The demand for marine engineers has risen sharply with the increase in international global sea traffic.
Ships these days use the most modern technology and equipment that can be understood, maintained and handled only by marine engineers. This job requires a high degree of discipline and responsibility since the chief marine engineer is in charge of a ship and its cargo which cost crores of rupees.
A marine engineer is responsible for maintaining and operating the machinery and electrical and electronic equipment on board ship. They ensure the safe running of all engines, boilers, refrigerating systems, deck machinery, sanitary equipment and steam connections of the marine ship.
Marine technology covers a wide range of engineering skills. A ship or any other marine vehicle has a complex shape, to move at high speed with minimum power, and to maneuver safely in all weathers. The propellers which drive a large ship are a complex design problem in their own right. Detailed analysis is needed, using computers and scale models, to achieve the best design.
Even the largest ships are built in workshops which may be three hundred meters long. Cranes capable of lifting two hundred tonnes or more are used to position sections of the ships with an accuracy of a few millimetres. The ships are then outfitted with all the machinery, equipment and systems to allow them to operate independently of land for weeks or in some cases, months.
Marine engineers also design and build offshore structures, underwater systems and a wide range of leisure craft. Their specialist skills include the design of the myriad marine vehicles, i.e., hydrodynamics, to define the shape, structural design to ensure strength, marine engineering for the machinery and systems. Some of them are engaged in research to define the products of the future, including new high speed ferries and remotely-operated underwater vehicles.