Are you passionate about…
A job where you need a swimsuit and an Arctic parka? Search and rescue missions? A career with a sense of adventure? Polar bears eating your products? Crickey! Getting up close and personal with different sea creatures? Floating around on an iceberg? Helping to develop technology solutions that can save lives and the environment? Why not consider a career in oceanographic engineering?
In a Nutshell, Who is MetOcean?
MetOcean designs and manufactures drifting buoys, environmental platforms, and the world renowned NOVATECH location and recovery, satellite, RF, and strobe locator beacon product line. MetOcean’s drifting buoy family assists in environmental monitoring, oil spill response, and search and rescue missions.
As they say at MetOcean, “We are experts on tracking all things in the ocean, surface, subsurface and even major masses and assets in the ocean.” Did someone say, “Iceberg, right ahead?”
What is the atmosphere like on the day-to-day? What would you see when you walk in the office doors?
You could work a desk job, or you could do something completely extraordinary! At the pace at which things move at MetOcean, there’s very little chance of you ever getting bored! If your ideal job brings you to the edges of the earth and the deepest depths of the sea, then MetOcean is the place for you. Emily MacPherson, Marketing Manager, describes the company by saying, “We’re a young and innovative organization, where the work is both interesting and rewarding. It’s definitely fast-paced and there is never a dull moment!”
It’s definitely fast-paced and there is never a dull moment!”
MetOcean’s products are used in a variety of different ways when it comes to the water. Their buoys and beacons can be deployed for tracking & locating, oceanography, polar studies, oil & gas, and search & rescue missions. MetOcean’s equipment also helps to predict weather patterns; where did you think your weather forecasts came from? Buoys developed by MetOcean help meteorological agencies around the world, such as, Environment Canada, NOAA, UK Met Office, MeteoFrance and many more, track weather in remote locations. They provide meteorologists vital data so they can predict upcoming weather trends, such as, super-storms and long-term weather changes due to environmental changes. Their tools also help to monitor potentially catastrophic weather events, such as, tsunamis, tropical storms, or breakups of icebergs in the Antarctic. When it comes to tracking icebergs, their Compact Air-Launched Ice Beacon (CALIB) helps to predict ice melts and collect meteorological data for weather forecasting in polar climates; both of which are of extreme concern to environmental groups.
Some of MetOcean’s engineers have even been to both extremities of the earth to deploy these products: the Arctic and the Antarctic. Wow! However, it is not without its risks. “Polar bears sometimes eat our equipment,” Emily muses. “We do our utmost to design products that integrate with the environment, but sometimes polar bears get bored and decide to entertain themselves with our devices. It has happened that our beacons are working fine for a year, then suddenly starts feeding us erroneous data. That’s when we get products returned with bite marks, torn apart, or antennas bent; so we know a polar bear has had some fun with our equipment.”
Is the thought of the deepfreeze too chilly for you? MetOcean’s work also leads the team to the tropics! They participated in the historic dive, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER that sent Titanic Director, James Cameron into the deepest part of the ocean. It was MetOcean’s NOVATECH beacon that helped to bring James Cameron’s dream of reaching the deepest parts of Mariana’s Trench to reality by providing real-time GPS positioning of the submarine. This might seem like a small task, but it took the National Geographic Society along with a team of scientists seven years of research to develop technology that could withstand the massive amounts of pressure (16,000 pounds per square inch) to descend Cameron into the depths of the ocean. How much weight is that? Imagine a small elephant standing with all its might on your small toe. Ouch!
Emily summarizes the atmosphere at MetOcean by adding, “I wouldn’t say that you could expect anything typical on the day-to-day, especially when you’re dealing with uncontrollable events, such as, oil spills, search and rescue missions, and environmental disasters. This constant change coupled with ability to support important environmental issues are just some of the things that make the work at MetOcean so interesting. Besides, where else would you have an opportunity to play in the ocean or the deep arctic snow and get paid for it?”
What makes them a cool place to work?
If you’re looking for a run-of-the-mill desk job, this is not the right place for you; but if you’re interested in working for a young, innovative and driven company, who is passionate about the environment, then look no further!
MetOcean’s technology has assisted in the clean-up the Gulf of Mexico after the humongous BP Oil spill in 2010 that gushed for an incredible 87 days! “Although it was not a positive event, it felt good to help the people of Louisiana,” Emily comments. “We have oil spill tracking buoys that monitor ocean currents, which assists clean-up crews where to focus their time and efforts.”
You will also need a sense of danger and adventure if you are going to build tools for search and rescue missions. MetOcean has worked with the Canadian Coast Guard on rescue missions and with French Government in the tragic 477 Air France crash. MetOcean’s Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoys (SLDMB) provided current direction, water temperature, and positional data, which had an enormous impact on reducing the search area and time when attempting to locate possible survivors when the plane went down between Brazil and France in June 2009. Unfortunately, this story ended in tragedy, with 228 people on board. The New York Times reported, “No other passenger jet in modern history had disappeared so completely – without a Mayday call or a witness or even a trace on radar. Flight 447 seemed to disappear from the sky…. Or maybe Flight 447 was the Titanic, an uncrashable ship at the bottom of the sea.”
One of the fun perks that Emily highlights is the travel. “Anywhere you point to on the map, we’ve probably been there, especially if it’s close to the ocean,” she notes. Scotland, Hawaii, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil; these are just some of the locations that the team has traveled to. Do you have your passport ready?
Finally, Emily notes that the best part of working for MetOcean is the people. “We have been in business for over 30 years. We don’t believe in just selling products; we’re driven by the needs our clients to develop superior solutions for our oceans. We design, test and manufacture everything in our facilities. We are not a huge engineering firm, but we are more like a family and I’m happy to be part of the team,” she comments.
What skills you will need?
Emily highlights just a few of the soft skills required at MetOcean:
- Communications skills: “As a marketing professional, my job involves understanding all the technical capacities of our products and being able ‘talk geek’ with the engineers; then translate that to our sales team who communicates directly with our clients and the general public.”
- Flexibility and curiosity:“We have specialized products but we dabble in all kinds of different markets: oil and gas, military, environmental, search and rescue, and asset tracking. So you need to be flexible.”
- Adaptability: “In the sales department, we are constantly traveling to new places where we meet diverse people with different customs. Being able to adapt quickly to different cultures is a must.”
- Creativity: “We brainstorm concepts from the ground-up and are constantly generating new ideas.”
- Work under pressure: “When a crisis hits, you have to be able to respond fast! Our search and rescue solutions are designed intuitively so that people can operate them in an emergency. When under pressure, seconds can count to save lives; there’s no room for errors.”
You will also need to brush up on you technical skills, such as:
Build your FIT skills today to work in oceanographic engineering:
What kind of job could you have?
Want to learn more about coops or internships with MetOcean?
“We are always looking for new and innovative talent who are passionate about technology and environmental issues. We are a progressive company and a top employer in Nova Scotia. We offer competitive salaries and lots of perks, such as travel and benefits. Currently, we offer work terms to engineering students,” Emily says.
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