March 2021 OES Beacon

After a Tough Year, We’re Ready for More Connection

Brandy Armstrong, VP of Professional Activities, vp-professional-activities@ieeeoes.org

Certainly 2020 was a tough year for all of us, including IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society volunteers. Does my picture look grainy? It’s because it’s a virtual screen shot from Global OCEANS 2020 caught by our photographer Stan!

As part of the Local Organizing Committee for the first virtual Global OCEANS conference, which had the tough task of pivoting to go virtual, I was very happy with how our expanded Young Professionals (YP) and Women in Engineering Programs (WIE) turned out. If you missed it, keep an eye out for the panels to be released later this year by subscribing to our IEEE OES YouTube channel.

I have spent the first part of 2021 updating the VP Professional Activities processes and procedures, building my team, and successfully conversing with motivated members who will continue or join roles in the standing professional activities committees.

Membership Development Committee

You’ll want to watch and share the WIE testimonial video which features four of our outstanding IEEE OES WIE members and their thoughts on what makes IEEE OES Home.

In our Membership Development (MD) committee, Farheen Fauziya will continue her role as the OES liaison to Women in Engineering (WIE) and Roberto Petroccia (YP Boost 2019-2021) will join us as the OES liaison to Young Professionals (YP). I have also secured a Membership Development Committee chair (MDC) who is awaiting appointment approval. This member is enthusiastic about supporting our members and has lots of new ideas on how to do that.  A clue, it’s one of our YP Boost awardees. Find out who in the next update…

Now in its fourth year, the Young Professionals (YP) Boost program continues to be a resounding success! Our YP awardee alumni continue to move into leadership positions, including the Administrative Committee, Executive Committee and chairing standing and technical committees. We did not select new awardees in 2020 due to the global pandemic, and instead extended all YP Boost awardees terms for one year. Get Ready, the program resumes this fall!

While last year was rough budget-wise and stalled some of our ambitious goals, we continue working on developing a similar program to support OES WIE members.

You’ll want to watch and share the WIE testimonial video which features four of our outstanding IEEE OES WIE members and their thoughts on what makes IEEE OES Home.

Student Activities Committee

Jeff Dusek (YP Boost 2020-2022) continues as our Student Activities Committee Chair. Last year was a tough year for engagement, but Jeff has some great ideas on how to increase participation and grow our student membership in real life and the virtual world.

Despite lack of use, we still remember the passwords for those tablets we used to sign up students on the spot, and hope to put them to good use at the next Global OCEANS live in San Diego. While opportunities to attend OCEANS in person weren’t possible in 2020, many students attended virtually and both the Singapore and Gulf Coast virtual Student Poster Competitions were a success. The number of active OES Student Branch Chapters continues to grow with the new UNIFI-UNIPI Joint Student Branch Chapter in Florence, Italy.

Promotion Committee

Left to Right: Jeff Dusek (Student Activities Chair), Brandy Armstrong (VPPA), Farheen Fauziya (WIE Liaison), Roberto Petroccia (YP Boost 2019-2020, YP Liaison), Hari Vishnu (Earthzine EIC, YP Boost 2019-2020), Shyam Madhusudhana (YP Boost alumni, Administrative Committee, Technology Committee Chair).

Steve Holt continues as our Webmaster and Promotions Committee chair. Here’s your annual reminder: If you haven’t visited lately, please take a look at ieeeoes.org/ and give us feedback on what you’d like to see.

Stephanie Kemna (YP Boost 2019) is keeping our calendar up to date, which was no small feat in 2020 with almost continuous cancellations and changes.

Harumi Sugimatsu and Robert Wernli are doing a great job engaging members to contribute to our Society newsletter, the Beacon. The articles in html format available on the OES webpage make it easy to share opportunities and information with our members, and make a virtual connection.

Left to Right: Jeff Dusek (Student Activities Chair), Brandy Armstrong (VPPA), Farheen Fauziya (WIE Liaison), Roberto Petroccia (YP Boost 2019-2020, YP Liaison), Hari Vishnu (Earthzine EIC, YP Boost 2019-2020), Shyam Madhusudhana (YP Boost alumni, Administrative Committee, Technology Committee Chair).

Hari Vishnu (YP Boost 2019-2021), Editor in Chief (EIC) of Earthzine, is working hard with the Earthzine editorial team to bring a wider audience to the work the OES is doing. Rajat Mishra (YP Boost 2020-2022) continues to ensure the Earthzine site and submission portal are running smoothly and the search engine is optimized to serve our members and editorial staff. Student volunteers have cleaned up some broken links and other issues left over from the move to the new site. Earthzine’s audience continues to grow. Please reach out to Hari to get involved or publish with Earthzine!

In its fourth year, our social media initiative continues to be an effective avenue to share information and opportunities with our members and to reach potential new members.  Our online following continues to grow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

This year’s initiative, which combines the skill and creativity of social media coordinator Manu Ignatius and YP Boost Awardee Rajat Mishra, will focus on opportunities to collaborate with members to create video and audio content, including testimonials and podcasts, which will reach a larger audience. We hope to attract new members who can benefit from OES opportunities and technical expertise.

As part of last year’s initiative to collaborate with publicationswhose audiences share common interests, several of our members participated and reached a wider IEEE audience. Krista Beardy was featured in IEEE Transmitter for her work on understanding how plastic is negatively affecting the waters we depend on. Senior members Roberto Petroccia, Fausto Ferreira and Gabriele Ferri were also featured by the IEEE Transmitter discussing the valuable role autonomous underwater vehicles play in the maintenance and observance of our oceans, seas, rivers and lakes. Hari Vishnu and I were interviewed by IEEE TryEngineering for the first TryEngineering Tuesday webinar of 2020 and helped create a TryEngineering Ocean Engineering profile, both aimed at introducing more students to Ocean Engineering.

Manu and Rajat collaborated with several of our members, focusing on YP and WIE, to create testimonials, which can be viewed now on our YouTube channel. If you would like to be part of the next testimonial, please reach out to me at vp-professional-activities@ieeeoes.org .

See You at OCEANS!

I hope to see you all this fall in San Diego or virtually from Porto and around the world. Last year Manu Ignatius and Rajat Mishra helped me organize our first ever virtual booth. We continue to create and update content that can be used for our virtual booths at OCEANS and OTC. Please be sure to get involved at the next Global OCEANS or OTC meeting and look for me at the real life or virtual Society booths!