OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush College reportedly hired college interns to design to designed the ill-fated Titan submersible’s electrical systems.
According to an explosive report, Rush ignored safety warnings and hired students from Washington State University to work on critical systems, The New Yorker reported.
“The whole electrical system — that was our design, we implemented it, and it works,” a former intern told the college paper in February 2018, the report said.
“We are on the precipice of making history, and all of our systems are going down to the Titanic. It is an awesome feeling!” he added.
OceanGate’s former director of marine operations and chief pilot warned the Titan was a “lemon” and not safe to dive in 2018.
Mark Walsh, who was the treasurer of WSU’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers club when OceanGate’s director of engineering, Tony Nissen, described some of the company’s challenges
Walsh said that he and fellow students volunteered to offer solutions.
“Tony said, ‘OK, you’re hired,'” said Walsh, who graduated in 2017 with a degree in electrical engineering.
“If electrons flow through it, I’m in charge of it,” he told the WSU paper, adding that he was leading a team of five, including Nelson and two WSU interns.
The WSU report said Nelson recommended senior Doug Yamamoto because of his software engineering experience.
“I like that we have a close relationship with WSU Everett because the interns have been so great,” Walsh said.
“They’ve been taught right at WSU Everett, so this summer we’re going to be hiring more.”
On June 22, WSU told local outlet The Everett Herald that “it does not have an alliance with OceanGate.
“We are aware that some of our graduates have worked at OceanGate. To our knowledge, one graduate currently works there.,” it added.
“We are not privy to what OceanGate projects WSU Everett alumni have been involved in or what their roles may have been outside of publicly available information,” it added.
OceanGate also used interns from Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy.
Last month, The Daily Fetched reported that Rush told the media that the company did not want any experienced “50-year-old white guys” because they weren’t “inspirational.”
During an interview before the submarine entered the ocean to the Titanic wreck, Rush said,.
“When I started a business, one of the things you’ll is that there are other sub operators out there, but they typically have a gentleman who is ex-military, and you see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys.”
“I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational,” Rush continued.