Humon Moeen headshot photo

Humon Moeen

ROV Engineering Intern
Graduate Student
University of Southern California

Tell me about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I am currently a mechanical engineering graduate student focusing on mechanical design, invention, and exploration technologies. I enjoy working across disciplines and on a variety of projects ranging from developing equipment for sports to exploration technologies for extreme environments. My most recent academic project involved developing an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) used to explore the ocean and maintain offshore infrastructure. In general, the type of work that I do involves researching a problem, designing technologies to address it, testing those solutions, and implementing them.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I started pursuing engineering in community college after coming across a NASA presentation on space exploration and construction technologies. I was really excited by the thought of exploring the unknown and wanted to be part of it; studying engineering and science was my path to do so. As I progressed through my education and career, I worked with many people who specialized in other fields of study, and as a result, I developed a strong passion for interdisciplinary engineering projects.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My wife, family, and friends have always been very encouraging and supportive of my pursuits. Furthermore, I’ve had many professors, advisors, and mentors who supported me and have given me lots of guidance.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

The thing I find most fascinating is getting to work with a team of individuals with unique skills to achieve a joint goal. I love working with people who have different areas of expertise and generating ideas that we would have never thought of on our own.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

Before becoming an ROV engineering intern, I interned at NASA Ames Research Center, where I worked on lunar construction technologies and materials. After that, I worked as an engineering technician, where I tested soil properties for construction projects. More recently, I have been interning at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center where I help track and record data for electrostatic levitation experiments. Additionally, I’ve worked at a rock-climbing gym as a route-setter and interned under the director of government affairs at the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with minor in Geology – California State Polytechnic University 2021, Pomona; Certificate in Public Policy – Santa Monica College 2018; Engineer-in-Training – State of California; OSHA 30-hr Construction Safety Training; Student Pilot Certification

What are your hobbies?

I like to spend my free time rock climbing and doing some basic woodworking. In addition to those, I tend to cycle through random hobbies and projects: lately, those have been tennis and pottery.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

My general advice for people who want to get into engineering is to push themselves out of their comfort zone and to get involved in anything that sounds even slightly interesting to them. In general, engineering is very broad and can likely be applied to any of your interests: scientific exploration, sports, art, etc. Some opportunities will fall into your lap, but more often than not, you have to persistently seek out opportunities, reach out to people, ask questions, and try not to get discouraged by rejection. Furthermore, do not discount soft skills such as communication and teamwork; teams that work well together produce work that is significantly greater than the sum of their parts.

How did you get involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust?

I was part of the Underwater Robotics Team at Long Beach City College, where we built a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to compete against other schools in the MATE ROV Competition. The advisor of our team set up a virtual meeting with members of the E/V Nautilus crew so that we could learn more about the Ocean Exploration Trust and the work that they perform. After learning about the program, I applied to Science & Engineering Internship Program (SEIP) and was lucky enough to be selected!


Humon participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: