The Great Lakes Group


Meet Abishai Thomas, Engineering Intern


  • Age: 22
  • Hometown: Olympia, Washington
  • Residence: Currently, Strongsville, Ohio; when at school, Glen Cove, New York
  • Hobbies: playing sports, woodworking, spray painting
  • Experience in the Maritime Industry: 4 years
  • Passion for Maritime: “I am fascinated by the water and everything in it! The maritime industry also offered me a great combination of engineering and architecture, both passions I wanted to pursue.”


Academic Institution: Webb Institute
Degree: Senior, graduating in June 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering


Company: Great Lakes Shipyard
Title: Engineering Intern
Tenure: January-February 2019

Company: Westport Yachts
Title: Engineering Intern
Tenure: January-February 2018

Company:  Maersk Line Limited
Title: Deck/Engine Cadet aboard Maersk Peary: Operation Deep Freezeigor
Tenure: December 2016-March 2017

Company: New England Boatworks
Title: Shipyard Working/Engineering Intern
Tenure: January-February 2016





Abishai is becoming a very well-rounded engineer and has already established quite a depth of educational and professional experiences.  Some of these include:

  • New Construction
    • Yachts
    • Tugboats
  • Design Work
    • various vessel systems
    • unique vessel fixtures
      • fishing gun rack
      • panel foundations
      • removable shower floor pans
      • etc.
  • Vessel construction/maintenance work
    • sanding
    • painting
    • welding
    • etc.
  • Vessel System tracing
  • Sea time

Webb Institute has created an amazing opportunity for all students by having the winter internships. Abishai had the opportunity to work in Rhode Island and get an introduction to the industry in a wholistic sense, spending time in the yard working with fiber glass and carbon fiber, as well as some time in the engineering office doing unique design projects. His sea time was as a cadet spent on a 3-month journey from Greece to Antarctica on a polar class oil tanker. The sea term was especially useful for understanding the logistics and impact engineering decisions have on the real-world applications.

He then took an opportunity to be closer to home in Washington and explored more of the yacht industry from the engineering side at Westport Yachts.



“The internship opportunity has been a great way to explore many different aspects of the industry, hence my interest in Great Lakes Shipyard and another area of the industry that I have less experience with. My grandparents live in Strongsville, so the combination was simply unbeatable for my last internship opportunity while at Webb! Great Lakes offers not only a unique work experience to diversify my maritime background but also the opportunity to stay with family at the same time.

I have already been introduced to so many new concepts and vocabulary here. The advantage of being at a shipyard is the ability to go from the computer screen design to seeing the result in the real-world to make sure everything checks out! After these first couple of weeks, I am excited to see what else this internship holds in store for me!”

After this winter, Abishai has one more semester of school left at Webb and will graduate in Summer 2019.