Roles and Responsibilities
The maritime engineers on board any craft are the people responsible for ensuring, in short, that the craft moves. They operate and maintain the systems that allow a ship to operate – from the propulsion system to the living facilities on board, including but not limited to the sewage, lighting and water systems on board. From all of the above it is easy to gather that the Maritime Engineering Officers on board a ship are responsible for nothing less than allowing the ship to function as a seagoing vessel and as a living quarters for all on board, and that the job is as varied as any job on any ship.
If a ship needs to take on fuel in bulk, it will be a member of the engineering staff that oversees this to ensure that it is carried out fully, promptly and safely. Other tasks in that spirit may include helping with the loading and unloading of gear on the boat – although this task is limited to equipment necessary to the smooth running and safe journey of the boat – all issues to do with cargo and passengers are the sole responsibility of deck officers.
Diverse Knowledge Arenas
An engineer may not have the glamorous role on board a ship of those working above deck, but it would be wholly incorrect to even suggest that the job is limited to the heavy “grunt work" of moving sturdy equipment. A modern engineering officer will have knowledge and practical experience of many different forms of technology from simple mechanics to far more complicated technical matters, going through electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and chemical systems and even as far as having some expertise with nuclear technology.
A maritime engineer’s eyes will need to not only be on the inner workings of the ship on which they are employed, but also overboard, where natural resources indispensable to the smooth running of a passenger, cargo or other craft may be found. A knowledge of systems and how to apply them – and also ideas on how to develop them – are key parts of the job of a maritime engineering officer.