Administrative Committee Nominees for the Term 1 JAN 2018 - 31 DEC 2020

For Election of Members to the Administrative Committee

Nominees for the Term 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2020


GERARDO GABRIEL ACOSTA (M’97-SM’01) was born (1964) in General Roca, Río Negro, Patagonia Argentina.

He graduated as Engineer in Electronics from the National University of La Plata, Argentina (1988), and has a Ph.D. in Computer Science, from the University of Valladolid, Spain (1995). He is a Full Professor in Control Systems (Electronic Area) in the Engineering Faculty at the National Buenos Aires Province Centre University (UNCPBA), Argentina. He also is Independent Researcher of the Argentinean National Research Council (CONICET), Director of the Research & Development Group “INTELYMEC”, at the Engineering Faculty-UNCPBA, and member of the Directive Council of Center for Research in Physics and Engineering in Buenos Aires Province Centre, CIFICEN-UNCPBA-CICPBA-CONICET.

His working interests include the use of computational intelligence in automatic control, particularly intelligent control techniques in underwater robotics and oceanic technologies. He has more than 160 publications and 2 copyrights in this and related fields.

He has been awarded with Scientific Production UNCPBA Award in 1998, an EU Marie Curie grant in 2004, the INNOVAR 2011 second position in Robotics, for the autonomous robot CARPINCHO, and the INNOVAR 2012 first position in Robotics, for the autonomous underwater vehicle ICTIOBOT, both developed at INTELYMEC-UNCPBA.

He became an IEEE Member in 1997, being Senior Member in 2001, Officer in the IEEE Argentina Section since 1999 in different chapters, received the 2010 Outstanding Chapter Award from CIS, and is a founding member and chairman of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) Argentinean Chapter, and member of the Administrative Committee of the OES international (2015-2016). He also served as Counsellor of the IEEE Student Branch at UNCPBA (2001-2003). Since 2015 he is volunteering within the EARTHZINE publication as associate editor, with a group of three journalists and science writers of South America.

He has been the research leader of more than 15 R+D projects, funded by the Argentinean Government, the Spanish Government and the European Union.

He has been invited as a professor of Ph.D. programs in Argentina and Spain, and is the Director of the Ph.D. program at the Engineering Faculty-UNCPBA. He also serves as reviewer and member of the scientific committee of several national and international journals and conferences.

Statement: I have been volunteer of the IEEE for more than 15 years and particularly in OES since 2010. I had the great honour to integrate the OES AdCom (2015-2016). I feel I still have a potential to develop there. I consider that the core activities of the Society are their publications and their periodical technical meetings and activities. In both of them I can devote time and effort. Particularly, there are three main tasks that I picked up to work on:
•  IEEE OES presence in South America with more technical activities and trying to strengthen the annual technical meetings of Rio Acoustics in the odd years (the last held in July 2015) and the Latin American Symposium in the even years (the last held in June 2016, in Buenos Aires, Argentina). I propose to develop new chapters in littoral countries like Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Perú, to support and organize technical activities, and to introduce and involve more students in the wonderful topics related to oceans and technology.
•  Giving new sights and insights from the south to the Earthzine publication, with articles and coverage of oceans related activities in South America. This is a privilege mean to disseminate and promote our growing knowledge of oceans and the advances in ocean engineering to the great audience.
•  International cooperation in oceans studies and technology generation, with the IEEE OES as one of the best fora for this, through the OCEANS Conferences, ad-hoc workshops, publications, and the Distinguished Lecturers Program. The OES may and should lead connections all over the world to propose and to nail down international projects for research and development of oceans sciences and technologies.


JOÃO ALVES (M’09) MSc. in Electrotechnical Engineering, Control and Robotics by the Technical University of Lisbon.

He has been working in underwater robotics and associated technologies since 1995.

He had a key role in the development of the hardware and software architectures for the MARIUS AUV and DELFIM ASV developed at the Technical University of Lisbon. These were fully distributed and networked architectures including more than 30 processors in charge of the different components of the vehicles. This work was the base for his MSc. dissertation.

In 2003 he co-founded a private start-up company – Blue Edge Systems Engineering, offering services and conducting R&D activity in the maritime domain. In 2007 he took scientific leadership for the underwater communications activities of the EC project GREX where pioneering maritime cooperative robotics was demonstrated. In late 2009 he joined the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), now Centre For Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) as a scientist to work on underwater communications. He led studies in support of establishing the first underwater communications standard and developed innovative protocols for underwater ad hoc networking. In 2014 he took a leadership role as Principal Scientist responsible for the underwater communications activities at CMRE. He conducted several trials as scientist in charge, leading teams of several tens of people during long sea-going campaigns. During this period he also served as PI for different European commission projects (like MORPH and SUNRISE) and was co-general chair for the IEEE OES UComms14 and UComms16 conferences. He is an invited lecturer for the Masters in Ocean Engineering offered by the University of Pisa (ITA) and a guest editor of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. He currently serves as an active member of the AUVSI subcommittee for the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea, dealing with the challenging issues of adding robots to our Oceans.

Statement: My association with the IEEE OES has been a very rewarding one. I’ve been a regular participant to the IEEE OES Oceans conferences, I’ve published on OES conferences and journals, I’ve served as a reviewer, I’ve been the co-chair for two IEEE OES conferences (UComms 2014 and UComms 2016) and I’m now a guest editor in a special issue of the Journal of Oceanic Engineering. I strongly believe I can serve the society with my (still modest, yet growing) experience. I can surely also learn valuable lessons from the other ADCOM members.

