A Unique Training Program Offering a Solution for the Severe Shortage of Marine Engineers

The marine engineering field is gaining momentum, however there is a significant shortage of marine engineers in Israel, as very few engineers choose to specialize in this field. Marine engineering is characterized by particularly complex projects in terms of their planning and execution, among them planning seaports, marinas, breakwaters and piers, planning coastal protection, ocean digging projects, artificial islands, desalination facilities and marine infrastructures.

SCE Ashdod has initiated the training of engineers for the marine field who will go on to bring their expertise to industry that is in dire need of qualified personnel. The program aims to train civil engineers interested in specializing in and entering the marine engineering field and contending with a broad range of issues in marine infrastructure projects in large companies such as Israel Ports and the Israel Electric Corporation. As part of the program students receive training needed for receiving a yacht skipper license.

Dr. Uri Kushnir, Head of the Marine Engineering Program at the SCE (in the past head of the Coastal and Marine Engineering Research Institute, and a marine mapping expert): “The need to train engineers with knowledge in marine engineering is critical in order to address the severe shortage of qualified personnel in the field. The increasing growth in the volume of maritime trade and shipping requires enlarging seaports about every two decades. The location of some of the most expensive real estate assets in the country along the shoreline, for example in Arsuf, Apolonia and Beit Yanai, require protecting the coastal cliffs from collapsing due to wave activity. In the near future, a shortage of land along the coast and rising real estate prices will require the development of industrial and residential infrastructures in the ocean and on artificial and/or floating islands. The Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Transportation have already set in motion initiatives aimed at examining the feasibility of developing artificial islands, a floating airport, etc. Furthermore, continued water shortage along with population growth requires building additional desalination facilities and planning marine pipelines and infrastructures.”