Fausto Ferreira, Vice President for W&S
Since the last Beacon, a lot has been happening in my portfolio. While the COVID-19 pandemic still affects our workshops and symposia, plans are moving forward to hold all planned conferences either in hybrid, virtual or in-presence mode throughout 2021 and 2022.
Underwater Technology 2021
As I mentioned last time, we had already one fully virtual conference this year, the Underwater Technology 2021 (UT 21) Online – Video Competition. An article detailing this event can be found elsewhere in this newsletter. I would only like to highlight the attendance (over 100 participants from 13 countries) showing that the innovative format and the affordable registration fees were a winning combination.
China Ocean Acoustics (COA) 2021
China Ocean Acoustics is going forward as planned with a hybrid format expecting local attendees on-site and attendees unable to travel to participate online. By newsletter publication time, the paper deadline will be closed, but by having an online component (with a reduced registration fee), anyone can register to attend. The conference will take place between the 14th and 17th of July, 2021, in Harbin. Parallel events are being setup, including student and industry competitions and tutorials. For more about the conference, please refer to the website www.chinaoceanacoustics.cn/COA2021/
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum (ASOF) 2021
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum (ASOF) 2021 will follow previous successful forums in this area and will be addressing polar technology challenges for the coming decade. ASOF 2021, organized by the OES Australia Chapter, and originally planned for Hobart, Tasmania, will now take place as a fully virtual event, which again stimulates anyone on the planet to attend and listen to the presentations of this exciting topic. ASOF 2021 is scheduled for the 4th-6th of August, 2021. More information is available on asof2020.ieee.org/
European Robotics League Emergency 2021 – virtual only
The European Robotics League (ERL) Emergency 2021 competition, now coupled with the Robotics for Asset Maintenance and Inspection (RAMI) competition that was planned to take place in Italy in July 2021, has been moved to the virtual realm. Organizing a robotics competition online is not an easy task but can be interesting enough to attract researchers from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) domain. Indeed, RAMI 2021 will be a virtual competition based on object detection and classification tasks and will soon be announced on the website metricsproject.eu/inspection-maintenance/. Plans to hold both a virtual and a physical competition in 2022 are in place and will be detailed later.
Underwater Communications and Networking (UCOMMS) 2021
The 2021 Fifth Underwater Communications and Networking (UCOMMS) will also be online. While the conference has been postponed initially to 2021 with hopes of having an in-person event, due to the continued uncertainty and pandemic situation, a decision has been made to have the conference online. The provisional dates are the same, 31 August – 2 September, but due to time zone differences, it will not be a three-full days meeting as usual. For updates, please follow this link ucomms.net/.
Breaking the Surface 2021
The 13th International Interdisciplinary Field Workshop of Maritime Robotics and Applications – Breaking the Surface (BTS) 2021 will take place from the 29th of September to the 3rd of October in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. The plan of the organizers is to hold it in-person, but the health and safety of participants will be the priority when making the final decision. The OES University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter has been involved in the organization of this workshop since 2019, and several Technical Committee members of the Autonomous Marine Systems TC are part of the Program Committee. More on bts.fer.hr/
IEEE 9th International Conference on Underwater System Technology: Theory and Applications (USYS 2021)
USYS 2021 is currently being planned for the 6th to 8th of December in Melaka, Malaysia. More details will be made available in due course.
Symposium on Ocean Technology (SYMPOL) 2021
The International Symposium on Ocean Technology (SYMPOL) 2021 is currently planned to take place in Kochi, India, from the 9th to the 11th of December 2021. The call for papers is open until July 4th, and the meeting is being planned as a hybrid event as of now. The current COVID-19 situation in India is being monitored and is being considered when choosing the final format of the event. Please consult the website for the call for papers and all updates. sympol.cusat.ac.in/
The Year Ahead
Looking towards 2022, exciting plans have been made. In particular, besides the RAMI 2022 competition, we have established a new partnership with the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) 2022 and we are going ahead with concrete plans for our biennial AUV symposium.
Ocean Sciences Meeting 2022
In my past article, I mentioned the interest in exploring new partnerships and creating new conferences. The agreement established with the OSM 2022 organizers fits within this vision. OES is a co-sponsoring society of the OSM 2022 meeting after having signed an agreement with the three sponsoring societies: The Oceanographic Society (TOS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Association for the Science for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). This is a landmark agreement that connects OES to the flagship meeting in Ocean Sciences and widens considerably the reach of our society. I would like to mention that the negotiations for this agreement have been started by the previous ExCom in 2020 and that several OES leadership members have been fundamental to make this come to reality. This partnership allows OES to be included in the Technical Program Committee (Dr. Jay Pearlman is the OES representative). OES members will have reduced registration fees for the OSM event as well. Moreover, it allows OES to organize town halls and special panels at OSM’22 and to be promoted throughout the conference. Currently, a set of session proposals with OES as lead organizers is being prepared and coordinated by the OES working group created for this purpose. In July, sessions proposers will be notified and the call for abstracts will open. I encourage you to check the website and submit abstracts in July, search for the OES-affiliated approved sessions and make OES presence at OSM stronger! If you wish to get involved and plan a special workshop/panel please contact Dr. Jay Pearlman or myself. OSM’22 will take place in Honolulu (and online) from the 27th of February to the 4th of March 2022 and more info can be found on www.aslo.org/osm2022/.
2022 IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Symposium
The IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) 2022 is currently planned to take place in Singapore from the 19th to the 21st of September 2022. Dr. Bharath Kalyan from the National University of Singapore, and IEEE Senior Member will be the General Chair. More news on this symposium will be available in future newsletters.
Other 2022 events are still under confirmation and will be announced soon. I would also like to highlight that our Chapters, Student Branch Chapters and Technical Committees under VPTA have been very active in organizing both online meetings and generating new conferences and workshops. You can read more about several online workshops and lectures organized under VPTA in his column.
Finally, I would like to remind any OES members that wish to get involved in current workshops, or propose new ones, to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to serve the OES members and the larger community, and if you have ideas on improving current workshops, you are more than welcome to forward them to me!