M. A. Atmanand, General Co-Chair of OCEANS 2022 Chennai
As the OCEANS 2022 Chennai, one of the long-cherished aspirations of the entire OES communities in India, is fast approaching, I shall share some of my random thoughts on the chronicle of events that led to the culmination of it from a professional perspective.
It all started with the initial visit of Dr. Jim Collins who served the IEEE OES in various capacities and who happened to visit the port of Kochi on the southwest coast of India during a vacation cruise on the Regal Princess in April, 2003. In anticipation of that visit Jim arranged to meet with Dr. P.R.S. Pillai, the only regular member of the IEEE OES in the local area. At that meeting, to discuss activities of possible mutual interest, they identified the biennial Symposium on Oceans Electronics (SYMPOL), organized by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), as a possible focus of cooperation with the IEEE OES. It was this initial meeting, which Dr. Jim had with Professor Pillai, that sowed the seeds for the formation of the IEEE OES Chapter in India.
I had the good fortune of getting associated with Prof. Pillai, as well as Dr. Jim, and the idea to have an IEEE OES chapter in India started gaining momentum. Jim, who has been a strong supporter of the OES communities in India, served as the link between OES members in India and the IEEE OES. This perpetual interaction and association led to the formation of the IEEE OES Chapter under the India Council, which was formally inaugurated by James McFarlane, a pioneer Ocean Technologist in 2008, and I was fortunate to get associated with this Chapter as the founder Chair. Over some time, Prof. Pillai, Prof. Bahl, Dr. Ramadass and Dr. Venkatesan were Chairs and the chapter was very active. Since the formation of the IEEE OES India Chapter, the entire OES communities in India have been working to bring one of the OCEANS to India, in the near future.
In the meantime, myself and Prof. Pillai started attending the OCEANS and our strong desire to host one of the OCEANS in India was presented at the meetings of the OES AdCom and RECON. As the AdCom was not fully confident of the success of organizing the OCEANS in India, the AdCom suggested organising first an Underwater Technology Workshop in 2013, followed by an Underwater Technology Symposium in 2015, jointly with the OES Japan Chapter to establish the competence of the OES India Chapter. Both the events were organized successfully by the OES India Chapter, in a befitting manner.
I took the initiative to hold the OCEANS conference in India with the support from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), where I had risen to the position of Director. Our efforts to organize the OCEANS in 2018 and 2020 were not that successful, due to the commendable track record of Japan and Singapore in hosting the OCEANS. Thus, the OES India Chapter had no options, other than going ahead with the OCEANS 2022 Chennai, on the southeast coast of India. Meanwhile, to our surprise, the India council disbanded all chapters under them and we had to form IEEE OES under the local chapter, IEEE Madras, without our concurrence. This was also successful and this year we got approval for the same and we have Prof. Sannasiraj, a senior professor from the Ocean Engineering Department of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras as the Chair.
The event is jointly organized by the pioneers of India in the field of Ocean Technology, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, and is scheduled during February 21-24, 2022, both in-person and virtual. The main theme of the conference, INSPIRE-INNOVATE-SUSTAIN, is expected to attract about 1000 delegates with 500 papers being planned for presentation along with a good number of plenary sessions with talks from leading personalities around the globe contributing to the field of Ocean Engineering and technology.
With technical paper presentations, tutorials, social and networking opportunities, professional field trips, etc. OCEANS 2022 Chennai will provide the delegates an insight on evolving technology and knowledge in the areas of:
- UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development
- Underwater Acoustics and Acoustical Oceanography
- Sonar signal/image processing and communication
- Ocean Observing Platforms; systems and instrumentation
- Remote Sensing
- Ocean Data Visualization, Modelling, and Information Management
- Marine Environment, Oceanography and Meteorology
- Optics, Imaging, Vision and EM Systems
- Marine Law, Policy, Management, and Education
- Offshore Structures and Technology
- Ocean Vehicles and Floating Structures
- Petroleum Engineering
Some of the top plenary speakers are Dr. Margaret Leinen, Director, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Dr. Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO; Dr. Peter Haugan, Former Chair Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO; Programme Director at Institute of Marine Research, Professor at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Norway; Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences to name a few. A panel discussion on the current topics of interest like Global warming with leading speakers also is planned. A student poster session featuring outstanding projects from around the globe is another event. Student Hackathon competition and other student activities will also be at the conference. Women in Engineering program and Early Career Ocean Profession program are also part of the event. A plethora of exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations will be another event.
It is my pleasure to welcome and invite all of you to register and attend the conference. Now that Covid restrictions are eased out, please attend in person. All safety precautions will be in place. For complete details visit https://chennai22.oceansconference.org/.