Life Support Technician (LST)
Divers living in saturation conditions require constant monitoring and control by trained personnel outside the deck compression chamber. The oxygen content of their breathing gas, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the pressure, temperature and humidity of their environment all need to be monitored regularly and functions such as feeding and sewage disposal need to be controlled from the outside by life support personnel. Click here for the full factsheet on being a Life Support Technician.
Commercial divers perform many kinds of engineering tasks that can become complex when performed underwater, including welding, cutting, and other work on pipelines and subsea equipment that cannot be as easily accomplished using remotely operated vehicles. Click here for the full factsheet on being a commercial diver.
Onboard a vessel there are bridge and engine room personnel to look after the ship, the numbers of these persons being governed by national regulations. Click here for the full factsheet on being a deck/engineering officer.
Dynamic Positioning System (DP) Operator
Dynamic positioning (DP) is a means to automatically control vessel movement, keeping it in a desired location and heading or on a specific track, solely through the use of thrusters. It is a technique used extensively in the many branches of the offshore oil and gas industry, including diving, ROV operations, survey and marine construction, all over the world. Click here for the full factsheet on being a DP operator.
The offshore industry employs many engineers in a wide range of disciplines. They work for contractors, consultants and clients (oil companies), as well as for government departments and approval bodies such as certifying authorities. Click here for the full factsheet on being an offshore engineer.
Every year the offshore industry completes a huge number of projects, each run by a project manager who could be working either for a contractor, consultant or client (most often an oil company) or alternatively for a government department or approval body such as a certifying authority. Click here for the full factsheet on being a project manager.
As a natural resource of raw materials, such as fuel and food, the seas and oceans of the world have never been so important. They also represent a very fragile environment whose exploitation must be carefully and considerately managed. It is the work of the hydrographic surveyor to chart these great wildernesses and to provide the expertise for their exploration and for much of the engineering needed for their development. Click here for the full factsheet on being a surveyor.
Water and electricity are not ideal ingredients to mix, but this is one of the many challenging issues that face the offshore survey engineer. Electronic engineering is normally associated with equipment operating in dry and natural atmospheric environments. This changes completely when equipment is taken offshore and submerged, sometimes to depths in excess of 3000 metres. Today’s survey engineer is faced with continual rapid advance in equipment technology, driven by the commercial and technical demands of the offshore industry. Click here for the full factsheet on being a survey engineer.
Survey Data Processor
Modern day offshore survey operations rely on the collection of high volume data sets. These come from multiple sensors in digital and analogue format, and require the services of data processors who will edit, clean, collate, interpret and integrate the data. The data processor then needs to present the results in graphical, chart, database, report and multimedia formats. This processing and reporting work is generally performed alongside data acquisition operations in an offshore environment. Click here for the full factsheet on being a survey data processor.
Geophysicists may find their skills sought after in the search for oil and gas, in the surveying and assessment of potential sites for offshore installations, and in the optimal routing of pipelines and cables. Click here for the full factsheet on being a geophysicist.
ROV Pilot Technician
Members of IMCA Remote Systems & ROV Division are generally involved in the use or manufacture of remotely operated vehicles, underwater robot vehicles connected to a mother ship by some form of umbilical. Such vehicles are widely used for a broad range of activities, in many cases instead of divers. Click here for the full factsheet on being an ROV pilot technician.
As part of its work on careers promotion, IMCA has been talking to a variety of offshore personnel about how they became involved in the offshore industry and various aspects of their work.
A selection of articles can be found below.
In this article we learn from a a diving supervisor who began work as a diver in the offshore industry in 1983, having worked as a UK Royal Navy diver since 1976. Click here for the full case study.
In this article we learn from an offshore surveyor who started work in 1998 having gained a BSc in surveying and mapping science. Click here for the full case study.
In this article we learn from a survey engineer who, after gaining an MEng in electronic and electrical engineering, joined the industry in the year 2000. Click here for the full case study.
Survey Data Processor
In this article we learn from a data processor who came from a background in economics to join the industry in 1991. Click here for the full case study.
In this article we learn from a geophysicist who began work in 1996, having gained a degree in geophysics. Click here for the full case study.
In this article we learn from an ROV pilot, who works with remotely operated vehicles, which are an ever more vital tool offshore, requiring pilots/technicians to operate and maintain them. He joined the industry in 1997 with an HNC (further education qualification) in electronics and experience as an avionics workshop engineer. Click here for the full case study.
In this article, we learn from Paul Leaman, an ROV supervisor/superintendent, who works with remotely operated vehicles - an ever more vital tool offshore. Paul brought prior skills from the air force, wetting his feet in the fishing sector and on lifeboats before joining the offshore industry as a trainee ROV pilot and has progressed from there. Click here for the full case study.
Passionate about ... Offshore Diving
Paul Evans, a former technical adviser at IMCA, explains the attractions of a career in commercial diving.
"For me it all started in the decidedly less than glamorous surroundings of Chatham Docks in London. But my career in commercial diving has since taken me to exotic locations around the world"
Passionate about ... Cranes and Offshore Lifting
Hugh Williams, former chief executive of IMCA, shares his passion about cranes and lifting and particularly heavy lifting as it applies to the offshore industry.
"Look at a construction site or the city skylines everywhere at the moment and consider the crop of tower cranes. They can all lift a few tens of tonnes"
Passionate about ... Dynamic Positioning
Ian Giddings, technical adviser at IMCA, explains why people can become passionate about dynamic positioning.
"Dynamic positioning (DP) is just one of the many specialisms available to master mariners, deck officers, engineers and technicians - and the science of accurately controlling a vessel's position and heading turns out to involve a surprising assortment of skills, techniques and technologies"
Passionate about ... Materials
From the humdrum to the exotic, Hugh Williams, former chief executive of IMCA, explores the enormous variety of materials that make life so exciting in the offshore construction industry.
"Soon after I joined the offshore industry with my modest structural engineering skills I was asked to analyse and approve a drawing using large pieces of wood! I'd done some work with reinforced concrete and steel, but wood?"
Passionate about ... Offshore Survey
Ian McKenzie of Fugro Survey Ltd describes a career in offshore survey and shares his passion for it to encourage others to chart their future.
"While GPS units for cars and leisure activities offer positioning to within a 10-20m radius, the offshore industry may require the positioning of something as large as a ship or drilling rig to centimetre accuracy"
Passionate about ... ROVs
Andrew Beveridge, former MD of Fugro-Rovtech, describes his passion for working with ROVs and actively encourages more people to take up the challenge.
"When I am asked what I do for a living my reply that I run a company which operates remotely controlled submarines all around the world always arouses interest"