Steve Thomas is making sure our new research vessel is in ship shape before it's first

It’s all hands on deck for Steve and the Future Research Vessel project crew.

Meet Steve Thomas, one of the many faces behind Australia’s brand spankin’ new research vessel, RV Investigator.

Steve has moved with his family from Hobart to Singapore to assist the Future Research Vessel project team with the final stages of the vessel’s construction. It’s his job to ensure the vessel’s science gear is in ship shape before it first heads out to sea.

On a typical day, he reviews drawings and conducts routine inspections onboard the vessel to make sure it’s safe and compliant.

He looks at what’s known as the ‘scientific fit-out’ of the vessel. This covers everything from essential infrastructure to the sonar suite on the vessel’s gondola – which (sadly) is not a Venetian rowing boat.

“The gondola is actually a large piece of scientific equipment welded to the bottom of the vessel, which looks a bit like a space shuttle,” says Steve.

All in the family: Steve's daughter Sarah (5) takes a tour of the new vessel.

Our (budding) new Chief Engineer: Steve’s daughter Sarah takes a tour of the new vessel.

Steve is certainly no stranger to the seven seas. Before landing his current role as a Technical Services Officer on the project, he spent years working as a marine technician with the Marine National Facility on vessels like Franklin and Southern Surveyor.

So when it came to constructing the new Investigator, Steve was eager to play a part.

“The thought of soon being on board a completely brand new and unique research vessel that can be used for as many different marine science disciplines as possible is very exciting. This is a once in a career opportunity.”

“The best thing about my job is being part of a small team of specialists where everyone is totally committed and motivated to see the best possible outcome for Australia’s blue-water research.”


Keep up to date with Investigator’s process on our Investigator blog.

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