December 2020 OES Beacon

OES Society Awards (2020)

OES Awards Ceremony at the Global OCEANS 2020

The OES Society Awards Ceremony was held on 6th October 2020 during the Global OCEANS 2020 Singapore -U.S. Gulf Coast.  This time, unfortunately we could not have a face to face ceremony. However, we could share the event with all of you from around the world. We are honored to introduce the following 2020 OES award recipients.  Congratulations!

OES Awards Ceremony at the Global OCEANS 2020


2020 Distinguished Technical Achievement Award: Mandar A. Chitre

On behalf of the Society it is an honor to present this year’s Distinguished Technical Achievement Award to Mandar A. Chitre for development of robust high-performance algorithms for wireless underwater communication and in-situ sensing networks.

Mandar is recognized for his contributions to underwater communication and networking in non-Gaussian or impulsive noise environments where many traditional modems fail to perform to their specifications.  He demonstrated that propagation delay, which is usually considered a major challenge in underwater networks, is in fact an opportunity to improve network performance.  This is particularly relevant for underwater communication and networking in shallow tropical waters, where snapping shrimp cacophony often drowns out communications with autonomous underwater vehicles.

Mandar is a leading innovator of practical systems for underwater acoustic communications.  He founded Subnero Pte. Ltd. Singapore, a private limited (Pte Ltd) company that manufactures and distributes worldwide software-defined underwater modems based on the algorithms and protocols that he has developed in his research.

He is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, where he serves as Head of the Acoustic Research Laboratory in the Tropical Marine Science Institute.  In addition, Mandar currently serves as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering.



2020 Distinguished Service Award: N. Ross Chapman

On behalf of the Society it is an honor to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award to N. Ross Chapman for his service as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering (2012-2017), Chair of the OES Chapter Victoria BC, Chair the OES Fellow Evaluation Committee (2017), and for his contributions to the governance of the Society as an elected member of the Administrative and Executive Committees.

Ross joined the Editorial Board of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering in 2005 and was elected Editor in Chief of the Journal in October 2012.  During his 5-year-plus tenure as Editor in Chief, Ross expanded the Editorial Board and oversaw an increase in the overall impact of the Journal as quantified by metrics in the Journal Citation Reports (for instance the Impact Factor), placing the Journal well ahead of some of its larger competitors.  For reference, the impact factor of the Journal is just above 3 today.

Ross served OES in several other respects, at the local level as Chair of the Victoria British Columbia Chapter, and at the Society Level as Chair of the Fellow Society Evaluation Committee and member of the Administrative and Executive Committees.  While serving in such capacities Ross always maintained a high degree of diplomacy and equanimity.

Ross has also mentored many students and young professionals. He is a true educator. He readily shares his experimental data sets, a commendable practice with all too few practitioners, and he encourages others, especially junior colleagues, to use these data while offering valuable advice and guidance.



2020 Presidential Award: Carl Michael Pinto (Mike)

On behalf of the Society it is an honor to present this year’s Presidential Award to Carl Michael Pinto (Mike) in recognition of his extensive support and financial management of all OCEANS conferences starting with his service as Finance Chair of OCEANS 2016 Monterey.  That works out to 10 OCEANS conferences so far, plus several upcoming conferences.  Let’s not forget that 2020 had 3 events: OCEANS 2020 Singapore, OCEANS 2020 Gulf Coast, which merged and morphed into Global OCEANS 2020: Singapore – U.S. Gulf Coast, all with complicated financial and contractual procedures.

In addition, Mike has been directly involved in the contracts negotiations for OCEANS conference venues and vendors, and for statements of work by Professional Conference Organizers (PCO).

Mike currently serves as the Vice President of Budget and Finance of the Marine Technology Society, co-sponsor with OES of OCEANS conferences.  Before retiring at the end of 2019 Mike was the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) for 20 years, and of the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the previous 16 years.