Lillian Muir headshot photo

Lillian Muir

Graduate Research Assistant
University of Rhode Island

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

I recently graduated with my Master of Science in ocean engineer from University of Rhode Island, where my thesis work focused on a deep-sea autonomous profiler. I focused on developing software for adaptive sampling and a range-only tracking system for locating the vehicle while underway. I also aided in the building, testing, and analysis of the system off of the R/V Endeavor in the Puerto Rico Trench. 

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I began as an agricultural engineer in undergrad. I learned to love engineering but was not interested in agriculture. The ocean has always been a passion of mine, so I opted to combine my passions into a career. 

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

 My high school math teacher directed me toward engineering. She supported me throughout my education by pushing me to try my hardest and to be myself. 

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

When testing the deep-sea autonomous profiler in the Puerto Rico Trench, we sampled water from 8,377 meters (5.25 miles) deep. This is the deepest water sampled in the Atlantic Ocean. 

What other jobs led you to your current career?

In undergrad, I worked on a research pier maintaining the flow-through water system and keeping the animals alive. This provided me the opportunity to work with an ocean system and the mechanics of the pump. I have also gained experience with mechanical systems through my hands-on education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and my thesis work under Dr. Chris Roman at the University of Rhode Island.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Master of Science in Ocean Engineering - University of Rhode Island

What are your hobbies?

I play volleyball, bake, read, ski, and love the beach. I am adventurous and love to be outside and try new things. 

How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program?

My advisor Dr. Chris Roman and his lab are involved in many Nautilus expeditions and got me involved.  

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

Do what you love. I am very passionate about the ocean and love solving problems and doing math. Loving what I do makes it exciting to go to work. Don't worry about what other people think, just do what you enjoy. 


Lillian participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: