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May 29, 2020 - It's all in the electronics

Nick Eton, electronics support, knows a thing or two about fixing things at sea!

Where are you from? 

Wellington

How long have you been working at NIWA? 

Three years

What is your role onboard? 

At each site, I survey the area with the multibeam echosounder to provide a map of the seafloor terrain. When the Deep Towed Imaging System (DTIS) is ready to deploy I ensure everything is in good working order and make repairs as necessary. I also help out with the ship’s electronics systems when required.

Where do you spend most of your time?

You can usually find me in the multibeam lab or the hydro dry lab. 

What can go wrong and how do you fix things? 

Sometimes the DTIS can fail and we need to be able to get the backup system working as soon as possible while we fix the main system. Repairs are usually minor, but we do sometimes come across bigger problems such as a cracked camera housing or a failure in the deep-sea communications cable.

What do you miss about working on land when you are at sea? 

I do sometimes miss having access to all resources and being able to bounce ideas off other electronics engineers to solve problems!

Tell us why you enjoy your job so much

Working in electronics at NIWA is great. I get to work closely with an amazing group of leading scientists to solve problems by designing and building systems. 

Contact

Marine Electronics Technician
Research subject: Acoustics