In collaboration with many of Hampshire’s leading educational organisations, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and Robosys Automation hosted an event to inspire students to explore the innovative and flourishing world of marine robotics and maritime AI.
Students attended the event held at the National Oceanography Centre, from Southampton’s City College, where they are studying Marine Engineering.
The National Oceanography Centre is home to the famous Boaty McBoatface, being part of a fleet of autonomous vessels which help to protect and monitor the oceans. At the event, apprentices ‘met’ Boaty McBoatface, together with a fleet of other sub-surface marine vehicles.
The National Oceanography Centre’s team were on hand to showcase the workshops, together with Mark Hamson, Head of the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre, which is the UK’s leading marine robotics business incubation hub.
The second-year marine engineering students were priviledged to be invited to see Boaty McBoatface’s inner workings. The students also received a tour of the entire marine robotics workshops, where they handled various deep sea vehicles and discussed the challenges experienced by the NOC’s engineers when maintaining and operating uncrewed subsea vessels.
The students also discovered the myriad environmental, business, and safety benefits that autonomous craft and marine robotics provides to the maritime sector and how people can build a career in this thriving and exciting sector.
Nigel Lee, CSO of Robosys Automation, which develops AI-driven maritime autonomy solutions commented, “As there is a predicted worldwide shortfall of entrants into the maritime industry, there is much being done at governmental and global levels to inspire people to consider a career in maritime. Therefore, this type of academic-enterprise joint venture such as we have created between The National Oceanography Centre and Robosys Automation is crucial to both local and national success, in helping to inspire new entrants into the sector, and to help dispel the myth that people have to be a seafarer to work in maritime.”
Representation from Hampshire’s educational institutions included those from the LSIF (Local Skills Improvement Fund), CeMast, South Coast Institute of Technology, Fareham College, and South Hampshire College Group, who attended the event to explore methods of further developing their curriculums to match future skills.
Naomi Smith, Programme Director LSIF, South Hampshire College Group unveilled the wider plans for the three organisations: “We are thrilled to announce our strategic educational partnership with The National Oceanography Centre and Robosys Automation. The collaboration marks a significant milestone in our commitment to securing future skills pipelines for the maritime industry. As technology continues to advance, particularly in autonomy and AI, our partnership will enable South Hampshire College Group to empower our students with the cutting-edge knowledge and practical experience they need to excel. We are excited about the innovative opportunities this alliance will bring to our newly merged College Group and the maritime industry at large.”
NOTES TO MEDIA
Please contact Hannah Kent Colls at Watermark via email to arrange an interview, or to receive high resolution imagery and the full press release.