Justin E. Manley, a marine technology innovator for three decades, sees many interesting, well-compensated opportunities in the ocean based or “blue” economy for people interested in hands-on, intellectual work. “There’s lots of roles that are a good fit,” he said.
Among the challenges for technical educators is the historically low visibility of the maritime sector, and the reality that maritime technicians must combine high-tech skills with the physical and mental capabilities to thrive at sea.
“Ocean technician jobs, whether they’re robotics or instruments or similar, there’s an added level of personal challenge involved, which could come from being seas sick. It could come from sleeping in confined spaces. It could come from being surrounded by different types of people. It could be from being surrounded by different types of people. It could be useful for faculty to help their students gain exposure or challenges outside the normal academic elements of school. That’s going to help future technicians succeed,” Manley said during a recent Zoom interview.
In addition to providing strategic business services through his marine technology consulting firm Just Innovation, Inc., Manley offers commentary on the maritime robotics industry in his publication, Uncrewed Maritime Systems Market Update. He is president-elect of the Marine Technology Society, a senior member of IEEE, a fellow of the Institute for Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) and a member at large of the board of directors of Marine Advanced Technology Education for Inspiration and Innovation (MATE II).