A path to success in Marine Engineering

Constantinos is the Technical Superintendent at EDT Shipmanagement Ltd. He shares his passion for a profession he has not stopped learning from and valuable tips to succeed in Marine Engineering, addressed to the young generation.

Muriel: “You are passionate about ship technology, ship building and repairs. What did you learn the past 5 years, doing what you love?”

Constantinos: “Similar to the rest of the Shipping related tasks, the technical side of Shipping which includes ship technology, ship building, repairs and maintenance includes tons of interesting facts for an individual to learn.

I personally believe that an Engineer has to educate himself continuously during his professional life and even upon retirement. There will always be fascinating things to learn and he will never learn enough!
A Marine Engineer needs to gain knowledge of ship systems such as electrical systems, HVAC systems, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, ship machinery such as pumps, compressors and obviously the engines, the ship structure and materials.

I mentioned just the main ones and of course, there are a lot more.  In addition, a Marine Engineer needs to learn how all these systems are working together in the Marine environment. Nowadays, he needs to know the rules and regulations the ships have to comply with. For example, the ballast water treatment plants which is the equipment that needs to be installed on board the ships, in order to comply with the International Ballast Water Management Convention.

Indeed, the Marine Engineer needs first to learn the said Convention and after to decide on the system to be installed on board the ship, in order to satisfy the Convention as well as the technical capabilities and the operational requirements of the vessel, at the most economical way.  
During the past years and ever since I was a student, I have learnt a lot of new aspects related to my profession, which came either through working experience or through further professional and academic education.  

A very interesting period of learning and a very good experience for me was the time I was doing the new building supervision, during the building of the vessels. At that time, I had the opportunity to learn how the ships are built from scratch. It was a wonderful experience which I suggest for every Naval Architect and Marine Engineer to go for, if an opportunity arises.”

Muriel: “Based on your extensive experience, what are the skills that the younger generation needs to develop in order to achieve a successful career in Marine Engineering?”

Constantinos: “Based on my experience, and further to acquiring their engineering knowledge, young professionals need to be committed, methodical, and able to work under pressure. They should also be willing to learn during their entire professional life. 
When following a career in Marine Engineering, one has to be willing to travel on short notice, this being one of the characteristics of the profession. I believe that working in the Shipping industry is the definition of internationalization; one has to learn and love to work in an international environment.

In addition, both the running of the ship on board and the supporting of it from the shore involve teamwork, since a number of professions are required to coordinate in order to have the ships running: such as navigation and engine Officers and ratings on board, as well as a number of professions which include Engineers of a variety of specializations, port Captains, Accountants, Lawyers, etc., from the shore side.

Last but not least, there is the aspect of health and safety, both in terms of knowledge and culture. Since ships environment includes a number of health and safety risks, every person working in this particular environment should have knowledge of the risks and the ways to protect himself and the other persons working with him.

Although knowing the risks and the protective measures is a must, my personal opinion is that everyone who is working in the said environment should develop a safety culture that will assist him not to take or to minimise health and safety risks within his working environment.”

Muriel: “What was the most difficult business decision you had to make?”

Constantinos: “In our profession, we are dealing with high value assets (the ships) which are earning high revenues and on the other side, require high maintenance and repair costs on a daily basis.
Therefore, we often come across situations in which we have to decide the optimum solution, making sure that the safety of the vessel and the crew is not jeopardized for any reason.

The aforementioned are difficult professional decisions which we learn to take with time and the assistance of the more experienced colleagues. However, I do believe that the hardest decisions are the personal ones.

And by this I mean the decision to travel or to relocate for a period of time and be away from your loved ones. Missing the birthday of my daughter because I had to be away was tough for me; however, I know my colleagues had even toughest decisions to make, therefore I cannot complain.” 

Muriel: “What keeps you engaged and always wanting to achieve more?”

Constantinos: “Referring to myself, I am lucky enough to do something that I like and passionate about it! Thus the industry itself keeps me engaged and always wanting to achieve more!
It is also that feeling of success for you and the team you belong to, when engineering problems are getting solved and when projects are completed or goals accomplished!”


Constantinos Siliziotis joined EDT Shipmanagement Ltd in 2009 and presently holds the position of Technical Superintendent, DPA/CSO. He has an extensive background in ship technology and thorough understanding of the Classification Societies, as well as Flag regulations and standards, in accordance with regulatory requirements. He has participated in major technical works at EDT, including shipbuilding, repairs and modifications.
Constantinos holds a Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Shipping Management and a Master in Business Administration degree.
He is a Chartered Engineer, licensed by the UK Engineering Council and is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.
He is member of the Cyprus Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Association, member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, associate member of IMAREST and member of the Technical Chamber of Cyprus.

© Muriel Matta 2017

Muriel Matta (BSc, MSc, MPhil, Cert CTT Practitioner) is an HR Advisor, Coach, Trainer and Facilitator.
She is a multilingual Human Resources Management expert, with 28 years of cross-cultural experience in MENA, Europe and CIS. 
In line with her Vision, she launched Maravilhosa in 2014 to help organizations build high-performing teams.
For more information:
Muriel can be contacted via email: Muriel@maravilhosa.net