Ocean Engineering

Ocean engineering is a combination of several types of engineering: a mix of mechanical, electrical, civil, acoustical and chemical engineering techniques and skills, coupled with a basic understanding of how the oceans work. Not only do ocean engineers design and build instruments that must stand up to the wear and tear of frequent use, they must design instruments that will survive the harsh conditions of the ocean environment. Salt water is highly corrosive to many materials, and high winds, waves, currents, severe storms, and marine life fouling (such as barnacles) must also be factored into design plans.

In addition to ocean engineers, technicians play a key role in maintaining and preparing the equipment. It is the responsibility of technicians to make sure that instruments are functioning properly, that they are recording the measurements they were designed to, and, in some cases, that the information being recorded is relayed back to satellites or computers that may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away.