NMC to offer underwater ROV pilot training for ADCI

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College is now the exclusive provider of underwater ROV pilot training credentialed by the Association of Diving Contractors International, a Houston-based association of more than 600 diving companies.

The 10-week program results in an ADCI Pilot Technician Certificate that students obtain as a stand-alone credential.  Classes, expected to begin this fall, will be limited to 10-12 students, ensuring highly focused instruction and training scenarios. 

Hans VanSumeren, director of NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, said training was built to industry needs. Students will get hands-on training in multiple underwater scenarios including open water, deep water, under ice and around structures. Hydraulics, electronics, pumping systems, troubleshooting, deployment scenarios and other fundamentals are also covered.

“ROV training at NMC has evolved to support all marine sectors and applications.  Our people, facilities, and location allow us to train for numerous scenarios and environments,” VanSumeren said. “The curriculum is based directly on feedback from employers and by reviewing other training programs.” 

ADCI once certified ROV pilots itself, but lacked a way to vet or assess applicants’ training and experience, according to executive director Phil Newsum, who stopped the practice in 2006. That created a problem.

“Now more than at any time in the underwater industry have we seen such a reliance on ROV operations, especially in tandem with commercial diving,” Newsum said. “(Thus) we have a huge void in the underwater industry, especially here in the United States, where we do not have formal training programs for ROV pilots.”

Last year, however, an industry contact tipped Newsum off to the marine technology programs at NMC. He visited the campus in September, and realized that NMC’s curriculum could fill that void.

“I get to see different training programs globally. By far, this is one of the most impressive,” said Newsum.

When fully deployed, 24-36 people are expected to enroll annually.  The first class is anticipated to be offered in fall of 2017.

VanSumeren added the program is structured to be dynamic, evolving with industry.

“The entire training program must be agile for responding to the changes in competencies required by industry whether that is next year, in five years or beyond. "

Release date: April 19, 2017

For more information:

Hans VanSumeren
NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
(231) 995-1793

Phil Newsum 
Association of Diving Contractors International
(281) 893-8388



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