at St. John's in Canada, associated with IMD, is worth a look. So is Naval Architecture at University of Michigan and Virginia Tech's Aeronautics and Ocean Engineering program. Webb Institute has an age restriction, but is free if you can get in, like the academies. Steve Dalzell can fill you in on Southampton if you ask him. UC Berkley (master's program), MIT, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Tech, New Orleans University, & several Canadian & British schools in addition to the ones I've mentioned offer naval architecture in one form or another. Paul Beiker, dominant International 14 designer and FEA guy for Oracle's AC design team, went to Berkley after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design.

    Steven's Institute has a Transportation Management master's program that your economics degree would help qualify you for, and I'm sure you could study at the Davidson Hydrodynamics Lab on the side. Classes in project management (business school) would be a good way to integrate Economics & Engineering. Dowling College on Long Island also has Transportation Management in connection with their flight school. Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design or Pratt is an option if you're more artistic than mathematical, and one of the Texas schools, I think its SMU, is top notch in Nautical Archiology if you're a history buff. See http://dir.yahoo.com/Science/Engineering/Marine_Engineering/Institutes/ for more.

    Composites Engineering is another interesting area. Stanford has both a top name in composites, Steven Tsai, and its famous Product Development Lab (Industrial Design).

    In another category, theoretical hydrodynamics, there's Leo in Australia: www.maths.adelaide.edu.au/Applied/llazausk/leo.htm

    Is there any language you'd be comfortable studying in other than English? See http://boatdesign.net/forums/showthread.php?postid=12246#post12246

    If you get anything resembling an engineering degree be sure to take the EIT exam immediately upon graduation. That's the first step toward becoming a PE.

    Best Wishes,
    Landing School class of '91

  5. solbergg
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: Maine, US

    solbergg New Member

    Thank you Stephen, Eric, and Guest,

    I have found your suggestions very helpful and informative. I am currently looking into many of the options that have been offered.

    My plan still remains to gain employment with a design firm post-graduation, but I feel much more secure to have a backup plan if there are no openings. Also, I may decide to further my education after working for a few years in the industry, so having a full grasp of my options is very desirable.

    Doug Dickey, the Landing School's director, likes to say that the marine industry is a mile wide and a millimeter deep. I think that is truly the case, and I am sure I will find a satisfactory place within it.

    Thank you all for your help. Eric, I will be sure to send your greetings to Steve,

    Garrick Solberg
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