Syamantak’s professional career began in the merchant navy. For 15 years he sailed on international tankers, serving most of his career with Denholm Ship Management. For two years, Syamantak sailed as the captain, followed by a further two years as the manager of a fleet of ships in Chemoil Corporation, Singapore.
In 2004, Syamantak moved to academia with the Nippon Foundation Scholarship to carry out his doctoral studies. He researched on the management of maritime health and safety at the Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University. In 2008, Syamantak was appointed by Plymouth University as a lecturer and was promoted to Associated Professor in 2012. During his eight years in Plymouth, he taught in at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and supervised doctoral students in the areas of maritime, shipping, port, and human factors. Syamantak also developed, managed and delivered international programmes with several overseas partner institutes.
Syamantak has also been active in scholarly research which is evident from his engagement in large research projects in areas such as international coal-mining, global container ports, and workplace health and safety in SMEs in the EU. He has also published in leading academic peer reviewed journals, such as in Industrial Relations, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, Transportation Research Part A, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Safety Science, Employee Relations, and Marine Policy.