Not the 9 to 5: meet Captain Daniel Adam

Not the 9 to 5: meet captain, Daniel Adam

Ever wonder what it’s like to work at sea? Maritime student Daniel Adam gives us an insight into what it's like at the helm.


Here at LJMU, we’re proud to be based in a city steeped in fascinating and unique maritime history. Today, Liverpool continues to provide opportunities for maritime careers, making LJMU the perfect place to study.

We caught up with Daniel, (who is also the captain of a merchant vessel) to learn about his research project, his passion for working within the maritime industry, and where he hopes his career will take him in the future.

Speaking of his inspiration to pursue a career in the industry, it’s clear to see that the maritime links within Daniel’s family are strong: 

"The maritime industry has always been a big part of my family, in fact, I was partly raised on board a trading tanker in the Middle East. My father is a sea captain and I have other family members who have worked in the industry too. When I graduated high school I chose to follow in my father’s footsteps and see the world whilst travelling the sea. In many ways, the sea has always heavily influenced my decisions and upbringing."

When it comes to choosing the best thing about working at sea, he simply couldn’t pick one:

"There are many amazing things about being at sea and a lot of challenges. Since this is my day job, it can become a routine – but there are always a lot of surprises along the way. I’ve been to amazing places and experienced things I would never have had the opportunity to in a traditional job. I greatly appreciate the gifts of these challenges and experiences that a life at sea has offered me."

Over the course of his career so far Daniel has already achieved one of his major life goals – to captain a merchant vessel. This huge achievement is something that has since spurred him on to pursue new challenges within the industry, as he now sets his sights on a job ashore:

"I think I’d like to pursue a career ashore and find a new challenge. The move to adopting new technologies within the maritime sector is also very exciting, so I’d really appreciate the chance to be a part of this amazing evolution."

Daniel highly recommends a career at sea but acknowledges it’s not for everyone.

"Although working at sea undoubtedly requires sacrifices, the rewards are truly great. The opportunity to see the world was always one of the biggest attractions for me and also the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills and gain insights into different cultures. As well as that, some of my most positive memories of sailing the seas have been heavily influenced by the interactions I’ve had with nature along the way. A thunderstorm at two in the morning in the middle of the ocean is a thing of great beauty. Working at sea isn’t easy, but those who persevere will find a job that’s both rewarding and unique – no two vessels are the same after all!"

When it came to his masters research project, Daniel had this to say:

"During my course at LJMU I knew I wanted to focus on an area that would allow me to understand how the maritime sector may evolve with the adoption of new technology. For my research, I examine how block chain technology may aid the bunker industry with dispute resolution. The bunker industry has been negatively impacted by the likes of the OW Bunker case, as well as the upcoming changes that IMO (International Maritime Organisation) 2020 will have on the industry (including the Bunker Delivery Note). Block chain technology may aid in assisting the industry to answer these challenges. My goal was to examine how this technology can reduce the risk of disputes."

Daniel was one of two LJMU students to present his research findings to industry leaders at a prestigious London event celebrating London International Shipping Week. He hopes that presenting his work at such an important event will open a lot more doors for his career going forward:

"It’s such a great honour to present my work to the industry and I feel so proud to have been selected to represent LJMU. The interest my project has generated has been such an amazing motivation to me whilst putting the work together and has been met with great excitement from others too."

By expanding my professional network, alongside the positive results of the project, I’m hoping this will help me transition to a job ashore. The event is the perfect platform for me to gain exposure to the wider shipping industry and really demonstrate my knowledge of emerging technologies and the bunker industry. I can’t wait to showcase my hard work and hopefully inspire others to get on board with a career in the maritime industry.”

If, like Daniel, you’re interested in having a career within the maritime sector, take a look at both our undergraduate and postgraduate courses today, as well as our LJMU Maritime Centre. Who knows? You may even find yourself the captain of a ship one day, just like Daniel.

Two of our students, Daniel Adam and Kumaran Kathiresan were selected to take part in the prestigious ‘Maritime Masters’ programme led by Maritime UK. This was an opportunity for them to dive into exciting maritime-related research topics as part of their dissertations and ultimately have the opportunity to present their findings to industry leaders during London International Shipping Week.


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