Vessel Operations Port Engineer

Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled


The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) is seeking a motivated individual to be a Port Engineer. The Port Engineer supports oceanographic research for Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in the Ship Operations group. Ship Operations is responsible for the scheduling, operation, maintenance, and repair of three oceanographic research vessels (R/V). The vessels are used in support of research and education conducted by LUMCON, Consortium Members, Federal Agencies and other oceanographic industries. Our success is based on an interdisciplinary approach and state-of-the-art technology and facilities.

The primary duty of the Port Engineer is to manage the material readiness of the Research Vessels operated by LUMCON Ship Operations, the future ship operations facility in Houma, LA and current marine operations in Cocodrie, LA. Currently LUMCON manages and operates the R/V Pelican, R/V Point Sur, and R/V Acadiana. Beginning in 2023, LUMCON will also manage and operate a new Regional Class Research Vessels (RCRV), the R/V Gilbert R. Mason for the National Science Foundation. The Pelican and Point Sur will be retired within approximately 4 years and replaced with a “Pelican Replacement” vessel.

The Port Engineer is a critical part of a small, dedicated team. The Port Engineer will perform a variety of tasks including. . .

  • assisting with the recruiting and selection of vessel and shore-based employees;
  • preparing specifications for shipyard and major repair activities; specifying major vessel equipment for purchase;
  • assisting in the preparation of budgets and proposals;
  • implement procedures and maintain documentation to meet a variety of regulatory requirements including the Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for the vessels and shore equipment, Safety Management System (SMS), and United States Coast Guard (USCG)/American Bureau of Shipping inspection and survey;
  • assist with shipyard logistics and maintenance during ship visits logistics and maintenance of the LUMCON’s van pool;
  • provide support for scientific operations including planning for loading and unloading dock facilities and agent services in other ports, operating cranes and forklifts, and assisting in the connection of vessel services and scientific support equipment such as winches and vans;
  • handle procurement and inventory control of parts for all vessels;
  • identify need for machinery equipment upgrades on LUMCON vessels and shore facilities;
  • write specifications to obtain, install, and maintain both ship and shore-side equipment, according to applicable international and US regulations, as well as UNOLS Research Vessel Safety Standards;
  • provide other support as needed for the regulatory compliance of LUMCON vessels by planning for unusual scientific operations onboard vessels;
    • prepare specifications (with the assistance of the Captain, Chief Engineer and Marine Superintendent) for vessel dry-docking, major machinery overhauls, and modifications to the vessels;
  • develop criteria to evaluate proposals for work and participate in selection panels for contractors;
  • assist the Marine Superintendent and Ship Operations Manager in preparing annual operation schedules, developing operating budgets, writing proposals and tracking expenditures;
  • relieve Engineers (limited to current license) at sea and in port as required;
  • prepare, maintain and audit safety plans for Pelican and Point Sur and the LUMCON marine port facility in compliance with the ISM Code for Safe Operation of Ships, the Marine Pollution Prevention Code (MARPOL), International Shipboard and Port Security Code, Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS.);
  • recruit, interview, and select vessel engineers including full time, temporary and intermittent positions;
  • provide leadership, supervision and direction for assigned engineering staff;
  • plan, assign and review work;
  • establish goals for each position assigned;
  • participate in addressing and responding to grievances, develop a framework for corrective actions as necessary.

A portion of the incumbent’s time is spent out of the office, in hands-on activities such as. . .

  • crane operations;
  • mobilizations;
  • and troubleshooting vessel-based engineering issues;
  • and performing other such tasks as may be identified by the Marine Superintendent.


Minimum/ Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a technical field from maritime or military academy, college, or university. Acceptable substitutions for a degree are:
    • A minimum of 6 years’ experience with research vessel management as a Port Engineer (or equivalent) at another UNOLS facility or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Operations Center.
    • Four (4) years of sea service as a First Assistant or Chief Engineer on research or commercial vessels.
    • Military experience equal to or greater than the above qualifications.

The position also requires

  • Meet USCG drug testing requirements.
  • Current USCG License Designated Duty Engineer 4000 HP equivalent or better.
  • A technical knowledge of ships and related equipment, maintenance operations, overhaul, and design.
  • Direct and cooperative interaction with research vessel crew, marine technicians, and scientific personnel.
  • Familiarity with applicable international and US regulations pertaining to the operation and maintenance of sea-going research vessels.
  • Competency with word processing, spreadsheets, and other standard computing skills.
  • Ability to obtain a U.S. Passport and Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) credentials.

Preferred Qualifications:

  •  Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from maritime or military academy, college, or university.
  • Experience in drafting shipyard work specifications and overseeing shipyard repair work.
  • Previous duty as an Engineer at sea on research vessels.
  • Current US Coast Guard (USCG) License as Chief Engineer Unlimited HP.
  • Current Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificate.
  • Current EPA Refrigerant Technician Certificate, or ability to obtain within six months of start date.
  • A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
  • Experience with new builds and sea trials preparing a vessel for service.
  • Experience with computer-based maintenance systems for vessels and facilities.
  • Ability to work effectively in an administrative environment and follow highly structured policies and procedures while managing operations and services of a busy maritime operation.

Working Conditions:

  • Ship Operations is a seven day per week operation; therefore, weekend and holiday work may be periodically required. Shift and/or work assignment may change based on operational needs.
  • Up to 10% of duties require working at sea aboard vessels.
  • This position requires working in a port/dock environment. The ability to move about in small and confined shipboard spaces, operate forklift and lift equipment, assist with vessel mooring, etc. is required.
  • Work may involve heights such as a ship’s mast, may be performed over water, and where lock-out/tag procedures are required.
  • Work may require exposure to high noise levels, or paint, fuel or other fumes. Use of protective equipment including safety eyewear, hearing protection and respirator or dust mask is required.
  • The ability to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects weighing up to 40 pounds is required.

To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and the names/ contact information for at least 3 recommendations to:

Joseph Malbrough
Marine Superintendent, Marine Vessel Operations
8124 Hwy. 56, Chauvin, LA 70344 USA

Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

LUMCON is an AA/EO employer.

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