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Dredge Operators Train at Texas A&M Simulator Course

Brett Dupuis of Weeks Marine working on a simulator with Javier Peña watching.

Brett Dupuis of Weeks Marine working on a simulator with Javier Peña watching.

George McQuien of Mosaic Phosphates runs a cutter suction dredge simulator at the Texas A&M short course.

George McQuien of Mosaic Phosphates runs a cutter suction dredge simulator at the Texas A&M short course.

2008 Cutter Suction Dredge Simulator Class with instructors, from left, Brett Dupuis, Weeks Marine; Javier Peña, Weeks Marine; George McQuien, Mosaic Phosphates; Ricky Audibert, Weeks Marine; Charles Bunting, Camden Shipping; Sue Viola, Camden Shipping;

2008 Cutter Suction Dredge Simulator Class with instructors, from left, Brett Dupuis, Weeks Marine; Javier Peña, Weeks Marine; George McQuien, Mosaic Phosphates; Ricky Audibert, Weeks Marine; Charles Bunting, Camden Shipping; Sue Viola, Camden Shipping;

The January 14-16, 2008 Cutter Suction Dredge Simulator short course attracted eight participants from dredging companies Camden Shipping, Mosaic Phosphates, McNally Construction, and Weeks Marine. The course instructors were Peter deJong, president of Digital Automation and Control Systems (DACS) and Dr. R. E. Randall, director of the Center for Dredging Studies at Texas A&M University.

Held at Texas A&M, the course demonstrates the fundamentals of hydraulic dredging with a cutter suction dredge, including cavitation, deposition of sediment in the pipeline, pipeline length limitations, pump power limitations, different sediments (fine sand, medium sand, stiff clay), channel currents, and swing winch limitations. A 24-inch spud carriage and fixed spud dredge were simulated in this year’s course, but other size dredges can be modeled.

Three simulators interface actual controls for a cutter suction dredge to a personal computer, and each participant spends approximately 30 minutes on the simulator for each of five exercises.

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