Member of the Month - February 2019
Meet February's ASNE Member of the Month - LCDR Nickolas Guertin P.E.! Read on to learn a bit more about Nick in his interview with Membership Manager Michelle.
Michelle: What got you into Naval Engineering? (What specific event or moment).
Nick: After graduating high school I enlisted to be a nuclear power plant operator on a submarine. Operating the plant was fascinating and I knew I wanted to be a part of designing something that worked together so well. After being on board my first boat for a year, I committed myself to learning as much as I could about how it worked. I qualified on every position “back aft” that I could. When I completed my service, I joined the Naval Reserve and started going to school full time to be an engineer. I worked my way through, including working nights at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard testing cruiser, submarine and aircraft carrier reactor plants. My first job out of college was as a Naval Engineer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport Washington in 1990. I have been a Naval Engineer ever since.
Michelle: What is a fun fact most people don't know about you?
Nick: I started playing the tuba again last year after a long hiatus.
Michelle: What is one engineer/scientist/ or mathematician dead or alive would you like to meet?
Nick: VADM William “Red” Rayborn. Talk about a utility player! Making the Polaris project come together was an inspiring feat of creativity and engineering acumen.
Michelle: If you could engineer your perfect concession stand/food truck, what would it be?
Nick: First, the propulsion system would be a plug-in hybrid power plant with an additional solar cell on the roof with as many electric utilities as practical. When needed, the power generator would run on bio diesel. The packaging would be either biodegradable, glass or a highly recyclable plastic. We are making an impact on this planet, and we need real engineering solutions to keep from completely messing it up even worse than it is now. Food trucks are a rolling ecological disaster, though admittedly quite tasty. Then I would serve pierogis and salads. It’s hard to find good Polish food in this town.
Michelle: Why are you a member of ASNE?
Nick: My motivation for joining came from the day I was interviewed by a couple of Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer Captains as a part of my application for a reserve commission in the Navy as an Engineering Duty Officer. It was a cool rainy day, as are many in Bremerton, WA. The meeting was in their civilian work location not too far from the shipyard there. Because it was an interview to continue to be a part of the Navy, I dressed the part - I was in my crackerjacks sporting my submarine dolphins and first class crow. I had recently graduated from the University of Washington in Mechanical Engineering. That interview was especially memorable because they both asserted that, to them, being a good engineer involved making a personal commitment to learning and growing in your discipline and in the community of engineers. Being a member of a couple of professional societies was a measure they would look for in an EDO candidate and something they would watch for in their subordinate officers. That made sense to me and ASNE was a natural pick. I joined in 1991. My first publication was in ASNE Naval Engineer’s Journal in May of 1998. I have recently increased my involvement in the society as there are great changes needed in our community and we need to be a part of shaping how our Navy stays on top.
Michelle: What does "Naval Engineering" mean to you?
Nick: First it is about service to this maritime Nation that depends on freedom of movement on the seas. A strong Navy ensures that and Naval Engineers design the means to achieve it. Then it is about bringing the best value solutions that present continuously improving overmatch advantage to the sailors and marines.