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OCEANS '12 MTS/IEEE Hampton Roads

From left to right: Simon Reeves, accepting the Compass Industrial Award on behalf of Sonardyne; Amos Bussmann, publisher of Compass Publications; Bob Winokur, recipient of the Compass Distinguished Achievement Award; and Steven Amour, accepting the Compass International Award on behalf of EDT Offshore Ltd. (Photo Credit: Don Monteaux Photography)

OCEANS '12 Hampton Roads, cosponsored by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), took place from October 14 to 19 in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The conference theme was 'Harnessing the Power of the Ocean.'

Speakers from the U.S. government and Navy outlined where they saw opportunities for the ocean industry and asked for assistance in creating large-scale ocean models and developing technologies to monitor overfishing, acidification and other environmental stressors in the ocean. Acquiring and packaging this information, while maintaining ease of access and low costs, will be an important factor for federal and military agencies looking to invest in ocean observing technologies.

Technical Program
OCEANS '12 Hampton Roads featured 360 technical papers and brought together approximately 1,700 attendees from more than 35 countries. The exhibitors hall supported about 130 companies, and government and industry organizations.

The conference began with plenary remarks from Margaret Davidson, acting director of NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management; Kathryn D. Sullivan, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction for NOAA; Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr.; Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.); RAdm. Jon White, oceanographer and navigator of the Navy; and RAdm. Mark D. Guadagnini, deputy commander of fleet management and chief of staff for U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Two town hall sessions centering around the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) took place, discussing the importance of and needs for ocean observations.

At the U.S. IOOS IGNITE the Crowd session, 10 speakers from NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. universities delivered five-minute 'lightning' talks on how the public benefits from ocean and coastal observations. Video of their presentations can be viewed at http://bit.ly/RMG1jz.

The U.S. IOOS Town Hall on the Future of Integrated Ocean Observing hosted a 90-minute panel discussion on the future needs for IOOS, moderated by retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher. The town hall included a demonstration of real-time collaboration technology from StormCenter Communications Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland).

Conference Awards
At the MTS Awards Luncheon, Compass Publications Inc., which publishes Sea Technology magazine, presented three awards.

The Compass Distinguished Achievement Award, which includes a Rolex Submariner timepiece, went to Robert Winokur, deputy oceanographer of the Navy and deputy for the Oceanography, Space and Maritime Domain Awareness division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The award recognizes Winokur's four decades of service to the private and public sectors as a researcher and technical program manager.

Winokur formlerly led national and international policies, including the team that formulated the policy initiatives that reinvigorated naval oceanography.

The Compass International Award, presented to a company headquartered outside of the U.S., went to EDT Offshore Ltd. (Limassol, Cyprus) for the company's research, exploration, discovery, and offshore development and production activities.

Sonardyne International (Yateley, England) received the Compass Industrial Award for its development and commercial implementation of the Sonardyne wide-signal process capability to accommodate extreme conditions in a deepwater oil and gas blowout, as well as the company's tsunami detection system and Sentinel IDS for detecting divers in high-risk areas.

The Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering was awarded to Franz Hover for his leadership in the creation, control system development and field testing of several AUV designs, including the hovering autonomous vehicle for precision under-hull inspection.

The Ocean News & Technology Young Professional Award went to Jeremy Childress, who works at Sexton Co. (Salem, Oregon). Childress founded the MTS Oregon Section and is very active in organizing and planning events for the regional marine technologists.

MTS member Charles Royce was named an MTS fellow, the highest accolade a member can achieve within the society, for his work with ROVs. He worked on early ROV systems and groundbreaking ROV jobs such as the Exxon Hondo platform in 1976 and the Ixtoc blowout in 1979.

Coming in 2013
The OCEANS '13 MTS/IEEE conference will be held in San Diego, California, from September 23 to 27. The theme will be 'An Ocean in Common.'

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.