“Nautical is very nice, but you have to like this trade”

2023/12/01 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. June Madariaga Navarro

In the Nautical and Maritime Transport degree, women are a minority. And even less are those who, after this degree, make the leap to research. June Madariaga Navarro is one of the few and, as he has acknowledged, is very pleased with his election.

Her first year of PhD explains what it is: “The company Zunibal and the UPV/EHU collaborate with a buoy that is now from Euskalmet. With this buoy we are investigating how to increase the safety of people on the coast, both in beaches and in water activities.” He says that at first it was the idea of teachers who joined the project driven by them. “Now it’s a buoy, but we intend to put more.”

The sea is not strange to Madariaga: “My aitite was a driver; my father is a fisherman; my other grandfather is deeply rooted… So I chose by vocation to study the degree and master in Nautical and maritime transport, and now I am working on it and also doing the PhD.”

He acknowledges that, although family members and relatives supported their decision, they were also afraid: “You always think that at first you’re going to be sailing for many months away from home, and I don’t know which boat you’re touching… But I’ve already been at sea and now I’m at the port and I’m happy.”

Both at sea and in the port he has worked on both. And although the sea is nice, he warns that it is very hard: “You’re not at home, you don’t know what’s going on, what you’re told alone, and sometimes you feel a big foul… In the port, instead, you spend eight hours working and then you’re at home.”

The doctoral dissertation also gives him a little bit of vertigo, partly because his field does not carry out much research. “But the teachers help me a lot, and they are always there, for example, to go to a congress, to publish… For example, thanks to them I have participated this year in the Teknalia classroom of the Bilbao School of Engineering, and there I have clearly seen that I want to make a thesis, before I was not so sure.”

Minority women

On the other hand, it remains a masculinized area. In the year she studied, they were more women than usual, but they are usually 2-3 out of 10. And on some boats they don't want to catch women. He, however, was lucky: “As a student we have to sail a year and on my boat I was the only woman, but there were few, in total nine. The rest belonged to Galicia and the Basque Country and the treatment was very good. But I couldn't talk to another woman, and I was missing. However, in most cases, the crew is international and usually larger, making it even more difficult. Well, and often they don't take women."

However, asking if she would encourage women to take that path, she says yes, but with a note: “You have to like it.” He confirms that he does like it and also states that he is very interested in making the thesis. “I know it’s going to be hard, but now it’s my way and I’m going to start slowly.”

June Madariaga Navarro
June Madariaga Navarro, a native of Portugalete, was born in 2000. He completed the degree in Nautical and Maritime Transport and then the master of the same name. He is now making a thesis on a buoys system to increase safety on the coast.

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