Please tell us about yourself
For Rohan Madethatt, the MEL in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering was an opportunity to enhance his first-hand knowledge of the operations side of the shipping industry with a deeper understanding of naval design and architecture. He’s now putting his new technical knowledge and business skills to use to help the shipping industry become more sustainable.
What did you study?
Rohan Madethatt’s knowledge of ships is far more than theoretical. After graduating with a bachelor of technology in marine engineering from the Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training in Pune, India, he spent several years working on the high seas. Starting as an assistant engineer with Mitsui, he eventually became a third engineering officer and an environmental engineer with Norwegian Cruise Lines after obtained his MEO Class four officers licence.
Tell us about your career path
“While I enjoyed my work in operations, I wanted to take my career further by learning about ship design, construction and architecture,” he says.
The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at University of British Columbia met all his requirements for a master’s degree: a condensed one-year program that would deepen his knowledge of ship design, engineering and architecture while strengthening his project management, business and leadership skills. In fact, he says, “I was so sure that this was what I wanted to study that this was the only program I applied for.”
How was the experience at UBC?
Rohan says that it was initially something of a challenge to get back into an academic mindset after spending several years working. But it was a challenge he embraced. He immersed himself in his engineering classes — broadening his technical skills, gaining facility with new software programs and enthusiastically contributing his first-hand knowledge of working on ships. “I was able to bring practical examples of what actually happens in marine environments, and then as a class we would think through the technical factors that contributed to — or could improve — the issue at hand.”
Rohan has high praise for the MEL professors leading his technical classes. “They were wonderful teachers with years of experience in industry. They made a lot of effort with their students — including organizing events, introducing us to key industry people at various conferences including the annual convention of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. It was a delight to be in the courses and the instructors were extremely helpful and friendly.”
During the summer semester, Rohan successfully landed an intern position with Seaspan. His responsibilities were wide ranging and included working with the director of operations and area managers on analyzing root causes, assisting in detail planning in production, developing processes and tools for electrical work, and reviewing drawings.
About 40 per cent of the classes in the 12-month MEL focus on business and leadership skills. These classes are taught by faculty from UBC Sauder School of Business and bring together students from all MEL programs as well as those in the Master of Health Leadership and Policy program. Rohan says this mix of students was an incredible asset.
“Everyone had so many interesting examples from their own experience and industry backgrounds — it made for a very rich experience to be exposed to these other perspectives.”
What are you doing currently?
After graduating in December 2017, Rohan began working as a Technical sales and Services engineer with Scanship, a company that develops and technologies and builds equipment to improve the sustainability performance of oceangoing vessels and are a leading supplier of waste management equipment and solutions for the Cruise ship industry, thus greatly contributing towards making the oceans cleaner.
He travels extensively in his new role to visit ships, troubleshoot mechanical issues, find root cause of issues and make recommendations to solve problems.
“It’s a great job. I like it because it’s very hands-on with new challenges every day. I also appreciate that I’m able to build on my existing experience while applying the new knowledge and skills I developed in the MEL program. My goal in pursuing the MEL was not to just study naval architecture to become a naval architect, but to apply this knowledge to operations. The MEL program was ideal for giving me new technical skills as an engineer and new management skills through the business classes.”