SAWE Blog

SAWE Survey results

SAWE Blog - Sun, 2018-08-12 23:13

Dear Mass Properties Engineering Industry participants,

The SAWE recently conducted an industry survey with the ultimate objective of stimulating increased collaboration between Academia, SAWE Company Members and Corporate Partners, society members, and the SAWE Executive Board toward a common objective of addressing the current risks and opportunities.

A link to the summarized results will be sent to you via email.

Please use this forum to discuss the results and the direction of our society.

Paper 3699 “The Health of Mass Properties Engineering in Aerospace, Marine, Offshore, Land Vehicles, and Allied Industries – Results of a 2018 Industry Survey” with the detailed results can be downloaded from the SAWE document ordering and downloading database at https://www.sawe.org/papers/3699.

Please take the initiative to proactively participate in our Society of Allied Weight Engineers resulting in the betterment of our World through open collaboration.

Sincerely,

Clint Stephenson
SAWE Executive Vice President
executivevp@sawe.org
8326475599

Categories: SAWE Blog

Training Available at Regional Conference in September

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2018-08-07 05:59

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the SAWE is pleased to offer some exciting opportunities for training at this fall’s Regional Conference in Norfolk, Virginia!

Three classes will be offered on Saturday, September 15:

Developing Basic Parametric Methods:  In this full day class, Andy Walker describes how to parametrically and statistically estimate the weight of a complex vehicle, allowing for an estimate when little is known about the vehicle, particularly useful early in the design process.

Introduction for Marine Weight Engineering for Non-Naval Architects: In this brand new, half day course taught by former NAVSEA Technical Warrant Holder Dominic Cimino, participants will obtain a basic understanding of the weight engineering process relative to marine vehicles and consider the effects of buoyancy, wind, and sea conditions.  The course will also include a discussion of some basic naval architecture principles and an overview of how mass properties in the marine industry are different from those in the allied industries.

Marine System Weight Estimate Methods based on SAWE Recommended Practice 14:  This half day class, delivered by Andy Schuster, builds nicely on Cimino’s introductory course.  It covers the fundamental and practical methods of estimating the weight for marine systems, includes practical examples, and an exercise where students will develop a weight estimate for a 200 ft ship.  A complimentary copy of SAWE RP 14 for review is provided to all who register for the course.

Space is limited, so sign up today at https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx?EventID=2524062.  For additional information about the Hampton Roads Regional Conference, check out the website athttps://www.sawe.org/hamptonroads/2018regional/

Categories: SAWE Blog

Remembering SAWE Fellow Al Tilley

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2018-07-25 11:27

From Al Tilley’s daughter Lynn: 

 I afraid I have sad news to share with you.  Dad passed away in the early hours of July 13th.  His heart and replaced valve began to fail and he was not a candidate for invasive measures given his overall condition.  

 His obituary can be found here: http://www.funeralcremation.com/obituary/albert-tilley, the service has already been held.

————————————

This message was sent to Glen Matthews and forwarded to me by Kevin Tharp

Al Tilley was an SAWE Fellow associated with the San Francisco Chapter.  I will attempt to find someone to write an article for the Fall Journal.

Ron Fox

Executive Director

Categories: SAWE Blog

2018 Hampton Roads Coastal Virginia Regional Conference – Registration is Open

SAWE Blog - Mon, 2018-07-23 15:29

Dear SAWE Members,

As the President of the Hampton Roads Chapter, it is my pleasure to announce that our 2018 Hampton Roads Coastal Virginia Regional Conference and Planning Meeting on Mass Properties Engineering is officially open for registration through the SAWE website hereThe deadline for registering is September 6th, to ensure that we plan accordingly with the hotel for all those in attendance.

The conference is being held Thursday, Sept. 13th – Saturday, Sept. 15th at the Hilton Norfolk, “The Main”, in downtown Norfolk, VA.  The reduced rate for the hotel is guaranteed through August 22nd and reservations can be made either through a link provided at the end of your registration or via the conference website here.  I encourage you to visit the conference website to learn about the latest information for the conference.  “The Main” is downtown Norfolk’s newest and most modern hotel and we look forward to you all taking advantage of all that it has to offer and for enjoying all the local attractions that Norfolk and the surrounding area has to offer outside of the conference.

