Who's navigating? The technology revolution
Self-confessed ‘techie’ and keen Nautical Institute student member Imtiaz Khan AMNI shares his opinions about maritime technology and talks about living a life full of ‘adventure and thrills’ at sea
Name: Imtiaz Khan AMNI
Current position: Cadet
Vessel: Akij Pearl / Bangladesh Maritime Academy
What interested you in a career at sea?
I was not interested in a normal office desk job like my father had. Since my childhood I have always been fond of adventure and thrill. So, after passing out from my college, I decided to go to sea and work in big merchant ships, traversing huge waves and sea sprays, carrying necessary goods for people waiting on the shore.
What career path has led to your current position?
I joined the only government maritime training academy in my country – Bangladesh Marine Academy. When I joined, it had just started a new course which offered two years’ regimental training, plus education at academy campus and a minimum 12 months sea-time. My studies will ultimately lead to a Bachelor (Hons.) degree in Maritime Studies.
Where do you see yourself going in the future?
Currently I am attending preparatory courses for the OOW Class-3 exam while also pursuing my Bachelor's degree. Once I have finished my studies, I see myself as a prudent Officer of the Watch in a renowned company, which will value me for my sense of responsibility and efficiency. I also eventually see myself in command of an ocean-going vessel as Master and would like to work as a maritime pilot to serve my country.
How has technology affected shipping as we know it today?
Technology has brought about a revolution in shipping. The number of accidents at sea has reduced to a great extent because of the use of technology. For example, ECDIS has made it easier for OOWs to carry out passage planning, passage monitoring, early warning of different risks etc.
I favour combining both technology and traditional methods in my work. For example, on my first ship we used both paper charts and ECDIS in conjunction with each other. This is because there is always a feeling of risk at sea around what will happen if there is a total loss of power, or if the electronics stop working properly.
I have great admiration for the different international organisations and entities who are working behind technological advancement and autonomous shipping. Done correctly, this will make our jobs on board ship a lot easier than before.
How do you make sure that you keep your skills up to date with the technology that you use in your job?
Personally, I am proud to call myself a techie! Recently, I attended a project on digital marketing. I try to stay active on social media and the internet. I also read maritime blogs and publications about maritime technology, so that I am always up-to-date with recent thinking on the subject. I am also pleased to be a member of The Nautical Institute, which has a lot of resources to keep its members up-to-date on technology and the wider maritime and shipping world.