As a member of the ADCOM I would like to contribute to the improvement of the interaction between society members and the society itself. To this effect the volunteers experience when interacting with the IEEE OES should be improved and streamlined in order to maximize the benefits from the energy they offer to their (our) activities.

The new generation of “Millennial” and “Digital Native” professionals may offer the society an exciting set of challenges and opportunities. Intensifying the presence in social media, delivering more digital content and offer live streaming of selected keynote speeches are possible ideas to appeal to a generation that is used to high value digital content.

The society must continue to bring students close to the top scholars and practitioners in their fields of expertise by expanding the incentives in OES- sponsored activities. The mentoring side of our society can create young leadership, fundamental to maintain the vitality of the IEEE OES.


M. A. ATMANAND (M’97-SM’07) obtained his B.Tech. degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from University of Calicut in 1983. He took his M.Tech. and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1985 and 1997 respectively. From 1985 to 1997 beginning, he worked in the area of fluid flow measurement and control at Fluid Control Research Institute, the standard laboratory for flow in India. From 1997, he has been working at National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), in the area of deep sea technologies at various levels and currently as Scientist G. He held the position of Director, NIOT from 2009 till 2015. During his tenure as Director, he was responsible for all projects being executed by the Institute in the areas of Desalination, Ocean Energy, Deep Sea Technologies, Ocean Observations, Marine Sensors and Marine Biotechnology. He is currently involved in policy making, preparation of Deep sea mission program of the Government of India in the area of Ocean Technology to lead India as a major player internationally. He received the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Presidential Award in 2016, team National Geoscience Award 2010 from the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, for the work on Remotely Operable Vehicle under the category of Oil and Natural Gas Exploration.

He is elected as Chair of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Regional Committee for the Central Indian Ocean (IOCINDIO) of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in 2016.

He has to his credit two patents (one Indian and one German) and more than ninety research publications included in IEEE and other international refereed journals.

He is currently an IEEE Senior Member of the Oceanic Engineering Society (OES), and the Instrumentation and Measurements Society (IMS). He has been active with the IEEE Madras Section as an Executive Committee member, Secretary, and Vice Chair and currently he is the Chair of that Section. He is the founding Chair of IEEE OES in India and organised this new OES Chapter under the India Council in May 2008. He has given technical talks on “Ocean Technologies in India” as part of IEEE OES Chapters at WHOI and Scripps institute of Oceanography in 2014, and at University of Rhode Island in 2016, which were well received.

It was under his Co-chair ship that the IEEE Symposium on Underwater Technologies was held in India in 2015 successfully. The Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (SAVe) competition started under his leadership and has continued successfully for the past 5 years. The winners in this competition have been sent to compete in the AUVSI competition held annually in San Diego. He is currently one of the Associate editors of IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. He is also Technical Committee Chair of Underwater Cables and Connectors.


Statement: As an advisory committee member, he proposes to enlarge the IEEE network of ocean engineers in India and neighbouring countries. In view of the large potential in terms of shipping, oil and gas and other offshore industries, it is essential to have a strong IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society in the Indian Ocean area. It is proposed to contribute on Blue Economy, which is being encouraged by the Government in India.

He has bid for the IEEE/MTS Oceans conference for holding in India in 2022. It is also proposed to hold more workshops, technical symposia and co-sponsored conferences with an additional motive of attracting new members to the OES. The specific problems in this part of the world with regard to ocean engineering will also be addressed. The SAVe competition is to be extended to the region beyond India and a separate competition to be held at the regional level to motivate students in the region.

Finally, one of the main programmes to be undertaken is to strengthen technology development between the Indian Ocean rim countries in order to warn against Tsunami and other natural disasters, with the additional advantage of being the Chair of IOCINDIO of IOC, UNESCO. To this end he intends to work closely with neighbouring OES Chapters and members.

He seeks your support for election to AdCom to achieve these important goals.


BOB BANNON (M’85-SM’01-F’03) is an IEEE Fellow, and holds a BSEE, MSEE, and multiple MBA's from Pennsylvania State University, Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania, and George Washington University. Bob was previously a Director at AT&T (Submarine Systems) and Bell Labs and after 31 years of service retired to establish Bannon International Consulting LLC in 1998. Bob has been instrumental in development of special underwater installation, protection, maintenance and repair techniques for AT&T and other Underwater Telecommunications Companies. He served as the Chairman – SCARAB Committee and the Committee for International System Maintenance. He was responsible for designing special application ROVs, and various Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV's), and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV’s). As a lead scientist and Sr. Systems Engineering Consultant for various major defense contractors, he has made significant contributions to the use of Sonar and Sensor Suites for underwater detection and identification for the U.S. Navy and other government applications. Bob serves as an advisor on risk assessment and mitigation, underwater infrastructure protection, and homeland security. Bob was the President of the IEEE Sensor Council, serving on the TAB Committee, Chair - Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) Submarine Cable Technologies Committee, and a Technical Advisor for Scientific Submarine Cable Applications. He was also the Chair of Homeland Security - Port and Harbor Protection Committee. Bob was appointed U.S. Congressional Technical Expert Resource - Technical Lead - U.S. – Russian Homeland Security Summit in Moscow, Russian Federation. In that capacity, served as Consultant for U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and Vladimir Vasiliyev, Chair Russian State Duma. Bob has been a HS and Anti-terrorist Consultant for US Congressman – Curt Weldon (PA), and others. Keynote for TEHOSS 2005 – Gdansk, PL and TEHOSS 2008 – Istanbul, TR. Bob has also served on the IEEE Critical Infrastructure Committee and the TAB Publications Committee for the IEEE.

