Making a move (to a new career)

Sorry I’ve been a little AWOL (Away Without Official Leave) lately and wanted to explain why.

Anyone that’s known me for a little bit might know that I am an Ocean Engineer by training and a shipbuilder by profession (or for punishment for some sort of sins in a past life). When I say ship I mean large vessels (stuff I’ve worked on for the US Navy include LCS Freedom, LCS independence, LHA, DDG, LPD. For the US Coast Guard the National Security Cutter, and more commercial vessels than I can count…).

I’ve spent the last 15 years working for a software company that produces design software for building these ships.

After recently discovering that I’d been criminally undervalued at my company I decided to make a switch and all of the stars aligned to provide me with an incredible opportunity.

I’ve now resigned from my previous employer (this is my last few days there) and will be taking up a brand new position shortly where I’m transitioning out of shipbuilding entirely to be the principal data architect for a lab full of scientists. I’m beyond excited about this opportunity.

What this means here is that I’m likely to be quite busy during the transition as I start this (entirely new and different) career path. I joke that most men in a mid-life crisis buy sports cars. I apparently decide to try out an entirely new career… :wink:

I’m still here, just busier than usual. Don’t hesitate to ping me or @ mention me as usual, just please be understanding if I’m a little slow(er) to respond. :smiley: Excelsior!


what kind?

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Perhaps the OP really means: “A ship I built got jammed in the Suez canal, so I’m getting out before I get arrested!”

Tee hee. Only kidding. All the best in your new career!


Sounds exciting! Wish you all the best @patdavid :slight_smile:

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Good luck with you new job!


Small world. I was involved with all those ships as part of my 36 years as a civilian engineer with the US Navy.

Good luck with your next career step!

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Marine kind:

:smiley: :fish: :ocean:


Congrats Pat! Smooth sailing…


Congrats Pat!

They have cute merch!


All the best @patdavid.
It’s sad that sometimes we find that we’re ‘criminally undervalued’ for a hard work :frowning:


It has nothing to do with war and combat, so it should be a significant improvement. I am happy for you. Hope it will be fun, although you probably also enjoyed building war ships?


I enjoyed building ships. Not so much war ships specifically (one of my reasons to move was that building warships doesn’t align with me personally). Don’t get me wrong, though, I am a nut for maritime stuff in general and warships is a big part of that history. I’d just rather help scientists manage data and collaborate vs. finding better ways to put weapons platforms near people someone doesn’t like.


When I was graduating CompSci the navy were recruiting real-time programmers. Abstract idea sounds fine. When I was told that there would also be ship board software deployment tests , that was interesting. However when I heard the words “missile guidance” I back-pedaled rapidly.

I wish you well and hope you find much greater vocational fulfillment.

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Good luck with the new job. Supporting science sounds like a lot more motivating aim than supporting the military, if you’re in general, a peace-loving person.

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:=)) I spent 12 years in academia on soft money “managing data for scientists.”

Every lab is different but we did find some common themes. Researchers (having given up the spiral bound notebook a decade or two ago) all seemed to document their experiments with spread sheets. Primarily Excel, which isn’t structured (it’s flat) and not network connected. All of which leads to interesting creative ideas about better ways. None of which have yet caught on.


Yeah, it helps that my wife has been working at this lab for the last 15 years or so as well, so I have a sort of front-row seat to how things are done. I’ve made multiple suggestions in the past and after a while some of the investigators started to take notice and have actually started doing things a little saner.

This will just be an opportunity to codify things and have someone to whom anyone can turn to ask questions, look for help, or blame if it goes sideways. :wink:


What you may deal with is turn over. People tend to come an go a lot in the lab environment which makes it hard to implement cohesive systems…should be fun enjoy…

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Huge congrats to you, Pat. Just wish you the best. At least you evolved (I went the other direction. lol). Still hope you keep the kettle from whistling (high teapot that is). I know you know when you are about to go there and hope you find some calm time when that happens. :slight_smile:

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It’s always interesting making these transitions. I’ve been in the marine business virtually my entire career working with and on ships. Started out as an entry level engineer at a shipyard a long time ago. My current specialization is Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) and their utilization.

Scientists (aka Principal Investigators) are an interesting lot. I had a stint working at a small oceanographic company about 20 years ago and at times it could be a challenge. The PI’s had very specific ideas of how things should be done in the process of their investigations. Oftentimes these ideas were completely unworkable in reality and it was typically fairly difficult to get them to sit down and discuss how to go about getting the results that they wanted, in a way that was different than the one they envisaged.

Anyway, good luck.

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good luck :grin:

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