Ocean engineers have the opportunity to work closely with oceanographers and marine biologists to design equipment that is useful for marine research. They must have knowledge of electrical, civil and mechanical engineering, and understand how the ocean works.
Ocean engineers have made it possible to study hydrothermal vents, ocean volcanoes, new underwater mountain chains and helped in the discovery of previously unknown species.
Ocean engineers have a hand at designing solutions to the problem of plastic pollution. For instance, they can be involved in the creation of devices that sense underwater objects (like microplastics) and design technology to extract these pollutants. They have particular challenges as their devices must be able to be submerged in fresh or sea water for long periods of time and withstand high winds, waves, currents and storms.