I am happy to report that the Quarterdeck Society has recently finished up another wonderful year filled with professional opportunities and community events, including various trips, social events, and company visits. In addition, over the last few months, the board has worked to not only strengthen our own community but give back to the greater university and Ann Arbor communities through various volunteering events. 

However, none of this would have been possible without our incredible alumni network. As such, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your continued generosity and support that has allowed us to provide these invaluable experiences for our students.


To kick off the year, we sent over 40 students to the 2022 SNAME Maritime Convention in Houston, Texas. During the conference, the students had the opportunity to attend a variety of technical presentations, a career fair, and an industry round table event where students spoke with industry professionals who provided meaningful insight into life in the maritime world. The conference also hosted a student design competition where students were assigned to teams of 4-6 and tasked with designing the fastest and sturdiest vessel given limited materials such as duct tape and a singular Ziploc bag. I’m pleased to inform you that the winning team consisted mostly of Michigan undergrads. Thanks to the hard work of our incredible program chairs, the students also had the opportunity to visit the Exmar offices in Houston to learn more about the company and possible internship or job opportunities.

For our next trip, we swapped our shorts and caps for boots and hardhats when we sent a cohort of about 30 students on a day trip to Interlake Steamship in Detroit to tour one of their vessels. On this Friday morning in mid-February, our students boarded the Herbert C. Jackson, a cargo ship built in 1959 as a Great Lakes cargo ship. Our tour started off in one of the cabins on board with a brief presentation on Interlake Steamship and the work they do.  We then continued through the ship where we saw the cargo holds, typical living quarters, and the engine room where students identified components and systems that they had discussed in classes. The chance to tour a ship was an incredibly important experience as it allowed us to connect what we learn in our classes to what we’ll see in industry.

Just a couple of weeks later, a group of undergraduates were able to escape the Michigan winter for a few days and attend the Miami Boat Show. Aside from the obvious perks of warm weather and a break from class, students found this to be a very rewarding experience where they were able to learn more about small craft design and make connections with many of the major companies in that sector. Additionally, students were able to participate in sea trials, talk their way onto yacht tours, and a few of our students even got to test out a new type of airfoil surfboard for one of the companies they encountered in the convention center. While in Miami, some of the students were able to tour the facilities of a major yacht design company based in Florida which they all agreed was 100% worth getting up early to attend.

February proved to be a very busy time for trips as less than a week later, we sent a group of 16 students to the 2023 Great Lakes Great Rivers Section meeting in Cleveland, OH. While at this conference some of the students began building great connections with some of the members of industry, the board learned of a possible new service opportunity, and a group of seniors presented and got professional feedback on their project for the NA475 class. 

Quarterdeck Events

Though being a part of a small department and industry has many benefits, it also means that the opportunities, jobs, and internships advertised by other organizations on campus are often not of interest to our students. As such, Quarterdeck makes a point of bringing companies in the marine industry to present to our students. Thanks to the hard work of our program chairs, we have heard from a number of companies over the last year including ABS, Glosten, General Dynamics Electric Boat, PacMar Technologies, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Art Anderson, General Dynamics NASSCO, Fincantieri, Shell, Curtiss Wright, GustoMSC, Interlake Steamship, Puget Sound, TMMG, Netsco, Martin and Ottaway, Chevron, HII Ingalls Shipbuilding, and an offshore wind panel with Crowley Wind Services, Shell Technologies, GustoMSC, and Avangrid Renewables.

If you are able to make donations or contributions at the Quarterdeck Contributions Website, they would be greatly appreciated. Any amount goes a long way in helping the students of our community in getting back to a sense of normalcy and maintaining the new traditions we have developed. I would like to thank you for your love and support. Quarterdeck wouldn’t be what it is without you! 

Adina Farca

Commodore – Quarterdeck Society