December 2019 OES Beacon

Chapter news (December 2019)

Submit Chapter news to Beacon Co-Editors and OES Chapter Coordinator

Providence Chapter – A Social Event and Two Technical Meetings

Reported by David Leslie and Sandy Williams

An Afternoon of Sailing, August 3, 2019

The Liberté is a magnificent 3-masted schooner which plies the beautiful waters of Cape Cod and the Chesapeake Bay. During the summer it ties up at the Clam Shack, just inside the mouth of the harbor in Falmouth, MA. The vessel has a length of 74 feet overall (65 feet on deck), with a beam of 18.5 feet. This staysail schooner carries 1700 sq.ft. of sail, spread over six sails and can cruise under diesel power at 8.5 knots.

The IEEE Providence Section, in cooperation with the OES Chapter, chartered the Liberté for a 3-hr afternoon sail. The plan was to sail within the general area of Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds, but the course taken is decided by the captain and depends on the wind and tides encountered on the day of the event. In 2018 our cruise was cancelled at the discretion of the captain because of foul weather. This year the sea state was moderate and winds were brisk from the southwest. From Falmouth we sailed south across to Martha’s Vineyard and viewed the harbors of Vineyard Haven and Oaks Bluff from the sea. There was ample time on board for conversation with old and new friends from the OE chapter and the broader Providence section. A total of 17 IEEE members and 21 guests were on board. All hands were accounted for when we tied up back in Falmouth.

The schooner Liberté
Harold Belson (IEEE) at the helm
Professor Chapman lecturing on the physics of waves from a tsunami and his personal experiences of the Boxing Day 2004 Sumatra earthquake. The figure shows the distribution of deaths in Sri Lanka from the ensuing tsunami.

Dr. Chris Chapman, August 19, 2019

Large, underwater earthquakes generate many types of waves – elastic P and S body waves, surface Rayleigh and Love waves or normal modes, acoustic waves in the ocean (T phase) and ocean gravity waves (tsunami). The latter are often the most devastating and cause the greatest loss of life. On Boxing Day, December 26, 2004, a magnitude (Mw) 9.1-9.3 megathrust earthquake occurred with an epicenter off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. It was the third-largest earthquake in recorded history, lasted 9 minutes, and released as much strain energy as all other earthquakes combined over the previous 15 years. The associated tsunami propagated across the Indian Ocean where communities surrounding its coasts were greatly affected. Major disruptions occurred in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The tsunami killed an estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries. At the time of the earthquake Chris Chapman was vacationing with his wife on the coast of Sri Lanka.

Chris Chapman is the Emeritus Honorary Professor of Theoretical Seismology at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has held academic positions at the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. He has conducted research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and has worked as a Scientific Advisor for Schlumberger Cambridge Research. He is the author of the textbook “Fundamentals of Seismic Wave Propagation” (CUP, 2004). Our OES chapter hosted Professor Chapman at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, to hear his presentation on the physics of waves from an underwater earthquake and his personal experiences of the tsunami from the Boxing Day 2004 Sumatra earthquake. Professor Chapman presented data from all the types of waves emanating from this event. He described the basic physical features of the excitation and propagation of the tsunami together with the properties that made this tsunami so devastating, and he explained how the other waves can be used to issue tsunami warnings. Professor Chapman was kind enough to break away from his New England sailing vacation to make this presentation, which was attended by 7 IEEE members and 11 guests.

Dr. Rupp Carriveau presents a lecture at WHOI to the IEEE Providence OES Chapter on the WindEEE testing facility.

Dr. Rupp Carriveau, October 16, 2019

The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Research Institute (WindEEE RI) was established in 2011 in order to pursue novel opportunities in wind research at Western University, Canada, related to the emergence of the world’s first three-dimensional testing chamber, the WindEEE Dome. The Institute has promoted innovative research and extensive collaborations nationally and internationally. The areas of research at WindEEE target the three EEE’s: wind Engineering, Energy and Environment. Main topics of research relate to: impact of non-synoptic wind systems (such as tornadoes and downbursts) on buildings and structures, optimization of wind farms and wind turbines, physical modelling of flow over rough surfaces, urban canopies, complex topography and forestry, outdoor and indoor air quality, and wind driven rain and snow.

