Jim

Marine Engineer Submariner

"It’s been absolutely amazing to put into practice what I was taught [at Swansea University] on one of the world’s most complex and classified atomic technologies"

Originally from Reading, I graduated in 2011 from Swansea University with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. After a short career in teaching I felt like I wanted to push myself a little further so I decided to join the RN in 2014.

When I was at Swansea University, I was actively involved in the surf club and was lucky enough to travel to Morocco, France and all over the UK surfing. It was that love of travel and the sea that attracted me to a career in the Royal Navy and particularly to the submarine service.

I joined the Royal Navy and completed my initial 30 weeks of training, then went straight onto HMS Vigilant. Vigilant is an incredibly sophisticated submarine, she is one of the four Vanguard class submarines tasked to maintain the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent, this means she must be capable of 'disappearing' on patrol for long periods of time remaining undetected. During my first patrol as a Marine Engineer Submariner, I was responsible for keeping watch in the main machinery space on the secondary systems associated with the nuclear power plant, which is the power source for electrical generation and propulsion on board all British submarines. I thoroughly enjoyed studying Mechanical Engineering at Swansea and it’s been absolutely amazing to put into practice what I was taught there on one of the world’s most complex and classified atomic technologies.

As a submariner, you are sometimes submerged for up to 3 months at a time and it’s often that concern about claustrophobia which puts people off, but it’s honestly never bothered me. The way I see it, I’m at sea and whether I’m under it, on it or surfing it, I always feel at home.

One of the advantages of being a submariner is the community and comradery between the crew on board, which is unmatched anywhere else, even in comparison to other branches of the Royal Navy.

Over the coming years I’ll continue along the very defined Marine Engineer Submariner career pipeline, which consists of continuous cycles of development and promotion. This means that if I ever decide to leave the Royal Navy, I’ll have some amazing transferable skills and qualifications which will enable me to work in any number of roles within the UK’s rapidly growing nuclear industry.

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