Road Trip! Summer '15

Marie-Caroline Finke '18

The Office of Post-Graduate Planning offered some really cool trips for the students who were working at Olin this summer. As the PGP intern, I was lucky enough to go on all three of them!

The first trip was an expedition to the Naval Submarine Base in Connecticut. We started off by touring an older submarine that is no longer part of the fleet, and had been turned into a museum. We were given a glimpse in to the cramped spaces of submarines and were even allowed to take some pictures!  We then met Lt. Joshua Kirlin and started our tour of the base itself. We ate lunch in the canteen (noted for the best food in the armed forces) and toured several of the onsite training simulations including the fire, diving, and flood room. For both the fire and flood replications, we were even allowed to see the rooms in action.

The retired Nautilus, now a floating museum

Inside the Nautilus' very cramped but efficient quarters


Officers' Dining Room


Sleeping Berths



The second trip brought us to the Hydroid facilities in Pocasset, MA, where we spent a full morning touring the facilities. The main work floor was refreshingly open with areas sectioned off mostly by tables and the occasional tall desk, but very few walls. We got to meet several employees who talked to us about their part in the manufacturing process of an unmanned submarine.

In the afternoon we continued down the coast to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to have a look at additional underwater unmanned vehicles. These vessels were considerably larger than those at Hydroid, and looked much more like a cube robot with a vast amount of research equipment attached to their shell; quite different than the sleek, round, yellow shape that Hydroid’s vehicles feature. We also saw the submarine that James Cameron used to descend to the Ocean floor and sat inside the capsule. Personally, I’m not sure how someone spent more than 5 minutes in there as my neck cramped up almost immediately and there was no room to stretch-out.

The interior of the capsule is only 43 inches wide and requires the pilot to sit with their knees bent for the entire journey

Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA was the destination of our final field trip. What started as a bunch of small, clean tech, start-ups has grown into 40+ companies under one roof.  It’s an interesting and efficient concept - the companies share space, lab equipment and some resources. It has developed into an environment that reminded us of Olin. The office area is open, with one company sitting right next to another, promoting an environment of support and collaboration. The lab is amazing and absolutely fascinating to walk through, there was equipment and projects being worked on throughout, basically an Oliner’s dream space!

Walking through, we saw and heard from several Olin alumni and current students (interns) who told us about their work at Altaeros Energies, Grove and Loci Controls.   Several of them talked about the projects they were working on and they all seemed to be really enjoying their summer experiences. Throughout the tour, I heard a few people comment, “So this is where Oliners go if they don’t want to graduate from Olin.”  By the looks of things at Greentown Labs, I couldn’t agree more. 


Many thanks to PGP for helping those of us working at Olin this summer get out and see some pretty cool companies!

Posted in: Fun @ Olin, Awesome Employers