Hydro at the Port of Brisbane: the unsung heroes
Our team of Hydrographic Surveyors are as down to earth as they come and you definitely won’t hear them blowing their own trumpet. But their work adds substantial value for our customers and the wider port community.
When you get them talking about what they do, their sense of pride and enthusiasm is nothing short of extraordinary. They find it difficult to describe a typical day but they can tell you what it is that they love:
It’s getting out on the water up and down our vast stretch of coastline, into waterways and river systems.
It’s the constant troubleshooting and leveraging of new technology to find better and more efficient ways of doing things… or simply challenging themselves to apply their expertise to conceptualise and create new solutions for our industry.
It’s the opportunity to collaborate with experts outside of hydrography, from Engineers to Marine Operations, from shore-based support to international companies seeking their input. They’re constantly switching between roles, from technical specialist, to project manager, to research and development.
It’s also pretty good to be part of a team that operates the latest state-of-the-art multibeam sonar equipment and vessel mounted terrestrial laser systems with precise inertial navigation and GPS positioning systems. Right now they’re trialling remote controlled vessels to provide better access to a challenging location under a wharf.
The team is always ready to assist after a severe weather event that may impact localities up and down the Queensland coast. That means that should our customers need us, our team are on-hand to survey their channels and berths to ensure port and shipping operations are safe to recommence. “We need to be ready for anything. A severe weather event can have a big impact on Ports and Shipping”.
The occasional trip to remote parts of the coastline is a great chance to develop new skills. An example is a recent project supporting our dredging operation in Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria - there’s nothing like the challenge of taking on different roles and troubleshooting issues 2000+ kms from home! That said, being Brisbane based, most nights the team are at home with their families. They’re thankful to not have the pressures of Fly in Fly out that many other hydro teams around Australia face.
When we ask them what it takes to be successful in this team, they tell us “We want people who enjoy the challenges that come with our work, and are motivated to improve and innovate, to push our work further. We all do that. Each of us has different perspectives and interests. Everyone brings a different piece to the puzzle.”