Skip to main content


Member Spotlight - Susan Noste


Susan Noste, a seasoned mechanical engineer and naval architect, has been in the shipbuilding industry since embarking on her career in 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of New Orleans.

She started her career with Ingalls Shipbuilding, where she played a crucial role in supporting in-service vessels and contributing expertise to new construction builds, gaining invaluable experience.  In 2020, Susan joined Halter Marine, now Bollinger Mississippi Shipbuilding, to become an integral part of the team responsible for designing the groundbreaking USCG Polar Security Cutter.  Susan then transitioned in mid-2023 to Bollinger Shipyards’ Business Development team in Mandeville, Louisiana, showcasing her commitment to exploring new opportunities within the industry.  She is currently taking a career break to pursue personal passions, spend quality time with loved ones, and to further advance her education and professional skills.

Currently serving as the Gulf Section Chair for SNAME through September 2024, Susan actively collaborates with her committee to bring new and exciting events to Gulf members, demonstrating her dedication to advancing and innovating within the field. 


1. At what point in your career did you join SNAME? 

I joined SNAME during senior year of my mechanical engineering degree as soon as I learned about the society.  I desperately wanted to join the maritime industry and saw value in joining SNAME to access research papers (20 free papers a year!) and to build my professional network.


2. How has SNAME membership been of value to you in your career? 

The single most important thing that SNAME membership has brought me has been continued inspiration and motivation.  I leave every SMC more inspired than the year before and I am constantly motivated by my peers and new connections that I make at SNAME events (whether at SMC, local section events, or through visiting out of town sections).  The people and faces of SNAME inspire me to be my greatest and to do my best for our industry and our organization.


3. When did you know you wanted to pursue a job in the maritime field?

Growing up in Coastal North Carolina I was surrounded by a healthy local boatbuilding industry (my dad even retired from Regulator Marine in my hometown of Edenton, NC!), so I have always been drawn to maritime, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life right after high school.  However, after a string of not so fun jobs (restaurants, gas stations, video stores, cell phone stores, you name a minimum wage job involving the general public – I had it), I took a step back and reflected on what made me happy and where I wanted to be in life.  Luckily, I reflected on this while on a boat, so the answer was rather obvious, and I went to college for mechanical engineering and later after that, obtained my master’s in naval architecture. 


4. What advice would you give to those entering the maritime field?

Don’t limit yourself!  There are SO many opportunities in maritime – it isn’t all naval architecture.  There is a strong need for designers, engineers, planners, project managers, researchers, welders, operators, etc.!  You name it, we need it!  If you have an interest and passion in maritime, start at the bottom and work your way up the hawsepipe – it doesn’t always have to be conventional.


5. What do you do in your spare time? 

I identify as a runner (but not a super-fast one).   😊  In March I completed the Mississippi 50 Trail Run, which was an incredibly muddy 50 miler where my SNAME hat was the perfect trail gear! 


6. What is your favorite book, movie or tv series?

This is a tough one as they all kind of change as I evolve, so I will just mention what I am reading now – which just so happens to be what SNAME Member Roger Gill recently recommended in his member spotlight, “Armageddon in The Arctic Ocean.”


7. What is a fun fact about yourself?!

I have worked a few summers as a deckhand on Bristol Bay gillnetters fishing for sockeye salmon. It always helps to escape the desk for a little bit and to see things from the perspective of being on the deck plates. 

Additionally, I have just recently started a career break, I believe in the importance of taking time for oneself to recharge and realign with long-term goals. By openly sharing my career break journey, I hope to inspire others to consider taking time to focus on their well-being and professional development, especially in our fast-paced world.

During this break, I intend to stay actively involved in networking and engage with like-minded colleagues to continue sharing knowledge and staying updated with industry trends.  I look forward to re-entering the workforce in 2025 with renewed energy and a fresh perspective on the maritime industry.