We have scheduled three training opportunities for the conference to include a class on Developing Basic Parametric Methods, which pertains to all of our industries, a new class titled Introduction to Marine Weight Engineering for Non-Naval Architects, and finally, Marine Systems Weight Estimating Methods based on SAWE RP-14.  Registration for training is available through the registration process.

We are actively seeking Authors and Presenters to continue to fill up our technical session and are working to secure a speaker for the technical lunch on Friday, Sept. 14th through the local Mariner’s Museum, dubbed America’s Maritime Museum by Congress, on the subject of the America’s Cup AC50 Wing Sail Racing Yachts.  The museum has an exhibit on display and we believe the topic speaks to all of our industries on the importance of mass properties in vehicle design.

We are also actively seeking Exhibitors and Sponsors for the event through the conference website to provide support for the conference and to showcase your products and services to others in the mass properties engineering industry.  Registration as a sponsor and/or exhibitor is available through the registration process.

As always, these conferences are a great opportunity to continue our involvement with the SAWE, stay connected on mass properties engineering related topics, exhibit our products and services, provide support through sponsorship, attend training, and visit a new location to take advantage of all the area has to offer.

I sincerely hope to see you all there and the Hampton Roads Chapter Host Committee is standing by to support you however we can as we invite you to our Regional Conference!

David S. Cash – Hampton Roads Chapter President

Categories: SAWE Blog

Success in Weight Control

SAWE Blog - Fri, 2018-06-29 12:51

In 1986 I was seemingly drifting from project to project on a short-term basis when I was asked to report to a program known only as Program B.  I arrived at the locked door on the fifth floor of a building we jokingly referred to as “The Six Story Building”.  After knocking on the door, I was greeted by a secretary who looked at my badge, checked my name against a list, and let me in.  I was shown a desk, where I dropped my briefcase, and then followed the secretary to what proved to be the program manager’s office.

Inside, there were a small group of people standing around.  The secretary left and came back a few minutes later with another person.  This continued for about 15 minutes, then a slight, balding man arrived and shut the door.  He introduced himself as the program manager, whom I will call Doctor E.  Doctor E went around the room asking each of us to state our names and areas of expertise.  Then he explained what we were doing.

The government was looking to launch a satellite that would use an infrared device, cooled by a Dewar jar filled with liquid methane.  We were to design this satellite, incorporating the various instruments and this quite large and heavy Dewar.  And then we were hit with the kicker – the launch vehicle was already designated, and it did not have a large payload capacity.  And the deployment stage would spin for stabilization.

I went back to my desk and began listing what this satellite would need – structure, electronics, tubing, cabling, power, etc., and going over the specs we had been given for the instrumentation and the Dewar.  Then I conceptually created a satellite and came up with a weight estimate that I took to the structures lead.  He called in the thermodynamics engineer to look at what I had come up with just as the power engineer arrived with his concept of how to power the satellite.  The power engineer envisioned a satellite surrounded by solar panels, and I still recall the thermal engineer’s initial reaction, namely “Don’t put me in a box!”  The four of us sat there in structure lead’s office and hashed out a top-level packaging scheme and I ran a quick calculation to see what that would weigh.  Just then Doctor E came in and looked at my figures with dismay.  He shooed us out and closed the door to the structures lead’s office.

The next morning the structures lead came to me and said he ran his own calculations overnight and agreed with what I’d come up with.  We marched into Doctor E’s office and presented a united front.  His reaction was “OK, but we have to keep the weight down to allow for specification creep.”  The three of us looked at each other and the structures lead had this look on his face that said “Duh!”