Bob has lectured at the Armed Forces Industrial College on Future Computer Directions / Advanced Sensor Technologies, the U.S. Naval Academy on Computer Graphics for Underwater Vehicle Design, and the USN Naval Warfare College on Submarine Cable Technologies and Underwater Fiber Optics Communications. Bob is a Member of the Naval Submarine League (NSL), Navy League, Marine Technology Society (MTS), and a Life Member of the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA). Bob has received the Distinguished Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the Oceanic Engineering Society.

Statement: I have been involved with the IEEE since the early 80’s and have been attending the OCEANS Conferences since 1985, and have frequently served as an author and session chair. In addition, I have performed technical paper reviews for the OCEANS Conferences, the OTC Conference and various OES Workshops and Symposia, as well as serving as an event Chair. I’ve actively worked with other OES members in refining our strategic planning process, served on the Reconnaissance Committee (RECON) for venue selection, and the FELLOWS Review Committee. I have served multiple terms as a member of the OES Advisory Committee (AdCom). If re-elected to the AdCom, I will continue to champion the oceans and maritime communities with the US Congress and Senate and foreign governmental agencies. Through the OES, I will continue to encourage the professional development of ocean related engineering and applied science careers, and I will continue to represent the OES at venues promoting oceans awareness and fostering responsible use of this precious resource. And as a member of the Technical Committees, evaluate and advance the introduction and application of evolving technologies.


JEAN-PIERRE HERMAND (M’86-SM’05-F’09) received the Ingénieur Civil degree in electrical and mechanical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in applied sciences from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium, in 1981 and 1994. He was awarded Fellowship of the Acoustical Society of America in 2007 and Fellowship of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2009. Between 1985 and 2000, Dr. Hermand has held several positions at the SACLANT Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia, Italy, conducting experimental and theoretical research in acoustics and electromagnetics, mostly on inverse problems. In 1991, he became the Principal Investigator of a grant from the US Office of Naval Research to develop environmentally adaptive sonar processing at the Naval Underwater Systems Centre, New London, CT. In 1993, he was appointed by the SACLANTCEN Environmental Research Division to lead research on acoustic sensing and inversion techniques for the characterization of shallow marine sediment. He has taught at the Association for the Institution of the Free University of Nuoro and at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. He has been a consultant to industry and government on acoustic systems for environmental measurements. He has also been serving as chief scientist on over thirty scientific cruises. Currently, Dr. Hermand is professor of physical acoustics and director at ULB where he founded the Environmental Hydroacoustics Lab (EHL) in 2001, which merged in 2012 to form the Laboratories of Image, Signal processing and Acoustics (LISA). He has received grants from research institutions of The Netherlands, France, United States and Australia to carry out researches in geoacoustic inversion, adjoint modelling, seagrass and kelp acoustics, etc.; participated as group leader in projects of the European Commission Framework Programme (IP, NoE, IRSES, Cooperation) and international research programmes in Brazil and Africa. The author on over 200 publications and co-editor of two books, Dr. Hermand has been serving on scientific and technical committees for the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society (OES), the European Optical Society, the European Conferences on Underwater Acoustics, the International Conferences on Theoretical and Computational Acoustics, and the Underwater Acoustics Conferences and Exhibitions, where he also co-organized structured sessions. He is currently chair of the IEEE OES Technical Committee on Ocean Signal and Image Processing, and POC of the Acoustics and Signal Processing TC Affinity Group. From 2011 to 2016, he served as elected Administrative Committee member. He is also member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. Dr. Hermand has co-organized the First and Second Workshops on Experimental Acoustic Inversion Methods for Exploration of the Shallow Water Environment in 1999 and 2004. In 2013, he co-created the Latin American IEEE OES Acoustics in Underwater Geosciences Symposium which was also held in 2015, and, in 2016, the IEEE OES China Ocean Acoustics Symposium. Dr. Hermand’s research interests currently lie in exploring nontraditional acoustic methods that aim to contribute to a better understanding of marine ecosystems functioning and soft-sediment processes, and to the assessment of submerged Stone Age settlements and landscapes. Besides acoustical oceanography, he has been involved in the development of in-situ digital holographic microscopy for plankton research, musical acoustics research and urban soundscape studies.

