Three students in Cornwall have been lauded for helping to break down gender barriers while being recognised for their work using technology to operate underwater exploration machinery.
The students from Falmouth Marine School achieved more than 100 hours of Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) hours experience while working with subsea company KMEXGroup and Kernow Marine Exploration.
Emily Hardisty, Vanessa Mancini and Ella Treloar were awarded their certificates at Falmouth Marine School’s Industry Day and Emily, 23 who moved to Cornwall from Kent to study, is interested in deep sea exploration as a future career.
“I’m also interested in species discovery and ROVs are increasingly being used in that whole industry so I thought being able to operate one would be a good skill to have for my future ambitions,” she added.
Cornwall is being used as a training ground for new technologies and future employees of the marine sector, and as part of this, director and founder of KME Angelina Rose said the company was involved in training, commercial work and eco-tourism, but the focus was on ROV services.
“We work closely with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and educational research hence working with Falmouth Marine School,” she explained.
“And while the students achieved their 100 hours work competency on the ROV, they have also worked a lot within the industry to gain the experience of the ROV as a tool to support their studies. They have been excellent, but it’s been more important that they are females promoting this side of the skill trade into the marine industry. It’s a very small and closed industry which I’m trying to open it up from education upwards.”
Twenty-two-year-old Vanessa from Warminster, has been studying for five years in Cornwall and said the ROV experience was invaluable to her career ambitions.
“We met Angelina on Industry Day last year when she was looking for people to train with ROVs,” she said.
“The idea of women pursuing careers in engineering really resonated with us. I want to work for the natural history department making wildlife documentaries, but before that I want to sail a lot.”
Falmouth Marine School is hosting a taster day and course advice event on Saturday 3rd February for those who would like to find out more about the marine sector and the many opportunities available in Cornwall.