The next few weeks were hectic, 7 days/week for 10-11 hours a day as we breezed through refining the design, looking to minimize cabling, tubing, and electronics while I also spent a lot of time with component placement to keep the spin axis aligned with the deployment stage’s spin axis.  As time went on, my constantly updated mass properties database converged with my “back of the envelope” calculation to within a few pounds.  This was done by constantly questioning every part and any change the various groups decided belonged on the spacecraft.  With a cohesive group of dedicated engineers who shared a common purpose in winning this proposal, keeping the weight under control was relatively easy.  Finally, as the deadline for delivering the proposal neared, the company held a “Black Hat Review” of our proposal, meant to uncover weaknesses in our design and proposed methodologies.  This was held over a Saturday and Sunday, meaning most of the team finally got some time off while the upper management met with the “Black Hats” and walked through the proposal’s many pages.

Monday morning, as we came in, we heard that there would be an all hands meeting in the conference room.  A few minutes before the appointed time we filed in and were surprised to see the company President sitting up front next to the program manager.  Also present were other senior level executives.  Doctor E started speaking, telling us that the Black Hats, who were sitting in front of us, had never seen a stronger proposal.  There were a couple of nits, but these were truly insignificant items that were easily fixable.  We all started to smile, then the company President rose from his chair and walked to the podium.  He told us that the value of this particular project was small, and in a few months’ time the same government customer would be evaluating another proposal the company was working on.  The Program A proposal was worth more than ten times as much as Program B.  It was the consensus of the Black Hats that we would win the Program B proposal, at which point the government could (he said “possibly would”) award the other proposal to a different company, as we would already have won one.  Therefore, the Black Hats had decided to tell this customer that our company was a “No Bid” on Program B and this winning proposal team was hereby transferred to the Program A proposal.  You could see the disbelief on everyone’s face as we filed out of the room to pack up our belongings and head to the facility where Program A was already underway.

Arriving at the other facility, I went in and found my new supervisor.  I knew that there was already a mass properties engineer assigned to this proposal, which had been in conceptual design and pre-proposal activities for over a year.  I was told that the other engineer would temporarily report to me while the company found a place for him – in other words there was only budget for one mass properties engineer and I was to be it.  I didn’t like the feeling that I was taking someone else’s job away, but I went and found the outgoing engineer who had already heard what was happening.  He turned over his files to me, went through a quick overview of Program A, and left.

I went to my new desk, started going through the reams of paper and the mass properties database, and was shocked at what I found.  The program was seriously overweight.  There was a hard requirement for launch capability and the mass properties database showed our design was over by hundreds of pounds, fully 50% over the launch capability.  Obviously, we weren’t meeting requirements, with the trade-off being a severe shortage in range.  My first stop was with the flight design group to verify range versus payload and compare that to what the database said we were carrying.  Next, I went to my new supervisor and told him what I had found and questioned why he hadn’t told me about this when I had first met him.  Amazingly, he was unaware how severe the situation was, although he knew we were overweight.  I went to Doctor E, who was now the deputy program manager on Program A and explained what I’d found.  He said two words, “Fix it!”

Going back to my supervisor, I asked for a copy of the technical proposal.  He said it wasn’t finished, and I said then get me what we have.  I started going through the proposal subsystem by subsystem, checking what was in the proposal against the mass properties database, and verified that the database was generally accurate.  Moreover, it looked like the known unknowns were accounted for.  That, at least was good news – we weren’t worse off than I thought we were.  Next, I went to each lead, subsystem by subsystem, and introduced myself, explained that we had a severe technical challenge, and that I wanted to verify that what I had in my proposal document was the current design.  There were a few differences, but overall everything checked out.  Then I went to the vehicle architect and spent several hours with him and the systems lead going over what I knew, and with Doctor E’s admonishment behind me, explained that we had to “Fix it!”  Shaving a few pounds here and there was not going to give us a viable technical proposal – this needed a rethinking of what we were trying to achieve.

