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  • STW Career Advice – Marine Sciences?
  • Premier Icon maxtorque
    Full Member

    I know the STW net casts wide when it comes to what people do, so are there are Marine Scientists, Engineers, or even Biologists on here?

    I’m thinking of a total career change, and i’d love to do a job that involves in some way the sea (and an excuse to move somewhere near to the sea…).

    I’m currently an engineer, with both mechanical and electrical/electronics skills, and given that EVERYTHING involves electronics these days, there has got to be some sort of transferable skills right? From Boats, to ROVs, to underwater instrumentation, data aquistion and processing, where would i start to look for opportunities in this (wide) career area?

    Idea’s and suggestions gratefully received!

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    Oceanographer here. Mostly doing sensor development and testing for a UK manufacturer.

    aberdeen is a big cluster for oil and gas. Southampton/Portsmouth area has a lot going on. A bit down here in the SW.

    autonomy is the big thing right now.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    https://www.autonautusv.com/careers

    autonaut are recruiting for head of robotics at the moment if you fancy Bognor…

    oceanbuzz newsletter has regular job postings.

    Premier Icon jonba
    Free Member

    Take a look at offshore wind. There is a huge amount of work required around survey for offshore wind farm. Lots of projects kicking off.

    Premier Icon wbo
    Free Member

    Start having a look at companies like Gardline and Fugro who do the majority of marine surveying.

    Premier Icon eskimonumber1
    Free Member

    NOC at Southampton would be a good shout too:

    https://careers.noc.ac.uk/vacancies.html

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Full Member

    All good and interesting stuff!

    How hard do you think it will be to get in for a typical interview with no previous marine experience?

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    BAE systems in Barrow constantly have Engineering Vacancies (Submarine design and build)

    BAE Systems in Glasgow probably have a few, particularly as the T26 Frigate Design has recently been sold to Canada and Australia – so loads of opportunities on both programmes coming up.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Full Member

    Given your background I’d be tempted to investigate the companies and then try and have a chat with a few of them and ask them directly.

    CV/experience probably should see you get a sensible chat.

    Premier Icon dickydutch
    Full Member

    I’d be looking at Offshore Wind Developers too – the likes of Orsted, RWE, EDF, SSE etc.
    Also, for survey works take a look at the likes of X-OCean who use AUV and also Ocean Infinity (who recently bought MMT).
    We’ve used X-Ocean quite a lot in offshore wind and I definitely think that unmanned survey is the future of the industry.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I’m currently an engineer, with both mechanical and electrical/electronics skills, and given that EVERYTHING involves electronics these days, there has got to be some sort of transferable skills right?

    Many many years ago we were doing some antenna work for the DRA for submarines. So we built some prototypes and they all looked pretty good, so the DRA booked some sea trials. All our prototypes were smashed to bit by waves in no time at all. Turned out our skills weren’t so transferable afterall….

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    How hard do you think it will be to get in for a typical interview with no previous marine experience?

    It’s easier to teach an engineer what they need to know about oceanography than it is to teach an oceanographer engineering.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    Xocean were recruiting quite heavily recently. Visited them a while back, nice location.

    Premier Icon deltacharlie72
    Free Member

    Would a year out to do MSc in Offshore Renewable Energy be of interest/value?

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    Where are you looking at working? Onshore or offshore?

    My first thought would be a ROV technician. You would need appropriate safety training and medical etc.

    Try contacting some companies and see what they say. ROVOP, Modus, Bluestream, Oceaneering.

    SMD do some really interesting bits of kit, huge subsea trenchers, mining equipment, etc

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Full Member

    I work in offshore wind and we are keeping the survey and installation companies very busy indeed. If you actually want to be at sea or playing with boats that will narrow your options but you just need to look at all the companies involved at every point from survey to installation and o&m and get applying.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Full Member

    read sites like renews and join some relevant linkedin groups to get an idea of what goes on and what companies are involved, register with relevant recruiters like ersg and many others.

    https://renews.biz/offshore-wind/

    https://www.offshorewind.biz/

    Premier Icon goldfish24
    Full Member

    I work in Portsmouth for an engineering company that has nothing to do with boats but we exchange a lot of engineers with the local marine firms. There’s tonnes of it here! Friends have come from Ray-marine and rate it as a good employer (one went back). Take a look. I know nothing about boats or the sea.
    I also hate Portsmouth which is why I live in Chichester which I love. Good riding. Good town.
    Edit: ok sorry Portsmouth I don’t hate you It’s just big cities are not for me any more.

    Premier Icon konagirl
    Free Member

    I’m in an academic career related to the sea/ocean but I actually spend all my time in front of a PC, so don’t live anywhere near the sea. Yes there is lots of opportunity in both instrumentation and emerging robotics / automated observation platforms and infrastructure, for science, Earth observation, Government agencies involved in things like fisheries and in the private sector in surveying, oil & gas / resources, renewables, ports operations etc. For the science side, instrumentation, electronics in harsh environments, battery reliability and sat-comms are primary things to know about.

    IMarEST is the established institute who can give an idea of the breadth of opportunities and help with what kind of training / qualifications you might need, e.g. CPD.

    If you actually want to be at sea or do something adventurous you could look for opportunities to join research vessels or be on engineering teams that deploy (usually short stints at sea, but can be longer cruises). National Oceanography Centre engineering mostly operate out of Southampton but also have a site in Liverpool that does coastal work, Plymouth Marine Lab, Scottish Association for Marine Science (Oban), and British Antarctic Survey have a polar oceans team (they tend to look for 6 month or 18 month seasonal station staff around this time of year to start training in September). Bangor University (N Wales) and Uni of East Anglia (Norwich) also run research vessels / UAV but I suspect being quite small groups they are more likely to want people already trained specifically in oceanic engineering; whereas places like BAS will train people up for what they want, it is more about your personality.

    Premier Icon maxtorque
    Full Member

    Wait what, i need a Personality?? oh crap, i’m doomed!

    Thanks for the advice everyone, it gives me a much better idea of what to google and research 🙂

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