June 2022 OES Beacon

Chapter News

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HK Chapter

Young Engineer YE-21 Conference (October 24, 2021)

Reported by Paul Hodgson, Hong Cong Chapter Vice chair and Robin Bradeer

Event Poster

On the 24th of October, 2021, the Hong Kong CT/OES Joint Chapter held the second Young Engineer’s Conference at the CyberPort on Hong Kong Island.  A total of 19 secondary school projects were displayed by poster and the students responsible gave a 10 minute talk about their work.  The students involved were from Hong Kong, Beijing and the USA.  This is part of the Pre-Uni STEM program happening in Hong Kong at the moment.  The objective is to try and highlight student’s abilities to help their university or school applications.  Students ranged from 13 to 17 years of age.  From the internet record, over 600 people attended the conference via zoom.

The COVID situation in Hong Kong kept this as an on-line event, however, as with the last YE-19, all posters were printed and displayed as a showcase and to aid the poster judging.

The HKIEEE Section was represented by our Chairlady, Dr. Paulina Chan, who with Dr. Joseph Orimolade of Caritas Institute of Higher Education (CIHE) also graded the posters.  The opening speeches were by Prof. K. F. Tsang, the Chairman of HKIEEE

CT/OES, Dr. Paulina Chan, and Prof. Ray Cheung; the secretary of the HKIEEE Section.  From the internet record, 638 people were on line to listen to the event from locations in HK, Australia, Beijing and the USA.

Event Itinerary

After the opening speeches, there were talks on:

  • The horseshoe bat and human overlap in Hong Kong. This bat is reportedly the primary source of the COVID-19 virus.
  • How a basic PVC pipe ROV can be adapted to collect mud samples.
  • How U/V fluorescence can be used to measure marine microplastic levels as a special sensor that can be attached to a basic PVC pipe ROV to measure levels on the surface mid-water and on the seabed.
  • How particulate concentrations vary with small variations of altitude depending upon size.
  • How the corals at one area in Hoi Ha Wan, HK, are doing health wise.
  • Using a special technique to analyze satellite photographs and look at forest tree health.
  • Be interactive with plants and obtain some feedback about how they feel about individuals.
  • Using AI applied to a Mozart technique to have a computer to write in the style of Bach’s music.
  • Cyclist safety with indicators and stop lights on a helmet, as well as link together capability.
  • Bacteria impacting seahorses.
  • Cavitation of small propellers.
  • Posture sensors.
  • Local earthquakes in and around the Hong Kong Super volcano.
  • Considerations for Electric busses in Hong Kong.
  • Sleep Inducer effectiveness.
  • AR for remote temperature measurement.
  • Parasitic power availability around locations in Beijing.
  • Acoustic aides for visually impaired persons.

With such an array of presentations and posters from a wide range of ages, it was difficult to judge the posters.  All described interesting projects and all were of a high standard so the judges had a difficult time.  Posters and the video presentations are available for viewing on www.ieeeye.com.  The papers will be posted after they are reviewed and accepted.

On a final note, the next Hong Kong Student Conference, YE-22, will be run in conjunction with the Tencon-22 in Hong Kong in November 2022.  See you there!

Below are some photos from the on-line event showing the poster display and the team responsible for making the day happen.

Many thanks to Prof. K. F Tsang, Dr. Paulina Chan, Dr. Joseph Orimolade for judging the posters and to the organization team; Mr. George Woo, Mr. Adrian Chan, Mr. Edward Wan, Mr. Tim Pang, Mr. Tong Pang and the members of the CityU ROV team.

