Celebrate Engineers Week with Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute

An ocean journey with the Argo float 'The Argo Adventure'An Argo Float being deployed. Photo credit Tomas Szumski, Marine Institute

28th February 2022: On 5th and 6th March 2022, Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute are delighted to support STEPS Engineers Week with a weekend of fun, facts and competitions at Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill. The weekend will be dedicated to the Argo float, and showcase the importance of marine engineering.

Argo floats are robotic instruments that drift with the ocean currents and are engineered to move up and down between the surface and a mid-water level collecting data as it travels the ocean. Each float is programmed to rise to the surface every 10 days to transmit its data via satellite so scientists can monitor the ocean temperature and circulation. At the surface, the Argo float can also receive new mission instructions when it connects to the satellite. There are currently close to 4,000 floats in the Argo Programme collecting and transmitting data from areas of the global ocean that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

Galway Atlantaquaria will have an Argo float from the Marine Institute on display over the weekend. Visitors to Galway Atlantaquaria can view this marine robot up close and can take a look inside at the inner workings and electronics that drive it on its mission. Each day, there will be videos showing how the Argo floats are deployed at sea and how they work. Visitors can view the full global fleet online and see the data they transmit back via satellite.

Alan Berry, Section Manager of Marine Research Infrastructures at the Marine Institute said, "Engineers Week is a particular favourite of mine and it is always so encouraging to see the enthusiasm and interest of the next generation of marine engineers and scientists. The Marine Institute through Argo Ireland is a member of the Euro-Argo Programme and this will be a great opportunity to highlight the significance of marine engineering in providing highly specialised technology that allows us to collect and share vital data from the world's ocean which would otherwise be next to impossible."

Argo floats distribute real-time information on temperature and salinity down to a depth of 2,000 metres below the ocean's surface. Measuring the temperature and salinity of the ocean is crucial in better understanding climate change and the role of our oceans on our climate.An Argo Float on the Marine Institute's Annual Ocean Climate Survey. Photo by Tomas Szumski, Marine Institute

Garry Kendellen of Galway Atlantaquaria said, "I have followed the floats for a long time, and these devices are an amazing example of engineering to help us monitor the ocean. The climate crisis is of great danger to our own health and these devices give us valuable information on changes in ocean circulation."

Come along and talk with scientists from Galway Atlantaquaria and the Marine Institute and discover why marine engineering is so important. There will be plenty to see and do with puzzles, fun and competitions to be won. This event is taking place during Engineers Week on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2022 at the Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill.

Engineers Week brings the fascinating world of engineering to life in communities nationwide, inspiring children to engineer the Ireland of tomorrow. To meet the talent demands of Project Ireland 2040 ambitions we need skilled engineers and as a result are urging more young people to consider a career in engineering.

Book early on the Galway Atlantaquaria website at www.nationalaquarium.ie


For more information, please contact:
Galway Atlantaquaria, Gary Kendellen e. garry@nationalaquarium.ie
Sheila Byrnes, Marine Institute e. sheila.byrnes@marine.ie m. +353 (0)87 815 5271
Sinéad Coyne, Marine Institute e. sinead.coyne@marine.ie m. +353 (0)87 947 7090

Editor's Notes:
Galway Atlantaquaria
Galway Atlantaquaria is Ireland's largest native species aquarium. Enjoy learning about our native species including sharks, rays, and crustaceans, as well the marine and freshwater environment. An educational, engaging, and fun experience for all ages, fully accessible, with exhibits designed to reflect the aquatic environments found on and around our Island. Free parking, with lots of amenities close at hand, this all-weather attraction is located in the heart of Salthill, Galway City. www.nationalaquarium.ie/

Marine Institute
The Marine Institute is the state agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland. It provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of Ireland's marine resources. www.marine.ie

Engineers Week
STEPS Engineers Week promotes engineering and the importance of the profession to children in Ireland. The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students in the Republic of Ireland through a portfolio of projects. www.engineersireland.ie/Schools/Engineers-Week/About-Engineers-Week