Statement: Bringing together engineering and scientific disciplines toward common objectives of the highest societal importance is IEEE Ocean Engineering Society’s mission. OES’s unique position, reinforced by the increasing concern about the state of the world's oceans, constitutes a responsibility, a challenge but a great opportunity. As I firmly believe that thinking across fields and disciplines is essential to fulfil this mission, my next term on AdCom will focus on facilitating exchange of knowledge between our members and communities in emerging and frontier research domains. My role in the international relations of a university in the capital of Europe is a privileged position to identify opportunities for such exchange and to stimulate the interest of European students in joining our society. During my previous terms on AdCom, I have helped to increase the presence of our society in regions of the world where we were not much present: Latin America and China. The 2016 IEEE OES China Ocean Acoustics Symposium, held in Harbin, and the 2013 and 2015 IEEE OES Acoustics in Underwater Geosciences Symposia, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were challenges and definite successes. Through the participation of ten countries of Latin America, RIO Acoustics 2015 has been widely promoting our society in Region 9 which was particularly disadvantaged. In 2017, we are pursuing our efforts by involving new countries, increasing student and industry participation as well as organizing a follow-up, hands-on workshop RIO Acoustics@SEA. During my next term on AdCom, I will work closely with our President, committee members and local chapters to build on and take full advantage of these achievements for the benefit of our society. An open, ad-hoc working group is being set up with the mission to establish a recognized Research and Innovation Ocean Network of Acoustic Researchers rooted in Latin America and linked to the symposium. The objectives are to promote sustained development of underwater acoustics and related fields, disciplines and applications in Latin America, and to foster the expansion of the network in the relevant communities as an innovation forum delivering high-quality scientific knowledge and a growing audience base for the symposium and a future OCEANS conference. The scope is to create awareness in OES activities while leveraging local funding and partnerships to self-sustain mobility expenses of students and young researchers. This is thought as an effective way to ensure a long life to the symposium while encouraging involvement in the future activities of our society in Region 9. The ultimate motivation is to encourage young engineers, researchers and students of Latin America to meet the global challenge of sustainable development of our oceans. OES is the perfect platform to accomplish this.


STEPHEN M. HOLT (M’00-SM’01) received his B.S. in Mathematical Physics from Wilmington College (Wilmington, Ohio), and his B.S. in Electronic Engineering from Franklin University (Columbus, Ohio). He also completed his M.S. in Engineering (with emphasis in Ocean Engineering and Underwater Acoustics) and his Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC).

Steve is currently employed with SGT, Inc. of Greenbelt, Maryland, USA as a Senior Systems Engineer working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) supporting development of the future James Webb Space Telescope. He has also supported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with many meteorological and oceanic programs. He joined the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) and was first elected to its Administrative Committee in 2000. He was later elected to the grade of Senior Member to the IEEE in 2001. He was also one of three Executive Co-Chairs for the MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2005 Conference in Washington, DC and was the Secretary for the MTS/IEEE OCEANS’15 Conference in Washington, DC. Steve was the elected member to the OES Executive Committee as its Secretary for ten years, from the beginning of 2001 to the end of 2010. In 2007, he was awarded the IEEE OES Distinguished Service Award (DSA).

Steve presently serves as the IEEE OES Webmaster, where he maintains the integrity of and implements new technology initiatives related to the web site. He also serves as the Co-Chair, Data Standards for the Environment and Observation Systems Technology Committee. Additionally, Steve is the Chair for the OES Promotions Committee. He has also been appointed as the OES representative to the IEEE Systems Council. His technical interests include image, radar, and sonar signal processing, astronomical optics, as well as the remote sensing of the atmosphere and oceanic environments.
Statement: If elected, my goal is to stay engaged with OES activities as a Member of the Administrative Committee. As the OES Webmaster, I will continue to strive to make our web site a strong and effective tool for conducting our business efforts, as well as conveying the importance of our Society to the global oceans community. With our web site, I would like to expand our promotional activities to more effectively advertise and sell our brand and increase our membership. I would also like us to more effectively use the latest tools in social media to expand our message to a more diverse, younger and international audience. I am especially interested in expanding our outreach activities whereby we become even more effectively engaged with educators and students alike. In addition, I would like continue to expand our efforts in the area of Promotions with a variety of oceanic engineering magazines that I interface with on a wide range of oceans related topics. Thus, if elected, again my hope is to continue these efforts for the Society to strengthen the activities of the OES Administrative Committee in any way I can!


WILLIAM J. KIRKWOOD (AM’08-M’09-SM’09) My experience in the Oceanic Engineering Society began as an Administrative Board Member (ADCOM) member Senior Research and Design Engineer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Bill has served as the Treasurer for OES for past 4 years and prior as Assistant to the Treasurer. Bill also Co-Chaired Oceans’16 Monterey which brought the largest submissions of abstracts to date and one the highest attendances to an Oceans conference. Bill is also the current Chair of the Technical Committee of OES overseeing Unmanned Maritime Vehicles and Submersibles. He is also Chair of the Technical Committee on Innovative Technology, a start up proposition for new growth. Currently Bill is focusing on his new initiative to bring AUV competitions around the globe under one coordinating body so that judgments are fair and that teams invited to a higher level competition are prepared, this is being done in conjunction with Dr. Curtin of ONR and UW/APL.

I’m focused on the applied research and development of next generation technologies for the advancement of ocean science. Creating technical solutions to ocean problems has been the core of his work for 25 years. Bill’s primary expertise is in subsea robotic vehicles and instrumentation. As project manager and mechanical designer Bill lead the development of the ROV Tiburon platform. Later, Bill was the MBARI project manager on the Dorado class AUV co-developed with Sea Grant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bluefin Robotics Inc., a small to medium sized underwater robotics company, spun out from MIT and commercialized the resulting vehicle system and is now a division of Battelle. Bill patented and licensed the distinctive ringtail used on the Bluefin 21 AUV’s. Bill further developed AUVs as project manager and mechanical designer to deliver MBARI’s mapping AUV which operates 7 acoustic devices simultaneously and is still in high demand as one of the premier mapping systems for science in the world. Bill’s more recent work has centered on instrumentation for multidisciplinary biogeochemistry research. Bill’s efforts have created a plug and play 4000 meter rated laser Raman instrument and precision positioning systems for in situ optical instruments. Currently Bill is Co-PI and project lead on the Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment experiments (FOCE) researching the impacts of ocean acidification (OA). The FOCE system is a combination robot and instrument to do in situ closed looped control of pH based on predictive models to study the potential impacts of OA. Several devices have been built at this point with regular operations at 900 meters in Monterey Bay and year long coral studies on the Great Barrier Reef.

