Alex Miller

Position/Job title: 2nd Marine engineer

I’ve lived an adventurous life and have been all around the world while being paid for it. It is difficult to choose just one favourite voyage. Antarctic sampling trips have been interesting, and I’ve also been through the Panama Canal. There have also been delivery trips from Europe to New Zealand.

As a marine engineer I fix things, maintain the vessel and generally make the boat work. I’ve been working at NIWA permanently for three and a half years, and on and off for about twelve years. Before that I worked on a Golden bay cement carrier, and before that in oil and gas in Aussie. I also worked commercial fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean and Pacific purse seining and long lining. Overall, I’ve been working at sea for about 21 years.

My favourite thing about the job is the people. It’s an interesting job and I enjoy being part of something that’s bigger than I am while increasing our knowledge. It’s a very satisfying job.

For those who are interested in working at sea, be prepared for doing the time and learning from others. Don’t expect things to be on your terms from the beginning – that comes from experience. It can be a hard job for relationships. Overall you should choose jobs that challenge you and enable you to keep learning! Don’t necessarily go for the easy ones.