With the words, “If we remove an item, we achieve a 100% weight reduction of that item,” I shocked the system architect into action.  Together we called a mandatory meeting of all subsystem leads, where I repeated what I’d said and then went on to say that unless we could prove we needed an item, it was off the vehicle.  There was, of course, consternation.  We went single-string on many subsystems.  Structural pieces were pulled, the size of the whole vehicle shrank as space was no longer required for this or that box.  Cabling mass came way down.  We shaved material from component boxes, structural members, skins, insulation, combined functions of multiple electronic boxes into one component – anything to get the weight down.

I was on that proposal for six weeks without taking a day off, although I admit I did work half days on Sundays (five hours versus 10 or 11).  We passed our Black Hat Review.  We turned the proposal in but did not win the contract.  The customer said we were in technical compliance but that other companies had better cost and management proposals.  BUT – we did not lose on technical grounds, which we surely would have if we had been 50% overweight.  I can count that as a “win”.  Losing a proposal is not unusual, it happens a lot, just as a company’s decision to “No Bid” a proposal is not unusual.  These are part of corporate life, and corporate life lives on despite these setbacks.

The lesson learned is that a mass properties engineer is much more than a clerk.  Yes, we have to keep track of the mass properties, but that is only part of the job.  Know what your requirements are.  Keep your management informed.  Interact with your subsystem compatriots.  Don’t let a small problem become a big problem.  Look at the overall picture and determine if what you are doing supports that vision.  And most importantly – you may be the “Weights Person”, however, keeping mass properties under control is everyone’s responsibility, so enlist others in the quest to maintaining a technically sustainable design.

Robert Zimmerman

Categories: SAWE Blog

Message from new Honorary Fellow

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2018-06-26 16:10

Our SAWE Constitution classifies different levels of membership (Honorary Fellow, Fellow and Benefactor) and assigns the responsibility of presenting nominations and coordinating other awards distributed by other SAWE Offices and committees to the SAWE Awards Committee.  It is one way that we as mass properties professionals and service providers recognize individuals who have materially contributed to the advancement of mass properties and our society. During the Awards Banquet at the International Conference, the Awards Committee Chair presented this year’s award recipients.  One of the recipients was Robert Hundl from Fluor, who was unable to attend the conference due to conflicts. Following the conference, Robert sent the SAWE President, Executive Vice President, and Executive Director an email thanking SAWE for bestowing the title of Honorary Fellow. But his message said more, which I (Bill Boze) as President found inspiring.  So with Robert’s permission, I share his message with all of you in the hopes it will inspire you as well, and relay Roberts’s appreciation to the society.

SAWE,

I would like to thank you for bestowing the Honorary Fellow title upon me.  As many of you know, I have been involved in SAWE for many years (since 1992).  I have had the pleasure to know many of the great SAWE Fellows and Honorary Fellows that have become before me.  Sadly some are no longer with us.  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Texas conference this year due to timing issues, but Clint met me before I flew back to England and presented the award to me.  Thanks Clint.

Some SAWE members may look upon achieving Fellow or Honorary Fellow as completing a goal – they check the box, and then disappear only rarely to be seen or heard.  However, many of the greats have continued to offer support and guidance to the society well past receiving any honor or award.  I hope to someday belong to this latter group.  I feel that with the honor, comes responsibility and duty to the organization, no less then when pursuing the honor. While no one can guarantee what the future may bring, we can step out the door and take the journey together to see where it takes us.

Once again, thank you very much for this honor.

My humble regards,

Robert Hundl

SAWE Honorary Fellow

 

Categories: SAWE Blog

Call to the SAWE Membership – Academic Committee Needs your Help!

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2018-06-26 08:20

The Academic Committee is gathering all available materials regarding Classes, Presentations and Papers for Students (college-level) and Ideas for Student Projects and Events. The intent is to build a SAWE library of resources pertaining to introductory mass properties and introduction to the SAWE.  It is also the SAWE President’s desire to leverage existing work towards developing a Mass Properties training certification program for academic and newly assigned mass properties engineers.

