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Manoj Samant, Engineering and Development Branch Chief

Manoj Samant

Manoj Samant, Engineering and Development Branch Chief.

Manoj Samant: A Day in the Life Donut chart showing the typical work duties of Manoj Samant, Engineering and Development Branch Chief. Supervision, Engineering Management, Administration Pink chart segment spanning 60% of the whole: the percentage of time Manoj Samant spends on Developing learning products Preparing presentations and writing Green chart segment spanning 20% of the whole: the percentage of time Manoj Samant spends on Training and Technical Assistance Field work, data collection, and instrument testing Blue chart segment spanning 10% of the whole: the percentage of time Manoj Samant spends on Project management Daily Duties

Donut chart showing how Manoj Samant, Engineering and Development Branch Chief.

Manoj is responsible for supervising, administering, and managing the Operational Engineering and Design and Development Engineering teams in the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). CO-OPS is the authoritative source for accurate, reliable, and timely tides, water levels, currents and other oceanographic information. CO-OPS data, products and services support safe and efficient navigation, sound ecosystem stewardship, coastal hazards preparedness and response, and the understanding of climate change.

What are your basic job duties?

My responsibilities and duties include the management of the water level stations, meteorological and oceanographic stations, and current water meters for programs such as the National Water Level Observation Network, Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems, National Currents Observations Program and NOAA Water Initiative Program. My duties include planning, obtaining goods and/or services, budgets, development of standards, specifications, and standard operating procedures.

Tell me about when or how you knew you wanted to pursue your current career.

I grew up near the ocean and have always been fascinated by the water. I’m also very detail-oriented and enjoy the field of engineering, so the CO-OPS jobs I’ve held have been the best of both worlds and have allowed me to expand my interests.

Tell me a story about a time your work felt exciting or rewarding.

After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami event, I was given the task to lead the NOS CO-OPS Tsunami Team and support the National Weather Service’s tsunami detection efforts. CO-OPS installed 16 new National Water Level Observation Network stations and upgraded instrumentation for the CO-OPS observing systems. The real time data collected was used to determine the speed and location of future tsunamis and to inform tsunami centers, coastal managers, and others to take appropriate action to safeguard human lives. This was a very fast paced project and it was rewarding to know that my contributions may have helped save lives by the early warning detection.

What NOAA project have you enjoyed working on the most?

One exciting piece of equipment, the microwave radar water level sensor, is a cost effective device used to measure water levels around the nation that does not require diving to install or maintain. This tool also eliminates the chances of organisms attaching themselves to underwater objects like boats, rope, pipes and building structures. From 2011 to 2016, I led the Microwave Water Level Transition efforts to upgrade 150 of the 210 National Water Level Observation Network stations to microwave technology. This robust effort will continue until 2026 when the full transition is expected to be completed.

What would you recommend to those who want to pursue a career in your field?

This is an ideal job for those who are interested in service, making a difference to their country and, at the same time, have a passion for advancing their technical and scientific career. The assignments are rewarding, the people are talented and compassionate, and NOS supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Name: Manoj Samant
  • Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Education: Master of Science in Structural Engineering; Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering
  • National Ocean Service Program Office: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

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Author: NOAA

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