Texas A&M Short Courses Train 17 Operators in Cutter Suction Dredge Operation
The courses were held January 17-19 and February 22-24 at the Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory at the Center for Dredging Studies at Texas A&M University.
The January 17-19 participants included Luke Robinson, Dredge America; Randy Guidry, Weeks Marine; Jeff Tippelt, Dredge America; Stephen Boudreaux, Shoreline Construction; Atemea Briggs, Rivers State Ministry of Works, Nigeria; Robert Bradley, Weeks Marine; Rodolfo Geyer, Terpasa, Brazil; Guilherme Louzada, Terpasa, Brazil; and Felipe Wolff, Terpasa, Brazil.
The February course was held for dredging personnel from J. F. Brennan Company of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The participants included Doug Soper, dredge operator; Jeff Jarchow, dredge operator; Pat Kamm, superintendent; Dillon Sperberg, foreman; Jake Abraham, superintendent; Steve Feenstra, foreman; Mike Tolvstad, foreman; and Chad Defoe, foreman.
The course instructors were Peter deJong, president of Digital Automation and Control Systems and Dr. R. E. Randall, director of the Center for Dredging Studies at Texas A&M University.
The simulator course demonstrates the fundamentals of hydraulic dredging using a cutter suction dredge that includes cavitation, deposition of sediment in the pipeline, cutter power, pipeline length limitations, pump power limitations, different sediments (fine sand, medium sand, stiff clay), channel currents, and swing winch limitations.
A 24-inch (610 mm) spud carriage and fixed spud dredge were simulated in this year’s courses, 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 seven exercises.