Dr. Rupp Carriveau is the Director of the Environmental Energy Institute and a Director of the Turbulence and Energy Lab at the University of Windsor in Ontario Canada. He is Chair of the IEEE Ocean Energy Technology Committee. His research activities focus on energy systems futures, and include collaborative research that makes use of the WindEEE facility.

Multipurpose floating platforms are now being considered for renewable offshore energy generation, energy storage, desalination, agriculture, aquaculture, and habitation. While lessons can be learned from the oil and gas industry, design constraints of these platforms make direct comparison difficult. A generic model offshore platform is currently being tested in WindEEE; a unique hexagonally domed facility capable of producing scaled tornadic, downburst, and highly sheared wind profiles. In his presentation, Dr. Carriveau discussed observations from early analysis of the data and challenges encountered during scaling, measurement, and mooring of the experiment. Initial results indicate that the extreme wind cases of tornado and downburst produced very significant motion for the platform. The lecture at WHOI was attended by 6 IEEE members and 3 guests. Coincidently, and as if to further demonstrate the relevance of wind research, Cape Cod was struck by a “Bomb Cyclone” late on the evening of this meeting, as atmospheric pressure fell by 43 millibars within 24 hours. There was widespread flooding, downed trees and power outages.

Seattle Chapter 

Reported by Skip Denny

Student Marine Technology Spring Mixer

Typical Student Project

In May, the University of Washington’s Ocean Technology class students requested members of the OES and MTS local chapters to provide review and comment on the students’ year-long projects.  After the presentations, the students provided a pot-luck dinner and a networking mixer.  This has become an annual event since the Ocean Tech class began a couple of years ago.  Students are required to build and document a simple sensor that gets deployed in the water, and an evaluation of its merits is presented to the invited professionals.  The sensors range from simple temperature/conductivity cells, to acoustic tracking, and to optical AUV docking systems and software.  Input from the professionals has made for an evolutionary sophistication of the individual projects as well as networking contacts for jobs and graduate direction.

Typical Student Project

OES Seattle Section Support for OCEANS Conference

The main thrust of the chapter members for the bulk of the year has been participation in the preparation and execution of the OCEANS 2019 conference held in Seattle on 27-31 October.  Member participation ranged from the Local Organizing Committee (which had meetings starting at once per month in January to weekly intervals for the 6 weeks prior to the conference) and its various subcommittees, serving to review posters and papers, and a variety of volunteer activities during the conference.  This level of tasking left little time for the regular chapter meetings – indeed we had to decline an offer of a talk by a Distinguished Lecturer due to overloaded schedules.  An offshoot of conference participation was new linkages with other, somewhat geographically close, chapters to look at future joint meetings and collaboration.  Work with chapters in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia has been done in the past for other related societies, e.g., Acoustical Society of America local chapters.

Canadian Atlantic Chapter

Underwater Communications: From Theory to Experimentations

Reported by Mae Seto and Christopher Whitt

On December 5th, 2018, a talk was given on underwater acoustic communications at Dalhousie University by Dr. Jean Francois Bousquet.  This talk was co-sponsored by the SP-MTT chapter.  This talk focused on the physical layer design that enables underwater communication networks and systems as well as the effects of the acoustic channel.

Talk on Marine Robots

Reported by Ferial El-Hawary and Mae Seto

On December 12th, 2018, a talk titled Marine Robots: A Manifestation on the 4th Industrial Revolution in the Ocean Environment was given at Dalhousie University by Dr. Mae Seto.  This talk was focused on the exciting research in marine robotics at the Dalhousie University Oceans Hub.  A tour was also given of the new EMERA IDEA building at Dalhousie University.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Conference

Reported by Ferial El-Hawary

On April 9th, 2019, the OES chapter supported the annual electrical and computer engineering graduate conference.  There were approximately 100 attendees with many of the OES student members in attendance.

Underwater Communications Talk

Martin Siderius discussing Underwater Acoustic Communications

Reported by Mae Seto and Christopher Whitt

On April 15, 2019, Dr. Martin Siderius gave a technical talk titled Underwater Communications:  Challenges of the Acoustic Propagation Channel. The talk included a primer on underwater acoustic propagation and its impact on underwater communications and navigations.  As well, modelling techniques were presented that gain insight into the underwater communications channel and how to work within its limitations.  The talk was held at Dalhousie University and was attended by approximately 25 members and guests.

