Down on the beaches we are intimately familiar with the oceans and the increasing impact they have on our lives. The challenges of operating in the ocean have always pushed the related technologies to the forefront of their fields. This is still true today in our world and I got a front row seat for some of these developments during my two week stay at MIT’s Seagrant College as part of the OEX (Ocean Engineering Experience) program. Sixteen students from across the United States were selected to participate in the program, and I was one of them.
The program had a two-pronged approach. Professionals ranging from marine scientists to mechanical engineers lectured us. This was complimented by a hands-on team project where, under a tight deadline, we conceived, constructed, and tested an ROV designed to log temperature and depth in the adjacent Charles River. We drew our designs from historic ROV’s such as the Jason Jr., explorer of the Titanic, as well as some cutting edge vehicles, some web connected, in the Seagrant lab.
Seagrant is a partnership between NOAA and 32 universities around the country. The goal is to support research, training and outreach programs such as OEX. The experience opened my eyes to the wealth of opportunities in the field of Ocean Engineering and reaffirmed the importance of stewardship of the oceans.
By Jed Dale, Student Editor