Bill is a Senior Member of IEEE/OES with numerous publications and has published extensively in other journals as well. As an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University, Bill teaches upper division classes in ocean engineering as well as mentoring students on 3 ROVs, 1 autonomous surface craft, and has served as a coadvisor to graduate students on marine related projects. Bill was part of the original proposal team that created the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) center located at the Monterey Peninsula College. The MATE program has been very successful and ultimately created the International ROV Competition. Bill has been involved with MATE since its inception and has contributed by first establishing competition rules and continuing to work as an advisor on rules, to student teams as well as judging. Bill provided content and served as a technical and editorial reviewer for the MATE textbook “Underwater Robotics: Science, Design & Fabrication” published in 2010. He is currently working on a chapter for a new textbook on the application of optical instruments in the ocean. Additionally, Bill continues with his consulting firm TLR Inc. that has provided services for several aquaculture firms, holding a design patent for environmentally safe abalone farming. Bill has also provided design and fabrication services instrumentation for the International Ocean Drilling Program, NURP, and has served on the technical advisory committees for NOAA and the Ocean Observatory Initiative.

Bill graduated from UCLA in 1979 with a BSME, received his Masters in Computer Science in 2000 form UoP, completed the Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation management program, and has completed years of extension graduate classes in technical innovation, management and negotiation at the Harvard Business and MIT Sloan School joint program.

Statement: I was hired by MBARI specifically for the task of applying myself to advancing ocean technology for science and industry. The challenge I accepted from Mr. Packard was to make a difference to society through technology and to reduce the barriers to access of technology for greater ocean community. I believe in the vision that with better technology comes better knowledge and with better knowledge we have a chance to better manage the resources hidden within 70% or so of the planet. To obtain the answers that will let us make informed policy decisions and better manage natural resources through conservation, protection, and the sustainable exploitation needed to meet societal demands. My desire to serve is a continuation of that challenge. By being proactive and involved in the ocean community through the ADCOM I believe I can make further contributions to our community and society overall. I’ve served IEEE/OES for almost a decade in a variety of roles by teaching tutorials, publishing, serving on panels, journal reviewer, co-chairing and chairing workshops (the latest being chair of AUV 2010 held in Monterey, CA.) and this year as guest editor for the IEEE/OES journal special issue Scientific Underwater Observations and Technologies of the New Millennium. I believe I can learn valuable lessons from the ADCOM and bring that to the next generation of potential IEEE/OES members while also providing fresh ideas as we look forward to the health and well being of our society.


VENUGOPALAN (VENU) PALLAYIL (S’90-AM’99-M’99-SM’04) has a post graduate degree in physics and a Ph.D. in Microwave Electronics, both from Cochin University of Science & Technology, India. He was a recipient of many research fellowships from reputed Indian Scientific Organisations such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) during the period of his Ph.D. work. After completing one year of Electronic Fellowship course in the Institute of Armament Technology, Pune, India he worked as an R&D Scientist for 11 years in the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), India. He made major contributions to the field of air-borne ASW sensor systems such as active sonobuoys and helicopter sonars, while working in DRDO. In 1998 he joined Acoustic Research Laboratory (ARL) as a Research Fellow and continuing now as a Senior Research Fellow. In ARL, he has been responsible for the successful completion of many projects, and one of the projects ROMANIS won the prestigious Singapore Defence Technology Prize in 2004 for the best Group Project. Currently he is leading the research activities on the development of lightweight towed arrays for underwater applications using AUV and USV platforms. Apart from intense research activities, he also supports the lab as a Deputy Head, helping out the head of the lab on many fronts such as HR and finance management. He served as the Manager for Operations for the Tropical Marine Science Institute, for 5years, and in this capacity he has been helping out the Director of the Institute on the administrative matters related to finance and facility management. Venu has collaborated with many internationally reputed organisations such as Scripps Institute of Oceanography (USA), CMRE (Italy), DRDO (India), ATLAS Electronik (Germany), University of Texas (Austin) and of late with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA.

Venu has been a member of IEEE for the past 20 years and elevated to Senior Member in 2004. He is also member of Acoustical Society of America and Society of Acoustics, Singapore and serves on its Executive Committee. He played a key role in setting up the IEEE OES Singapore Chapter in 2002. He has served the local Chapter of IEEE OES in various capacities such as its Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer and currently is an Executive member. He served on the organising committee for OCEANS’06 Asia Pacific Conference in Singapore as Chair for Finance. He served as the Co-Chair and Chair for sponsorship for the first ever Singapore AUV competition (SAUVC 2013) and served as General Chair for the SAUVC 2014 event. He generates about $40K on average every year through sponsorships in collaboration with other members for the smooth running of the competition. He has served as the IEEE OES Sub-Committee member for the OTC-Asia 2014 and OTC-2016 Planning sub-Committee and is currently the chair for the IEEE OES programme sub-committee, OTC Asia 2018. He served as Chair for exhibition for the Western Pacific Acoustic Conference (WESPAC) held in Dec 2015 and organised by the Society of Acoustics, Singapore. He also organised and chaired an underwater acoustics session for WESPAC 2015. He is reviewer for the online journal Ocean Engineering by Elsevier. He supports the OCEANS Conference also as a reviewer of technical papers. He served on the IEEE OES AdCom in 2016 (under the class of 2014-2016) and supported the membership development. He is a contributing editor for the BEACONS Newsletter and regularly contributes articles. He also volunteers as a reviewer on the scholarship committee of IEEE OES. He has been successful in securing the OCEANS’20 conference for Singapore and will serve as one of the co-Chairs on the same.

