Mechanical Engineering Co-Op

I worked in the Ship Control section of Electric Boat, specifically with the Trainers Group. Trainers are simulated control rooms where pilots can practice driving a submarine. A trainer is typically modeled to look like the control room of a specific class of submarine, and is designed to pitch and roll as far as 45 degrees in a direction to mimic the experience of being in a submarine. (This article contains a video showing a trainer in action!)


I was in charge of one major project while at Electric Boat (with intermittent side projects). Since updating most trainers from hydraulic systems to electro-mechanical systems, there were a lot of unnecessary mounting holes remaining in the gimbal walkways outside the trainer rooms. These holes became dangerous trip hazards, and needed to be addressed. I was tasked with designing a metal box that could cover one of these holes, providing an extra step in the process for getting into the trainer.


I used AutoCAD for the entire design process, as that is the main modeling program our office used. 

Most of my work at Electric Boat involved the use of AutoCAD to design and update drawings. I communicated with the machine shop to determine how the drawing should be formatted and what manufacturing restrictions there would be.


Once fabricated, I was able to fly to Virginia to install the first cover on a trainer at the Naval Station in Norfolk. This was a successful test to confirm that it could practically be installed, and plans were made to manufacture and install more covers on other trainers after I left Electric Boat.

Other Work:

Between working on this main project, the other tasks I would generally work on were smaller and shorter term. I updated drawing packages for trainer improvements, mostly involving replacing analog controls with a interactive touch screens. I also double checked wire drawings and made edits to them as needed.

Skills Learned:

  • Refined skills with AutoCAD

  • Improved metalwork skills focused on drilling, tapping, and fastening

  • Learned how to read, edit, and dimension wire diagrams and Auto CAD drawings


©2018 by David Siegel