Initially, these currently available materials will be able to be used by any SAWE member for a SAWE Chapter or local university outreach meeting, or for inspiring ideas for Chapter or local school events. Some of the very interesting and diverse materials we have so far include:

  • Introduction to the SAWE – Whidy Kiskunas
  • SAWE University Outreach Presentation – Casey Regan
  • Why Mass Properties Engineers Matter – Robert Zimmerman
  • The Value of Mass Properties Engineering  Roger Belt
  • Weight & Mass Properties Engineering for Aircraft Design – Whidy Kiskunas & Rod Van Dyk; Based on material originated by Casey Regan
  • The Secret Life of the Center of Gravity  Robert Zimmerman & Kristen Terry
  • Mass Properties Engineering as a Systems Engineering Discipline – Robert Zimmerman
  • Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering; Course NAME 581: Introduction to Ship Design – Andy Schuster

These resources will be available in the SAWE Group Office folder.  If you or your SAWE Chapter have any material you would like to contribute to our library, please contact me (V.P. of Academic Affairs) at Donna.Gerren@Colorado.EDU.  Let’s hope we can provide a wealth of information useful to our membership for SAWE meetings and outreach activities. Thank you very much for your contributions!

Donna Gerren

Categories: SAWE Blog

SAWE Executive Director Job Opportunity

SAWE Blog - Thu, 2018-06-14 15:55

The Society of Allied Weight Engineers is encouraging our members to step forward and be considered for the appointment as our next Executive Director. Our current Executive Director, Ron Fox is in his fourteenth year in this capacity and has announced his intention to resign, effective at close of business following the Board of Directors meeting on May 18, 2019.

If you are interested in this opportunity or would like to learn more about what the job would entail, please go to https://www.sawe.org/jobs/sawe to learn more.  You will find a timeline of events, job criteria, and more.

Categories: SAWE Blog

Technical Input on In Service Weight Control

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2018-05-15 20:56

I thought I would start a thread on a topic of conversation, In Service Weight Control, from recent SAWE events. After a platform is put into operation, configuration changes take place throughout operation.  This must be kept track of for safe and successful operation.

What related experiences can you share?

I’ll start.  I perform Integrated Mass Properties analysis on the International Space Station (ISS).   I gather inputs from the International partners on Visiting Vehicles coming and going.  I gather inputs from our International partners on modules.  I gather inputs from our Configuration team as changes are made, for example moving Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) from their storage location on ISS to their new location to support continued operation.  I verify the inputs make sense and question everything that doesn’t.

When you put it all together, you have analysis of the ISS at any given point in time needed to operate the ISS as it orbits our Earth every 90 minutes.

Consider sharing your experiences here, at a local chapter meeting, in a presentation / paper, and/or at a conference.

I am hoping this will be a catalyst to increased technical discussion.

Thanks.

Clint.

Categories: SAWE Blog

SAWE 2018 Awards

SAWE Blog - Sun, 2018-05-13 00:50

Early every calendar year, the SAWE Awards Committee emails chapter Directors in search of nominations for the Richard Boynton Lifetime Achievement, Honorary Fellow, Fellow, and Ed Payne Outstanding Young Engineer awards. The awards recognize exceptional young engineers as well as those who have contributed to the advancement of the society. The Awards Committee announces the winners at the yearly Awards Banquet held at the end of the International Conference. The winners announced at the Irving, Texas conference that just concluded include : Robert W. Ridenour (Saint Louis) – Richard Boynton Lifetime Achievement award, Clint Bower (United Kingdom) – Honorary Fellow award, Robert Hundl (Houston) – Honorary Fellow award, Ian David Bennett (Canada) – Fellow award, Claudia Rosenberger (Central European) – Fellow award, Dan Rowley (Los Angeles) – Fellow award, Clint Stephenson (Houston) – Fellow award, Brian Huber (Texas) – Ed Payne Outstanding Young Engineer award, Lori Sandberg (Houston) – Ed Payne Outstanding Young Engineer award, and Simone Umbach (Central European) – Ed Payne Outstanding Young Engineer award. Congratulations!

Categories: SAWE Blog