UBC MEL MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering — Pavan Rao

Alumnus Story — Pavan Rao

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering — Pavan Rao

Pavan Rao originally trained as a marine engineer, but after eight months working as a trainee engineer at a shipyard in India, he decided he wanted to work on ships. He completed his training and certifications and was ultimately certified as a marine engineer officer.

He spent six years working on both oil tankers and bulk carriers, preferring the challenges that come with working on oil tankers. “Their operations are more complex, given that they are continuously on the move and have more challenging loading and unloading operations at port,” he says.

While he enjoyed working on ships, Pavan wanted to pursue his education at the graduate level. “The MEL was a great fit for me: I am a technical person who loves the technical aspects of ships. With the MEL, I could expand my engineering knowledge while also gaining management skills.”

Graduate-level engineering and management courses

Courses in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program cover all stages of the industry value chain, from initial design and building to operating and retirement. Pavan says the classes expanded his knowledge base, and he found the production aspects of Ship Production and Industrial Engineering class of particular interest.

The business and leadership courses taught by faculty at UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School of Business offered the foundational business and management information he was looking for.

Two different professors taught Organizational Leadership, which opened up new perspectives. And courses on Strategy & Innovation and Sustainability & Leadership spurred Pavan to consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of strategy and decision-making.

Pavan also participated in a 12-week co-op program at Seaspan, where he worked with the materials team on a parts catalogue used by naval architects and designers working on the next generation of ships for the Canadian Navy.

A job before graduating

In the last month of the program, Pavan was interviewed for a full-time contract position at Seaspan. “My co-op experience gave me knowledge about the company, its processes and how its teams work together,” he says. “Being able to share that experience during my interview definitely helped me secure this position.”

In his role as Production Engineer, Pavan is creating build strategies for different zones or blocks of the ship. He’s also responsible for developing equipment installation plans and implementing Lean engineering process changes to improve efficiency.

“My operations and engineering background – combined with the MEL degree and my co-op experience – helped me get this job. I use the knowledge from my technical classes in my work, and while I have not yet directly applied some of the knowledge I gained in the management classes, the tools of team leadership and communication are something I use every day.”

Take the steps to join the next cohort of engineering leaders. If you haven’t already, assess your eligibility and sign up for the upcoming information session to learn how to submit a strong application. Learn more about this innovative master’s program:

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Combine the engineering and physics of ship design with broad business and leadership training.

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