Skip to main content

Patrick Cousineau

Naval Combat Systems Engineering Officer
Canadian Armed Forces
Patrick Cousineau
Patrick Cousineau
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Patrick Cousineau is a Naval Combat Systems Engineering Officer for the Canadian Armed Forces.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born and grew up in Sooke, British Columbia.

I now live in: Esquimalt, British Columbia.

I completed my training/education at: I received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Victoria prior to joining the Navy. I then attended training in St. Jean, Quebec, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Victoria, BC.

What I do at work

I work day-to-day onboard a Canadian Warship, where my job is two-fold. The first half is to lead the many skilled technicians of the Combat Systems Engineering department. The second is to be the “subject matter expert” for all combat systems employed on the ship.

The equipment I’m responsible for is state-of-the-art. Naval Combat Systems Engineering Officers have a high level of technical background knowledge in all systems we work with. This includes the naval guns, missiles, torpedoes, electronic warfare systems, radar, sonar, command & control systems, and communications equipment. We receive in-depth training in how these systems work. This included at the theoretical level (e.g., the math and physics behind how radar works, computer programming, circuit design), all the way up to the functional level using engineering drawings and technical documentation. A background in STEM is extremely important for us in order to work with the many diverse systems.

When we are in home port, I plan and oversee maintenance and make sure that all work stays on schedule. At sea, I make sure that the ship’s combat systems are operational at all times in order to support the current mission. This could be anything from search and rescue, sovereignty patrols, to naval warfare. In order to keep the ship operational, I need to make split-second decisions on how to best diagnose, repair, and employ the many combat systems used by the ship.

What this all boils down to is leadership, decision-making, and problem solving with the end goal of ensuring that the ship is mission capable.

My career path is

Though this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing when I was in high school, I’m more than happy with where I ended up. After graduating, I attended the University of Victoria for a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. I studied under the Co-op program, where I had the opportunity to work as a student at companies such as BlackBerry and Reliable Controls. My Co-op terms were my favourite part of university!

I always saw myself joining the Air Force as a pilot. But I decided to join as a Naval Combat Systems Engineering Officer based on my new-found interest in STEM. Immediately following University, I applied to, and was accepted into the Canadian Armed Forces in my current position. I haven’t looked back since! Both my parents had served in the Military, so I’ve always looked fondly at a career in the forces and kind of knew what to expect.

I am motivated by

Ever since I was little, I’ve always been interested in the military and their equipment. Now, I’m immersed in it every day. I get to work with high-tech systems in an environment that’s totally unique and unlike any other engineering job. Not everyone can say that their office is mobile and can sail all over the world! I joined the navy to minimize my time working in a cubicle/office, and I’ve had many opportunities to be on-ship and travel.

How I affect people’s lives

The Royal Canadian Navy commonly performs missions with a large positive impact on the public. This includes such things as Search and Rescue, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, etc. Additionally, when deployed oversees, warships represent Canada and perform diplomatic missions. In my day-to-day work as a manager of my department, I get to make sure that my subordinates get what they want and need out of their careers. It is very rewarding at the end of the day.

Outside of work I

I love being outside; I camp and off-road year round. I also enjoy hiking and fishing. I’ve played the Bass Guitar since high school, and play in a Metal band regularly. Being in the military has given me lots of time to keep up with my hobbies, and we get dedicated time during the workday for physical fitness!

My advice to others

Talk to a recruiter if you have any questions about the Forces! I’d highly recommend any career in the CAF, especially if you’re interested in STEM and like to work with high-tech systems.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Computer Science
  • Industrial Arts / Shop Programs
  • Math
  • Music
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
  • Played video games
  • Was really creative
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Learned best “by doing”
  • Liked to take things apart to see how they worked
  • Liked to design or build things

Partners

Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces

Let’s Talk Science thanks the men and women of Canadian Armed Forces who have submitted a career profile to share details of their exciting careers. To learn more about the careers available in the Canadian Armed forces, check them out on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Justin Rotman headshot

    Justin Rotman

    Founder & CEO

    I help to determine business strategy and lead our team to serve our customers and build our product.
  • Madu Kingsley headshot

    Madu Kingsley

    Manager, Digital Platform

    I manage a diverse team of cross-functional software developers.
  • Jim Wei holding drone

    Jim Wei

    Associate GIS Analyst

    I use online mapping software and programming skills to help solve real-world problems in the environmental and health industries.
  • Allison Guitor in her lab at McMaster University.

    Allison Guitor

    PhD student (antibiotic resistance)

    I study antibiotic resistance, which is what makes bacteria able to live in the presence of antibiotics.
  • Isha Berry Headshot

    Isha Berry

    Epidemiologist

    I look for patterns in disease outbreaks and health outcomes in populations across the world.
  • Nishant Pillai headshot

    Nishant Pillai

    Cybersecurity Director

    I help organizations protect their computer and networking systems from potential hackers and cyberattacks.
  • Chris Derksen en train de faire ses recherches sur le terrain en Arctique.

    Chris Derksen (he/his)

    Climate Scientist

    I use satellite data and climate models to understand how climate change is impacting snow and ice across Canada.
  • Peter Visscher devant un tableau blanc

    Peter Visscher

    Robotic Vehicle Development, General Manager

    I work with my team to develop extreme robotic vehicles designed to operate off-road and off-planet.
  • Andrew Brereton travaillant à l'ordinateur

    Andrew E. Brereton

    Computational Scientist

    I write code that teaches computers how to design new drugs.
  • Ray Hyde

    Ray Hyde

    IT Manager, Customer Experience

    I oversee the day-to-day operation of our IT infrastructure in support of the offshore oil platforms and our local office.
  • Bryan Rolph

    Bryan Rolph

    Sales Manager

    I lead a team of technical sales professionals that help deliver on the best technology solutions for our customers.
  • Diya Isac

    Diya Isac (she/her)

    Software Lead - Vehicle Motion Embedded Controls Team

    I give technical guidance to develop software for features that make the car move and stop.
  • Joshua Walton derrière le volant d'un véhicule à l'essai.

    Joshua Walton

    Operations Leader, Vehicle Testing

    I oversee the day-to-day operations of GM’s testing facility to make sure our vehicles can withstand the most extreme cold weather conditions.
  • Sarah Raddatz

    Sarah Raddatz

    Structural Designer

    I use software to create building models in 3D and 2D formats to make plans before the construction of the project.
  • Kirstyn Nygren à la salmoniculture

    Kirstyn Nygren

    Environmental Specialist

    I am part of a team that monitors the water quality around our salmon farms.
  • Frances Edmonds

    Frances Edmonds

    Head of Sustainable Impact

    Frances works with customers and governments to show them how to buy technology with sustainability in mind.
  • Umar Siddiqi

    Umar Siddiqi

    Cyber Security Sales Engineer

    I work with TELUS's corporate customers to identify any gaps related to their cybersecurity practices.
  • Christopher Wynder

    Dr. Christopher Wynder

    Director, Product Marketing

    Dr. Christopher Wynder is the Director of Product Marketing for OpenText
  • Alan Locke au travail

    Alan Locke

    Research Technologist

  • Ignacio Tartavull

    Ignacio Tartavull

    CEO

    Ignacio started a business that builds and operates remotely controlled food-delivery robots.