Marine Engineer Spotlight

Offshore oil and gas platforms are some of the most challenging work sites in the oil and gas industry. Any exploration or production activities that take place in water require specialized marine vessels and installations. From stern to bow, every element in the offshore oil and gas industry has a Marine Engineer behind it somewhere. As experts in tools, equipment and processes, they make sure things are designed to work well and keep on working.

What a typical day looks like:

Marine Engineers primarily spend their time in two places: the office, where they do design work, and the field, where they oversee construction. As designers, they research and conceptualize systems and structures specifically for use on water for offshore and near-shore oil and gas operations. They develop or assess concepts for complex offshore infrastructure including hulls, engines, power systems, foundations, umbilical connections and positioning systems. They make sure that everything from large drilling and production platforms to small tethers are in the correct place and working properly.

They generate engineering drawings, and other documentation that will be used to create machines and equipment. When their designs are completed, they source tenders and evaluate bids from people who will turn their drawings into real life vessels. In the field, Marine Engineers oversee the development and installation of their projects, establish construction schedules, and make sure things stay on budget and on schedule.

The kinds of problems Marine Engineers solve at work:

Marine Engineers are focused on making sure that they design infrastructure, vessels, and systems that will operate safely and efficiently in an offshore environment. These professionals have to meet all challenges with design, construction, and testing with the added difficulty of creating something for an environment with everchanging ocean waters and extreme weather conditions. When something goes wrong, a Marine Engineer will start troubleshooting. These professionals need to find the right design or, if there was none available, come up with a customized solution.

Skills used most on the job:

Physics, math, engineering, and design skills form the technical foundation of a Marine Engineer. But while their work may be primarily with hulls and ballasts, Marine Engineers also need consider the human elements of the industry: solving workers’ problems, interacting with contractors, and providing leadership to the teams under them.


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