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Nicholas’ journey in the maritime sector led him to have a special conversation with Her Majesty, The Queen!

And, it all began 12 years ago with an Apprenticeship in Electronic Ship Building Engineering at City College Plymouth, which really sparked his interest in the sector.

“I’d always wanted to work with boats and considering it’s a hands-on career, I thought an Apprenticeship would be the best way to get there. Now, I work as a test engineer at Princess Yachts and I’m taking the steps needed to secure my dream career in yacht design.”

With his sights set on exploring the more creative element in the industry, Nicholas’ work on designing and constructing autonomous vessels as part of the final year project on his Foundation Degree in Naval Architecture not only garnered academic acclaim but also caught the attention of the broader maritime industry, leading to a memorable invitation to Buckingham Palace. Nicholas was invited to join College staff at Buckingham Palace when the Principal was presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize. 

The highlight of his journey was undoubtedly the conversation with Her Majesty during the awards ceremony. Her Majesty’s interest in the nuances of autonomous vessel construction reflected the significance of Nicholas’s project, bridging the gap between royal recognition and technological innovation. 

“It was a surreal experience, talking to the Queen. She asked me about how autonomous vessels were built and the work that goes into it, so it was an amazing opportunity to share my knowledge.”

Nicholas was more than happy to share insights into a cutting-edge field, marking a significant moment in his career. Reflecting on this “once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Nicholas’ path from an apprentice to studying the intricacies of naval architecture highlights the value of seizing every opportunity and leveraging available knowledge and expertise. 

“For anyone looking to enter the maritime sector, I’d say the best advice would be to just throw yourself into the deep end and take every opportunity you get. There’s so many lecturers at the College who have a wealth of knowledge and industry experience so just make sure you take it all in.”