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(October 5, 2000, Gazette)

Warming up to ice

Dr. Claude DaleyPhoto by Chris Hammond

Dr. Claude Daley

By Susen Johnson

Like Franklin aboard the Erebus, the effects of ice on a ship fill the waking thoughts of Dr. Claude Daley. An associate professor in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering of Applied Science, Dr. Daley enjoys few things more than analyzing how ships act and why they do what they do. His time is spent measuring, modelling, and considering the effects of wind, waves, ice, and people on ship designs — both successful and disastrous.

“I came a bit late to a university faculty position compared with most,” Dr. Daley reports. “My bachelor’s and master’s degrees were in wind engineering and structural dynamics, and then I moved into the private sector, and that’s really where I first worked on and became interested in ocean engineering.”

A graduate of Princeton, Western, and the Helsinki University of Technology, Dr. Daley was offered his position with Memorial engineering in 1994, and promptly moved from Ottawa with his family of five and cat (Mr. O), buying their house in downtown St. John’s sight unseen, save for a not-entirely objective realtor video.

Although his main research is in the area of arctic ship structures — identifying the particular relationship between ships and the arctic environment of wind and ice — Dr. Daley also enjoys his teaching role as a professor of undergraduate courses on ship structures, ice properties, and engineering design.

“When a class goes well, it’s very energizing,” he said. “And no matter what I’m doing, I always stop when a student comes to my office with questions or wanting to discuss something.”

An active member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Newfoundland, Dr. Daley has helped to organize the Engineering Open House as well as the annual cardboard canoe race (to introduce high school students to the joys of naval architecture). He also recently joined the board of examiners for professional engineers in Newfoundland.

However, his most intensive involvement is one that has seen him meet every six months since 1991 with a very particular group of international scholars, researchers, and ship specialists from around the world. This group is collaborating to establish universal principles and design rules for the construction of ships sailing the arctic.

As Dr. Daley explains, “There are all kinds of requirements to meet before going into arctic waters, and international variations present ship owners and builders with the conflict of ‘what set of rules do we build by?’ So the idea of this development is to have one standard set of rules that everyone can understand.”

Recently, Dr. Daley has taken over as director of MUN’s Ocean Engineering Research Centre and is very enthusiastic about the position.
“I’m hoping to get more and larger projects going, and more people involved, because we can handle it — we have the capability.”

Besides work, Dr. Daley enjoys family life with his wife and three daughters, and, during the summers, coaches a soccer team. “We’ve won one out of about 20 games this season,” Dr. Daley laughs. “But it’s fun.”

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