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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2023

New mechanical engineering pathway benefits shipyards on Oʻahu, Guam

By Courtesy of University of Hawai'i News

Several University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa mechanical engineering students who are originally from Guam are thriving in a new collaborative program that will set them on a career pathway in the shipyard industry in Hawaiʻi and Guam.

Introduced a year ago, the partnership between UH Mānoa, University of Guam and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY) was created to address a mechanical engineering shortfall at maintenance facilities in Guam and Hawaiʻi. It provides a pathway for University of Guam students who successfully complete their first two years in engineering in Guam to transfer to UH Mānoa and enroll in the mechanical engineering program. Upon graduation, these students can be hired by PHNSY, and after 2–3 years of gaining shipyard knowledge/experience, either remain at PHNSY or transfer back home to the Guam maintenance facility.

Darryl Dela Cruz, a UH Mānoa junior from Guam, was the program’s first participant. He said he was excited to study mechanical engineering as the University of Guam does not offer a mechanical engineering program.

“The program has introduced me to a few of the representatives at the shipyard, and I’ve had great pleasure in meeting with them. I hope to be a part of their co-op and/or internship next year,” Dela Cruz said. “After graduation, I ultimately intend to go back home and be with my family. But before I can work in Guam, I would spend a few more years here working at the PHNSY and learning enough to be serviceable when I go back. In the end, I’d like to see myself in a stable position encouraging others who have an intrinsic curiosity for math and science to seek similar opportunities.”

Continuing partnership

The program is led by UH Mānoa College of Engineering Professor Marvin Young. He and Cliff Imamura, PHNSY engineering manager, recently conducted several informational meetings with University of Guam engineering students to highlight the collaboration opportunity. They also met with Guam LtGov. Josh Tenorio, University of Guam President Anita Borja Enriquez and Guam Community College President Mary A.Y. Okada to further strengthen the program.

UH Guam students on the shipyard pathway are on track to graduate this coming spring and next fall with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from UH Mānoa,” Young said. “We expect several UH and University of Guam transfer students to enter the shipyard pathway in the very near future.”

Article courtesy of University of Hawai'i News originally posted October 20, 2023: