December 2023

From the Journal Editor’s desk (December 2023)

Mandar Chitre, Journal Editor-in Chief

It wasn’t that long ago that I remember waiting outside a meeting room at the conference hotel during OCEANS 2016 Monterey, to be called in to say a few words and answer questions before the AdCom voted me in as the next Editor-in-Chief. I was excited to be taking on a new role, and at the same time scared that it would be a role that I knew very little about and had no experience with. While I had served as an Associate Editor for several years, it was clear that the experience there was necessary, but not sufficient, to prepare me for what was to come. And indeed, that was the case!

I spent 2017 as the Editor-in-Chief elect, mostly being copied on selected emails by the previous Editor-in-Chief, Ross Chapman, to get me up to speed on the workings of the Journal. I attended the IEEE Panel of Editors meeting that year, and that gave me a good perspective on some of the important issues. I also had a chance to meet with the administrative staff supporting the Journal and acquaint myself with the processes that kept the Journal running smoothly.

I took office in January 2018 as the Editor-in-Chief, and inherited a Journal that ran like a well-oiled machine – all because of the efforts of the previous few Editors-in-Chief and the administrative staff. Some of the major tasks for me then were the upcoming IEEE 5-year review of the Journal in 2019 and the decisions to make to manage the potential disruption in publications industry due to the Open Access push and cOAlition S ( We surveyed our authors and readers to get opinions on the appetite for full Open Access, and based on the feedback, decided to hang-on to our hybrid publication model with an intent to review the position again in a few years. In hindsight, this turned out to be a good decision for the past years, but Karl von Ellenrieder, our incoming Editor-in-Chief, may need to revisit the decision in years to come.

In terms of bibliometrics, the Journal has done quite well over the years – thanks to the culture and values inherited from our previous Editors-in-Chief, the efforts of our Associate Editors to maintain quality, and most importantly the hard work of our authors and reviewers to generate, critique, and improve excellent research. I recall that when I published my first paper in our Journal about two decades ago, our impact factor was 0.8. Today the IEEE Xplore page for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering sports an impact factor of 4.1.

As Editor-in-Chief, every paper that came in for review went through my desk. And every paper that we published came to me for final review. This gave me a great birds-eye view of how the vast multi-disciplinary field of Oceanic Engineering was evolving. As the “hot” areas of research evolved over the years, we had to evolve our Editorial Board as well – to ensure that we had the right expertise to handle the volume of papers coming in on new emerging topics. Occasionally I had to smooth administrative kinks, and sometimes resolve conflicts between authors, editors, and reviewers. At times, I had to call upon Ross’ experience to validate decisions I needed to make but was unsure of. And then there was a difficult time at the end of last year, when our administrative staff, who had been with us for decades, was unable to continue to serve. We had to scramble to find and train a new staff to keep the Journal running – but we managed to get it done without disruption to our operations. All-in-all, it has been six exciting years!

While this role took a lot of my time over the past seven years, it has been an enriching and fulfilling experience for me. In the process, I’ve made new friends and gained new perspectives. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to serve. It is now time for me to step down at the end of December, and hand over the reins of the Journal to Karl. I am sure he will take excellent care of the Journal.

This will be my last note in the Beacon as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, and so: Goodbye!

As usual, I’d like to convey my congratulations to the authors of our most recently approved papers. The following papers were published as Early Access papers online on IEEE Xplore and will appear in regular issues soon. You’ll find these papers now:

  • Heron, Domps, Guérin, Wang and Petersen, “HF Radar Real-Time Alert to a Tsunami-Like Disturbance at Tofino on January 5, 2020: Surge or Tsunami?”
  • Cuji and Stojanovic, “Transmit Beamforming for Underwater Acoustic OFDM Systems”
  • Niu, Liu, Li and Zhai, “Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Source Localization Using Ships of Opportunity With a Deep Vertical Line Array”
  • Stevens, Siderius, Carrier and Wendeborn, “Optimally Distributed Receiver Placements Versus an Environmentally Aware Source: New England Shelf Break Acoustics Signals and Noise Experiment”
  • Li, Shihua and Liem, “An Improved Experimental Framework of Amphibious Marine Vehicle Hull Hydrodynamics”
  • Li, Hu, Xu, Zhao, Chen, Yang, Liu and Zhai, “Enhancing Underwater Image via Color-Cast Correction and Luminance Fusion”
  • Escobar-Amado, Badiey and Wan, “Computer Vision for Bioacoustics: Detection of Bearded Seal Vocalizations in the Chukchi Shelf Using YOLOV5”
  • Fischell, Fitzgerald, Manganini, Chen and Schmidt, “Seismo-Acoustic Sensing on the Beaufort Sea in the 2021 Sea Ice Dynamics Experiment (SIDEx)”
  • Luo, Wu, He, Song, Xu and Li, “CEWformer: A Transformer-Based Collaborative Network for Simultaneous Underwater Image Enhancement and Watermarking”
  • Liu, Bai, Deng, Liu, Wang, Lan, Li, Li and Wang, “Seal-Inspired Underwater Glider With a Rigid-Flexible Composite Hull”
  • Ren, Li and Lyu, “Oil Spill Timely Backtracking Oriented by Wind Field Correction With Self-Attention Temporal Convolutional Networks”
  • Liu, Zhu, Liu, Xu, Fu and Wang, “Unsupervised Multiple Representation Disentanglement Framework for Improved Underwater Visual Perception”
  • Lidström, “Super Permutation Frequency-Shift-Keyed Underwater Acoustic Communication”
  • Ma, Macdonald, Rouse and Ren, “Automatic Geolocation and Measuring of Offshore Energy Infrastructure With Multimodal Satellite Data”