December 2023

The Experience from the Global Members of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society-Student Branch Chapters at the OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast Conference

Ardian Rizal, Ali Emre Koruk, Mujeeb Abdulfatai, Nathan Fourniol, Jhon Bermudez and Atlant Correa, OES SBC members

OES invited the OES members of Student Branch Chapter (SBC) around the world to the OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast. Their experiences attending the OCEANS conference are described below.  

The OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast Conference,  sponsored by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) and Marine Technology Society (MTS), was held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center from September 25 – 28, 2023. The conference brought together global maritime stakeholders from academia, industry and government to learn, foster innovation, and enhance collaborations to protect and explore the ocean’s resources.

Among the approximately 1500 attendees were OES student members.  Some of the students are members of OES Student Branch Chapters (SBCs) at the University of Southern Mississippi and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, while others are learning about the OES SBCs. When the students were asked to comment on their experience at the OCEANS Conference, they provided the following observations.

Ardian Rizal, an OES member and graduate student from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), commented that “this meeting has broadened my horizon and deepened my understanding of my research from a technology perspective. Using streaming of data from ocean observation instruments, such as Saildrone, and autonomous underwater vehicles, will improve the quality of the modeling product that will be beneficial to society. I also connected with valuable networking that allows me to do potential collaboration in the future.”

OES-SBC members from various countries discussing potential collaborations and sharing ideas on projects (Photos by Jhon Bermudez).

Ali Emre Koruk, another OES member and graduate student from USM, commented on the wide variety of topics and activities that were available to him during the conference: “Over 500 technical presentations, 100 exhibitors, numerous panels, workshops, and town halls on topics related to the ocean and its protection and utilization, access to the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) at the Port of Gulfport, where participants could witness the latest technologies in action, such as uncrewed maritime systems, sensors, and data analytics and to educational and training sessions on project management, cybersecurity, leadership essentials, advanced technology, and interpersonal skills, facilitated by experts from the USM School of Leadership,” Ali Emre Koruk concluded his thoughts on his experience at OCEANS Gulf Coast with “I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was an amazing experience to learn from the global maritime professionals and experts who shared their insights and innovations on the ocean and its challenges and opportunities. I also enjoyed networking with the exhibitors, speakers, and fellow attendees who came from various fields and sectors related to the ocean. I gained valuable knowledge and skills that will help me advance my career and contribute to the ocean’s sustainability and prosperity. I would like to thank the organizers, Student Branch Chapter of the IEEE-OES, and volunteers who made this conference possible and successful. I look forward to attending the next OCEANS Conference and continuing my lifelong learning journey.”

A third OES University of Southern Mississippi SBC member who attend the conference is Mujeeb Abdulfatai. Among his takeaways from attending the OCEANS conference, is that “Ocean and Technology cannot be separated. To create the science we need for the ocean we want, advanced sustainable technology needs to be developed and our future is in bright hands judging from the poster competition and the OES/MTS Awards Ceremony.” Mujeeb was able to network with the Student Poster competitors and believes that “this networking will foster future collaboration in my research.”

OES-SBC members from various countries discussing potential collaborations and sharing ideas on projects (Photos by Jhon Bermudez).

Nathan Fourniol, PhD candidate from ENSTA Bretagne, France, discovered both OES and SBC at this OCEANS conference. He presented a paper on data muling and was impressed by how autonomous surveys by a single vehicle seemed mature. As a roboticist, he hopes to see and contribute to field tests of collaborative autonomous multi-vehicle exploration in a complex environment. Meeting OES student members let him believe in conference follow-up collaboration, which according to him is a way to fully embrace key ideas of Blue Economy.

Finally, Master’s student Atlant Correa, a member of the OES Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile SCB, also participated in the OCEANS conference. Atlant found the conference to be a rewarding experience. The event introduced him to new topics and offered different ways to get involved and participate, especially through the OES Young Professionals programs. The conference, also, provided Atlant with a great opportunity to connect with people who share similar research interests.

Overall, the students concluded that the conference allowed them to upgrade their skills and broaden their collaboration opportunities. Ultimately, the OCEANS Conference experience will provide valuable insight into their research and further their career opportunities. Additional information on student participation at the conference can be found in the Student Poster Competition article in this issue.