Royal Naval Engineers
The Royal Naval Engineers, a department of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, has existed since 1835.

Naval engineers are in charge of the management and upkeep of ship-board machinery. Traditionally this included engines, motors, pumps and other mechanical devices, but modern engineers are now responsible for both mechanical systems and high-tech electronics such radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 and sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

 systems and nuclear-power plants.


When the corps was first created, there were three ranks for Engineers: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Over the years this ranking system has changed several times:
  • 1835 - 1st, 2nd, 3rd Engineer.
  • 1847 - Inspector of Machinery, Chief Engineer; First, Second, and Third Engineer.
  • 1886 - Chief Inspector & Inspector of Machinery (R.A. and Captain), Fleet Engineer (Odr), and Staff Engineer (Senior Lieutenant).
  • 1904 - Standard executive rank titles with an "Engineer" prefix.

Fields of Expertise

After graduating from university and receiving a basic training, naval engineers specialize in a particular field.
  • Weapon Engineer Officer (WEO) - ensures that weapon systems are working properly.
  • Marine Engineer Officer (MEO) - deals with the fuel, air, water, electrical, and (non-nuclear) propulsion systems.
  • Air Engineer Officer (AEO) - Maintenance and upgrading of engines and electrical systems in aircraft.
  • Submarines The Nuclear Task - working with nuclear-powered submarines.


In 1888 engineer studentships were created. Today, there are several different student-scholarship programs available including the University Cadetship Entry, a competitive program in which students enlist and train at Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College is the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth, Devon, England. While Royal Naval officer training has taken place in the town since 1863, the buildings which are seen today were only finished in 1905, and...

before going to university.
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