Talk on Auditory and Behavioral effects of noise in marine mammals

Brandon Southall discussing the effects of noise on marine mammals.

Reported by Mae Seto and Christopher Whitt

On April 30, 2019, the Chapter organized a talk and networking event with world-renowned researcher Dr. Brendon Southall on Auditory and Behavioral effects of noise in marine mammals.  Marine mammals use sound for many critical life functions.  Human sound in their environment can interfere with communications, affect their hearing, influence behavior and cause non-auditory physiological effects.  Recent work on both auditory and behavioral effects of noise was presented.  As well, Dr. Southall discussed how the results from this work is integrated into defining noise exposure criteria and applied in regulatory decision-making and mitigation of noise impact on marine mammals.

The talk was hosted by the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, and attend by around 50 people.

Talk on Passive Acoustics for Ocean Observations

Reported by Mae Seto and Christopher Whitt

On October 15, 2019, Christopher Whitt gave a talk on Passive Acoustics for Ocean Observations, sponsored by the Chapter and in coordination with the Dalhousie University Oceanography Department’s Seminar Series. Passive acoustic monitoring is a powerful tool to study the ocean with.  Long-term underwater acoustic recordings capture the distribution of human activity and marine life and provide insight into changes in physical oceanography.  Directed measurements help to understand the impact of activities ranging from geophysical surveys, shipping traffic to marine construction.  Several recent projects were discussed as case studies to showcase the state-of-the-art.  The talk was attended by about 40 people, including Chapter members, graduate students and several guests.

Malaysia Chapter

Visit Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an China

Reported by Khalid Isa and Mohd Rizal Arshad

On 14 – 17 August, 2019, the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society (OES) Malaysia Chapter organized a visit to Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), Xi’an, China. The main activity was to discuss the collaboration between IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter and NPU for organizing the 2020 IEEE 9th International Conference on Underwater System Technology: Theory and Applications (IEEE USYS 2020) in Xi’an, China. Others activities included a session meeting for research collaboration and an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle lab visit. There are many opportunities given by NPU to IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter. The discussion unleashes the expertise of professionals in a friendly discussion and the potential for collaboration between NPU and IEEE OES Malaysia.

Photo Session with the Dean and Deputy Dean of School of Photo Session with the postgraduate students during Marine Science and Technology, NPU
Photo Session with the postgraduate students during Marine Science and Technology, NPU the visit to Unmanned Underwater Lab, NPU
IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter Invited Talk at the School of Marine Science and Technology, NPU

Reported by Khalid Isa

On 16 August, 2019, the School of Marine Science and Technology, Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), Xi’an, China organized an Invited Talk Session to the postgraduate students. The first invited talk was given by Ts. Dr. Khalid Isa, Chair of IEEE OES Malaysia. He gave a talk about IEEE OES at a glance and autonomous underwater glider. The second talk was provided by Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohd Rizal Arshad. Prof. Rizal presented a talk regarding acoustic technology. It was an excellent platform for the invited speakers, staff and postgraduate students to discuss and share their insights on the trends, issues, possible solutions to prevailing concerns in the field of Ocean Engineering. The talk attracted more than 30 students and staff.

Talk by Ts. Dr. Khalid Isa, UTHM @ Chair of IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter
Talk by Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohd Rizal Arshad, USM @ Past Chair of IEEE OES Malaysia Chapter
Photo Shoot Session after the Invited Talk Session
TEDSAT: STEM Educational Program

Reported by Herdawatie Abdul Kadir

On Thursday, Oct 17th, 2019, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programme was held at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Johor.  This program is an effort for intensifying efforts to bridge the gap between science, technology, engineering and mathematics achievement in major examinations between urban and rural schools. It involved four selected secondary schools with a total of 47 participants. The participants are exposed to basic electronic & electric circuit experiments, and finally, learn to program the Arduino robots. The participants have shown extending interest in and understanding of STEM. Each participant was awarded a certificate of attendance and souvenirs.

Briefing Session
Practical Session