As a young student at CCS, Hermidas Atabeyki never imagined that less than 20 years later a client would pay more than $300 million for a vessel he designed - the world's largest privately-owned mega-yacht.
Once completed, Project M-147, known as the Atabeyki Project to those in the yacht business, will measure 147 meters (more than 482 feet long and 80 feet longer than the Savona - the world's current largest yacht).
"What intrigued me most about designing yachts was the ability to unite industrial design with architecture to produce a unique and interesting concept," said Atabeyki, a graduate of CCS' transportation design program. "I find this fusion most challenging and enticing."
Atabeyki's unique design of the M-147 offers ample space for 24 passengers to socialize privately and a crew of 70 to work autonomously. The yacht features open spaces, a helipad, a private 5,000-square-foot living space on deck five, with a private garden area spilling onto the deck below. Other special features of the yacht include a submarine garage, disco, movie theatre, and art exhibition room.
During the 1980s, Atabeyki's interest in transportation design inspired him to leave his native France to enroll in the industrial design program at CCS.
"At the time there were three internationally renowned transportation design schools," said Atabeyki.
"CCS was the obvious choice as it allowed me the opportunity to be in the automobile capital of the world next to the big three."
Atabeyki found the knowledge and skills he gained from the College's challenging courses helpful as he pursued a career after graduation.
"My professors always treated us as professional students," said Atabeyki. "Each class at CCS was instructed by highly qualified professional designers. The selective admission process and the rigorous academic instruction guaranteed an easy and successful integration into the workplace."
After Atabeyki earned his degree, he returned to France where he was hired as a designer for Renault and then opened a studio in Paris six years later. Today his clients include Renault, Lamborghini, and the marine industry, among others.
"I take great pride in every project I have completed," said Atabeyki. "I have found each challenging and rewarding in its own way. At CCS, we were taught to let go of a project upon completion and that is what I do. I always have my eye on the next project."