Statement: I have been a member of IEEE for the past 20 years and a Senior Member since 2004. During my association with IEEE and OES I had immense opportunities to learn from it and also serve to the best of my capabilities. I have played a key role in setting up a Chapter of the IEEE OES in Singapore and served it for the past 13 years in various capacities, including its Chairmanship. I continue to serve the Chapter in an advisory role and as an executive member. I have been instrumental in initiating and propelling two flagship events of the Singapore OES Chapter, the Annual Industrial Workshop and the Singapore AUV Challenge. These events have helped to grow the membership as well as to reach out to the students in a better way. I have volunteered to work towards improving the visibility of IEEE OES among the students and also work on the membership campaign. If elected for the class of 2018, it would provide continuity to my mission and generate better results. The other focus area would be to make OCEANS’20 a great success. Under my leadership Singapore has won a bid to host OCEANS’20 conference, and I believe that being an Administrative Committee member would help to facilitate things better through closer interactions with the AdCom members. OTC Asia 2018 would be another task in my kitty. As Chair of the IEEE OES programme subcommittee, I will be working with the OES team as well as the OTC Asia programme committee to make it a success by organising plenary and invited sessions under the IEEE OES umbrella. IEEE OES is taking a leading role in the organisiation of student AUV competitions and as a member of the International Committee which has been constituted to charter the directions for future competitions, I propose to work with the chapters in the region to promote and jointly organise events. We are working with IEEE OES chapter in Malaysia to organise technical events jointly under my initiative. I wish to explore the possibility of setting up chapters in Indonesia and possibly in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the AdCom, if this is a direction to build up the membership. I shall continue to serve on the Scholarship Committee, as a reviewer of technical papers for OCEAN conference and also as a contributing editor for BEACON Newsletter. With all these experience and exposure, I believe that I could be a contributing member to the AdCom to fulfill its obligations. It would also be a great opportunity for me to learn more from the highly experienced senior AdCom members of the Society.


HANS-PETER PLAG (M’10) After some years as carpenter, Hans-Peter Plag studied mathematics and geophysics in Berlin and obtained his Ph.D. in Natural Sciences in 1988 from the Free University of Berlin. From 1988 to 1997 he was head of a research group in geodynamics at the University of Kiel, Germany. During that time, he was also active in environmental movements and later a member of the Green Party. Among others, he was the lead author of a concept for waste reduction and recycling, which contributed to a significant reduction in waste and an increase in recycling. In his teaching, he introduced the students to the concept of sustainability and challenged them with the question of how Earth sciences can contribute to a successful quest for sustainability. In 1995, he worked for five months at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Bidston, United Kingdom. From 1997 to 2004 he was the head of the department “Global reference” at the Geodetic Institute of the Norwegian Mapping Authority in Norway, where he also was professor (mathematical models in geodesy) at the University of Oslo. From 2004 to 2012, he was a research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and affiliated with the Nevada Geodetic Laboratory and the Nevada Seismological Laboratory. From 2012 to 2013, he held the Chair on Global Change and Sustainability and was the Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute (GCSRI), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also was a Visiting Professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, USA from 2010 to 2015. In June 2013, he joined ODU as the Co-Director of the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative and Professor in the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Science. Since March 2014, he is the founding Director of the Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) at ODU.

His main fields of expertise are in sustainability, global and climate change, local to global sea level changes, Earth system dynamics, space geodesy and geodetic reference frames. He has provided scientific advice to private companies and governmental committees, particularly with respect to future sea level rise. Between 1990 and 2010, he was engaged in utilizing space- geodetic observations for Earth system research. He was vice-president of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) from 2005 to 2010. During that time, he led a community assessment of the needs for geodetic observations, which resulted in the book “Global Geodetic Observation System: Meeting the Requirements of a Global Society on a Changing Planet in 2020”. Since 2003, he is engaged in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which is implementing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Since 2011 he is representing IEEE in a number of GEO activities, among others co-chairing the GEO Coastal Zone Community of Practice and member of the Steering Committee of the GEO Initiative “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet”. He has a deep interest in global risk assessments. In his career, he has led more than fifteen large international projects, chaired international programs and committees, organized numerous international workshops and conferences, often as chair of the program and/or organizing committees, edited many special issues and proceedings, and coordinated and edited two international and interdisciplinary community reports with up to 40 participating authors. Since 1994, he is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Geodynamics and since 1996 Editor-in-Chief for Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. Since 2013, he is publishing the column “On the Edge” in ApogeoSpatial, where he comments, among others, on issues of global change, unsustainability, and global risk governance.

Statement: The Oceanic Engineering Society, like many other scientific and professional organizations, is embedded in a society that, on the one hand, depends on evidence and knowledge for increasingly complex decision and policy making, and, on the other hand, to some extent is skeptical about the value of science and scientific knowledge, particularly as this relates to changes in the planetary environment. The urgent quest for sustainability expressed, among others, in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ambitious seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is a challenge to society and science. Making progress towards the SDGs requires a major societal effort to safeguard the Earth’s life-support system, on which our welfare depends. Equally important, a broad scientific effort based on comprehensive Earth observations is needed to better understand the Earth’s life-support system and what the safeguarding of this system implies. The oceans and other water bodies are crucial components of the Earth’s life-support system. Understanding their role in this system requires far more observations of the physical, chemical, and biological variables that characterize these bodies than are currently collected and available. In many cases, new observation technologies are needed and novel sensors are to be developed.

