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Reflections of a Kings Point Scholar

ENS Martinovic builds a heat exchanger

KINGS POINT, NEW YORK, June 20, 2020 In a recent capstone presentation delivered in support of the requirements of a Kings Point Scholar (KPS) project, former Midshipman, now Ensign, Filipa Martinović, described the KPS program as “an amazing opportunity.” Martinović’s presentation of her research and field work in Computational Fluid Dynamics was aimed at validating the accuracy of data used in predictive performance analysis.

The KPS program presents students with the opportunity to examine an activity or a subject from an academic perspective, conduct research and develop solutions or responses to unique subject matter. In most cases, the KPS program results in a ‘graduate-level’ research effort and product. “The KPS program is one of the most underrated opportunities that USMMA has to offer,” said Martinović. “As an Alumna and a KP Scholar, I can vouch for the amazing opportunity this program offered me.”

ENS Martinović was inspired by material covered in a required Heat Transfer class during her third year of academics at USMMA. Professor Sergio Perez, Ph.D., suggested she could expand her interest in the class by further investigating Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and how accurate the simulation data might be compared to real world performance data. “We were using CFD in the class to run simulations but it never occurred to me that the data and numbers the software presented us weren’t accurate,” said Martinović. “This began a yearlong experiment to find an answer to this question.”

With her academic advisor, Martinovićs pursuit would include designing modeling and building a heat exchanger from scratch, then conducting operational experiments to test the veracity of CFD data. Martinović concluded that CFD data was, in fact subject to a variety of factors and could be inaccurate.

On balance, Martinović’s experience was very positive and something she recommends highly to those that come behind her to the program. “When most students hear ‘Kings Point Scholar,’ they imagine a long paper and some extra credits on their transcript,” said Martinović. “It is much more than that. It is an opportunity to explore something that interests you, whether it is maritime-related or not. For those of you who have a passion for learning and a desire to do more than the curriculum put in front of you, this program was designed for you.”

ENS Martinović was one of only three Kings Point Scholars in the Class of 2020. In her post-program reflections, Martinović acknowledged a number of people that were instrumental in the success of her project, starting with her academic advisor, Dr. Perez. She specifically mentioned faculty members for their assistance, “from Mr. Crook helping me with all my material orders, to Mr. Granville teaching me how to solder like a pro,” she said. In addition, she thanked MIDN Anna Hercules (2024) and former MIDN Mac Anderson (2020).

For USMMA Midshipmen, if you have an interest in furthering your studies with a challenging capstone-level project, then the Kings Point Scholar program might be right for you. Ask your professor about the program and the possibilities.

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Last updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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