Engineering Spotlight: Ben Pietro

Ben Pietro grew up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and has spent a great deal of time around the water. After obtaining a degree in

Ben Pietro, Engineering Assistant III and TowCam Pilot with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ben Pietro, Engineering Assistant III and TowCam Pilot with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Education from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, Mr. Pietro acquired a job with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  No doubt his experience in working with boats in Cape Cod gave him practical skills necessary for his position at WHOI today.

Currently, Mr. Pietro is an Engineering Assistant III. He designs, fabricates, and deploys surface moorings, and spends four to five months out on the water each year.

When asked what he enjoyed most about his job, Mr. Pietro responded, “There is always something new going on…Things are always changing.” He is always creating new things to help meet the needs of scientists involved in ocean exploration.

During the Canyons CSI Research Expedition, Mr. Pietro has been playing a major role in working with TowCam.  He is involved with the deployment and recovery of TowCam, and is one of three engineers on the cruise that is qualified to pilot TowCam. From an observer’s standpoint, this seems to be no easy task, since there are multiple variables that must be taken into account, and pictures are taken every ten seconds instead of having a live video feed. The pilot must rely on data feeds, such as altimetry and depth, and their knowledge of bathymetry and the ocean, in order to safely steer TowCam throughout the water column.

In the future, Mr. Pietro would like to become a better and more efficient engineer. He wants to learn more, continue to improve his drawing skills using CAD, and design new programs.

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