The increasing acknowledgement that progress towards sustainability is of existential importance for a global society in a degrading life-support system presents a unique opportunity for OES. The vision, objectives, and interests of OES are fully in line with the societal needs for a better understanding of the role of oceans and other water bodies in the Earth’s life-support system. What is a challenge is to focus OES efforts even more on the societal knowledge needs and to ensure efficient communication of the knowledge to those who need it. OES can facilitate the development of observational approaches to collect the data required to support the science as well as decision and policy making in support of the 2030 Agenda and the safeguarding of the Earth’s life-support system. To achieve this, it will be important to add additional links between OES activities and the international observational, scientific and decision support programs. Future Earth and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) are examples of such international programs. Focusing OES conferences and workshops on sustainability issues and the interaction with other relevant program could be an important step for OES to fully explore the potential of its membership to engage in the co-creation of the knowledge needed to cope with the grant challenges.

Importantly, the education of a new generation of scientists, researchers, and developers who have a high degree of sustainability literacy, an appreciation of the challenges faced by our global society and the resulting knowledge needs, and the passion and skills to contribute to the creation of the knowledge that meets these needs is an important task for all engaged in education. OES is making a significant contribution to the education of students and young professionals and has the opportunity to ensure that they are part of this new generation and prepared for the challenges of our time.


HARUMI SUGIMATSU (AM’04-M’08-SM’12) It gives me great pleasure to recommend Harumi Sugimatsu for membership of the OES Administrative Committee. Harumi has contributed to the expansion of the International Symposium on Underwater Technology around the Asia-Pacific Rim with 8 symposia held since 1998 in Japan, Taiwan (2004), China (2009), India (2015), with the next scheduled for Korea in 2017. She was one of the key organizers of OCEANS ’04 and ’08 and helped bring the OCEANS conference to Korea (2012), Taiwan (2014), and China (2016) as a member of the OCEANS reconnaissance team. She is currently also the liaison for the upcoming OCEANS ’18 in Kobe, Japan. In addition, her work promoting AUV competitions in Japan have led to their significant expansion, and she recently was secretariat for the highly successful AUV2016 workshop in Tokyo (Nov. 6-9, 2016). Her effort contribution to the 1998 foundation of the OES Japan Chapter, which has led to the creation of OES Chapters in Korea, China, Taiwan, and India. In 2015 she became Editor-in-Chief of the OES BEACON Newsletter. She is Senior Member of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, and currently serves a 3-year term as an elected member of the OES Administrative Committee. Her contribution to international conferences and workshops was recognized, and she was awarded the 1st OES Presidential Award in 2014, and received the prestigious OES distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Harumi Sugimatsu is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo, Japan, specializing in whale and dolphin echolocation with application to cetacean observation systems. Her work on the international collaborative project to monitor Ganges River dolphins was featured in the May 2016 issue of IEEE Spectrum.

Harumi Sugimatsu earned a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Humanities, Gakushuin University, Japan. She is a member of the Marine Technology Society, the Japan Art History Society. She is also an accomplished artist credited with numerous exhibitions (http://sugimatsu-artgallery.world.coocan.jp/).

Statement The activities of academic societies, organizing conferences and symposiums, gathering participants, and attending these events are key to the formation and growth of research communities. Face-to-face contact with researchers from differing backgrounds is as important to advance a research field as publishing research papers in journals. While it is important to leverage the recent phenomenon of Social Networking Services to bring our community closer together, researchers meeting face-to-face is as much a critical part of understanding our different backgrounds and cultures as ever before. Since 1998 the OES Japan Chapter has played a central role in organizing the Symposium on Underwater Technology (UT), which was established to strengthen the network of ocean researchers in Asia. UT has consistently attracted a large number of participant from countries in Asia, and continues to expand with successful of symposia hosted in China, India and the next UT to be hosted in Korea. It is fair to say that the network that has grown through the UT Symposium has formed the foundations for the OCEANS Conferences that continue to be hosted in the Western Pacific, in Singapore, Yoesu, Taipei, Shanghai and Kobe. The AUV workshop in Tokyo’s success can also be attributed to this network. These symposia, workshops and conferences will continue to provide a stage for face-to-face communication for the IEEE/OES network in Asia, and through its continuing growth and development contribute to strengthening and expanding the IEEE/OES network on a global scale.


ROBERT L. WERNLI (M’97-SM’06) received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1973 and the M.S. degree in engineering design from San Diego State University, San Diego, CA in 1985. He retired in 2005 from his career at a navy laboratory in San Diego where he specialized in the field of underwater robotics research and development. As president of First Centurion Enterprises, he has begun his second career as an underwater technology consultant and a writer. His most recent technical publication is The ROV Manual, 2nd edition; in fiction, he has published three novels. He has over 30 technical publications and was also editor and co-author of the book Operational Effectiveness of Unmanned Underwater Systems, published on CD-ROM in 1999 by MTS.

He has been actively engaged in promoting the oceans, including the use of remotely operated vehicles, by creating and chairing the first 10 Remotely Operated Vehicle conferences (ROV ‘83-ROV ’92), and co-chairing the following: OCEANS MTS/IEEE ’95, ’03, and ’13, all in San Diego, and Underwater Technology ’04 (Taiwan), ’07 (Tokyo), ’09 (Wuxi, China), ’11 (Hawaii with OCEANS), ’13 (Tokyo), ’15 (Chennai, India) and ’17 (Busan, S. Korea).

