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As Cool as an IcebreakerNovember 9, 2018

Connor Maloney gravitated to Mechanical Engineering based on the notion that “working on massive machines seemed pretty cool.”

A fleet of icebreaking warships – officially known as Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) – seem to fit on both the massive and the cool front.

An associate project specialist within the Program Management Office at Halifax’s Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Maloney is part of a team overseeing a $60B contract with the Canadian government to construct up to 21 warships.

“My main roles are to report on the progress of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) program to the Canadian government, to manage risks and opportunities, and to implement best work practices throughout the shipyard,” he says.

After graduating from McMaster with his engineering degree in 2015, Maloney went on to earn a Master of Engineering Leadership, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 2017.

“My engineering degree laid the foundation for my successful graduate studies, and having knowledge of mechanical engineering is essential to understanding and managing issues within the shipyard,” he says.

In September, Maloney was able to witness the launch of the first of Canada’s new arctic ships, the soon-to-be named HMCS Harry DeWolfe.

At 103 metres and 6,615 tons, the ship is the largest naval vessel built in the country in 50 years. Now docked in the Halifax harbour, Irving workers continue to prepare it for upcoming sea trials and a 2019 handoff to the Royal Canadian Navy.

It was named after Vice-Admiral Harry DeWolf, who retired in 1960 after a 42-year naval career that began when he joined as a cadet in 1918 at the age of 15.

“I’m very passionate about seeing this ship brought into service to protect and monitor the Canadian Arctic,” says Maloney.