The path Joshua Awe took to the facilities of COVE is by no means traditional. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, and educated in Muscat, Oman, a career in ocean technology on the shores of Nova Scotia was not always top of mind.
Joshua first moved to Halifax in 2015 to begin his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Dalhousie University. Throughout his studies, he had no real interest in the ocean tech industry. That all changed after earning a placement in the internship program with COVE.
“The Internship with COVE was exactly what I needed after graduating. It provided me an opportunity to really expand what I learned during my coursework at Dalhousie,” said Awe.
This opportunity included researching and designing innovative solutions to the challenges ocean tech companies were facing. COVE provided Joshua and his fellow interns with a mentor to provide clarity and direction throughout the project.
Following Joshua’s internship, he set out with a newfound interest to find work in the ocean tech sector. He took it upon himself to reach out to the President and CEO of Sensor Technology through LinkedIn and on the phone. “During our conversation, I was able to use my internship at COVE alongside my coursework at Dalhousie as evidence that I would be a good fit in the company,” said Awe.
Fortunately, the company was looking for someone with his skills and experience. “It was about being at the right place at the right time. However, I like to believe I put myself in a position to be lucky through hard work and networking,” said Awe.
Now a full-time Mechanical Engineer with Sensor Technology, Joshua is continuing to benefit from tenancy at COVE. He points to the collaboration with other tenants, and the ability to share equipment, ideas, and solutions as crucial to pushing the industry forward.
“Facilities like COVE are very important because they allow collaboration between companies that specialize in different things. It’s hard for one company to do it all, but goals are more easily achieved when different companies are brought to the table,” said Awe.
Along with maximizing the potential of existing ocean tech companies and professionals, Joshua believes work must be done to bring the next generation into the fold. “The province must continue its efforts to retain and develop its young people because they are assets,” said Awe.
“COVE does a fantastic job of hosting networking events that provide outsiders an inside view of what the industry is like. It also pleases me to see that COVE has been proactive in efforts to engage kids from marginalized communities and show them that they are welcomed in the industry. The impact of those initiatives cannot be taken lightly” he added.
Without question, any initiative to bring more people into the fold can have a huge impact. After all, you never know where the future leaders of Nova Scotia’s ocean tech industry might come from.
“I often think about my trajectory and how a kid from Lagos, Nigeria is now playing a part in a booming industry in Nova Scotia. I am grateful to my parents and my siblings. I represent them,” said Awe.