Mr. Wernli is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceanic Engineering Society, and a member and fellow of the Marine Technology Society (MTS). He is a recipient of the MTS Special Commendation and Award and the MTS ROV Committee’s Chairman Award. During his career with the government he received the Exemplary Service Award, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the prestigious Lauritsen-Bennett award for Excellence in Engineering.

Statement: My involvement within the professional societies has been driven by a desire to excel, especially in the international conference circuit. I’ve had the pleasure to chair 20 international MTS and IEEE/OES conferences where we initiated the first conference tutorials, web page, CD ROM proceedings, CD ROM Advance Program, DVD Proceedings and also took the ROV conference to three international locations (Aberdeen, Scotland; Bergen, Norway; Vancouver, BC). As chair of the OES Reconnaissance (RECON) committee, my goal was to create a process that allows a group of society volunteers to effectively and efficiently plan and run OCEANS conferences around the world. This process was successful, resulting in OCEANS conferences in Germany, Australia, Spain, Korea, Italy, Norway, Taiwan and China. During my two terms on the OES Executive Committee as VP for Conference Development, I worked with other society members to create documentation and refine the process of initiating and running future conferences. I am presently in my second term as VP for Professional Activities where I am responsible for membership, chapters and the promotion of the society, which includes the website and BEACON newsletter. I feel my experience in these positions will help IEEE/OES fulfill its strategic goals of continuing to develop a successful international conference program that not only showcases the breadth of our technologies but also encourages and promotes future international networking and cooperation. As a prior AdCom member (’03-’08 and ’10-’12), I welcome the opportunity to again join the AdCom in advancing the goals of the Oceanic Engineering Society.


STEPHEN L. WOOD (AM’01-M’01) Florida Institute of Technology

Professional Engineer – Mechanical Engineering, License # 58815, Florida, June 2002 - Present

Formal Education:
Oregon State University - Mechanical Engineering - Ph.D. 1994 (Dissertation: “An Architecture for a Function Driven Mechanical Design Solution Library”)
University of Miami - Ocean Engineering - M.S. 1987 (Thesis: “Architecture of an Expert System for Oceanographic Mooring Design”)
University of Rhode Island - Mechanical Engineering - B.S. - 1983

04/15 – Present - Department Head, Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences
05/09 – Present - Ocean Engineering Program Chair, Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences
01/99 – Present - Associate Professor - Florida Institute of Technology College of Engineering – Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences: Ocean Engineering, 150 West University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA.
2016/17 IEEE-OES ADCOM Interim Board Member
08/15 – Present - MTS Marine Archaeology Committee Chair

A Few Publications:
•  Bahr, G.S., Allen, W.H., Bernhard, P., Wood, S.L., “The Artificial Memory of Mr. Polly: Memory Simulation in Databases & the Emergence of Knowledge,” Submitted & accepted: MIT Press, Leonardo Journal, Vol. -, Issue -, 2016.
•  Wood, S., Hendricks, A., Corbet, M. “Automated Buoyancy Control System for a Remotely Operated Underwater Crawler,” Oceans'15 MTS/IEEE Genoa, Italy May 18-21, 2015.
•  Wood, S., Cañedo, D., Le Merdy, T., “Application and Effectiveness of a Portable Hydrodynamic Testing Facility,” Oceans'15 MTS/IEEE Genoa, Italy May 18-21, 2015.
•  Patent US 8,806,865 B2: Ocean Wave Energy Harnessing Device. Inventors: Kelly Dunn, Deric Hausmann, Stephen Wood, Aug. 19, 2014.
•  Wood, S., Mierzwa, C., “State of Technology in Autonomous Underwater Gliders,” in "The State of Technology in 2013," MTS Journal, Vol. 47, Num. 5, September/October 2013.

Synergistic Activities: Development of research tools: M.S. & Ph.D. research focused on the development of computer algorithms to support physical oceanography and mechanical engineering research, design and development.

Courses Developed and Taught at Florida Institute of Technology:
OCE 1001 – Introduction to Ocean Engineering (robotic and sub-sea section)
OCE 2002 – Computer Applications for Ocean Engineering
OCE 3030 – Fluid Mechanics / OCN 3430 Fundamental Geophysical Fluid
OCE 4541 – Ocean Engineering Design
OCE 4542 – Ocean Engineering System Design (team & real-life design situations)
OCE 4545 – Hydroacoustics
OCE 4561 – Fundamentals of Offshore Engineering (robotics & underwater technology)
OCE 5903 – Underwater Robotics I

Statement: As a current interim ADCOM member, I have taken part in a number of ADCOM meetings at the Ocean’s Washington, Genoa, and Monterrey. I am also one of the liaisons for Ocean’s Anchorage, where Bob Wernli and others will be heading there this April. I have also been trained along Diane DiMassa and others on the new cellphone software for future Ocean’s conferences.

I would like to continue my stint as an ADCOM member by officially being nominated for the standard duration. I feel I can help the society in numerous ways, especially with recruiting of College level students. I hope, with Bob Wernli’s assistance, to reach out to all marine / ocean related institutes to obtain new members. I have 4000 links on LinkedIn to gain connections throughout the world related to ocean activities: vehicles, energy, archaeology and so on. I hope to be able to use these connections to increase the membership in IEEE-OES.