Particulates – Size, Altitude and Time of Day – Second Place
Smart Bike Helmet – First place
Dr. Paulina Chan – HKIEE Chair giving her speech at the HKYE-21
Earthquake and the HK Super volcano – Third Place
It’s always scary when something involving the internet doesn’t work as planned.
Left to right: Dr. Joseph Orimolade, Dr. Paulina Chan, Paul Hodgson, Edward Wan, Mrs. Diana Ibarra & George Woo
Tim Pang coordinating the question and answer time.
The poster area. All 19 posters were displayed for judging.
Paul Hodgson organizing the students during the conference
Poster Discussion before the judging started

ROV 2021 – A labour of love around COVID-19 restrictions

Reported by Paul Hodgson, Hong Cong Chapter Vice chair

The IEEE Hong Kong CT/OES Joint Chapter was very busy in 2021 with their continued effort to promote remotely operated vehicle (ROV) knowledge in local primary and secondary schools.  Having been awarded a grant by the Hong Kong Government Environmental and Conservation Fund (ECF) we were able to build 80 basic ROVs and hold two ROV competitions in 2021.  All this accomplished around school closures, partial school resumptions, restrictions on school extracurricular activities, restrictions on gatherings and the necessary safety procedures to avoid spreading the COVID-19.

The first ROV competition event in 2021 was the delayed 2020 Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV Competition.  The event was supposed to occur in October 2020, then December 2020 with all of teams who built ROVs in 2020 demonstrating their work and ability.  School closures and a wave of COVID infections delayed it to February 2021.  The event also had to be staggered over three days because of a limit on the number of students that were allowed to be together in the same place.  Usually this type of competition runs for one day.  At the time of this competition only 4 teams could participate each day.  To complicate matters further, all of the swimming pools in Hong Kong had been closed and drained so we had to use a large portable pool in an industrial warehouse as the competition pool.

We managed to allow 11 teams, totaling 67 participants, to compete in the Navigator, Scout, Sentinel and Adventurer classes.  The groups were fielded from 20 ROV workshops held in 2020.  Even though the event had to be scaled down, the machines were of a high standard and everyone had a great time.

Winning teams were:

Comp. Level


Navigator Class Scout


Adventurer Class Sentinel


First Place Amazing Zipties CUHKFAA Thomas Cheung Secondary School Confucius Hall Secondary School 2 Lovepathy Academy 2
Second Place / / Confucius Hall Secondary School 1 Loverpathy Academy 3
Third Place / / / Junior Inventor Club 2

With schools opening in February 2021, there came a mad rush to build as many ROVs as we could around an intensive “catch up” academic schedule for the students.  By the school summer holiday time, August/September 2021, a total of 60 machines had been completed and the teams were ready for the 2021 MATE ROV Competition.  Restrictions regarding groups were more relaxed and we were able to arrange a pool for the event at the Queen’s College Old Boys’ Association Secondary School on Tsing Yi Island.  A total of 20 ROV teams participated at the event.

Winning teams were:

Comp. Level


Navigator Class Scout


Adventurer Class Sentinel


First Place The Gunners Pui Kiu One QCOBASS Team 1 Team Cool
Second Place / CMASS Robotics Team QCOBASS Team 2 WILD KITTENS
Third Place / Genting Dream / Agile Assassins


A highlight of the September event was the IEEE Hong Kong Section Chairperson, Dr Paulina Chan, attending to encourage the teams and for prize giving.  In all, a great day with a high standard of competition and fantastic weather.

For those interested in the history of this event, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) workshops and competitions started in Hong Kong in 2006.  Prof. Robin Bradbeer was responsible for starting this here while she was at the City University of Hong Kong.  I joined in at the same time, handling some of the technical and diving requirements for the project.  It grew from that humble beginning with local teams competing in the International Competition in the US representing Hong Kong and Macau.  These teams have been winning prizes in multiple categories each year since 2006.  Experience and further workshop-based education has advanced the effort to a very high level.  In the last MATE World Championships in 2021, Hong Kong teams took positions in the top five places with the Macau Anglican Secondary School taking first place in the University Category Explorer Class (Virtual).  It seems that this region has a knack for ROV things.

Finally, the IEEE TENCON-22 will be held in Hong Kong at the start of November 2022.  One of the peripheral events will be an ROV workshop and mini-competition as an ice-breaker and a networking event.  We hope to see you there.  Please follow the official website https://www.tencon2022.org/ for all updates.

Two of the 20 workshops – primary school students showing their ROV building skills.
Group photographs
Workshop photographs – Students building ROVs
The preparation area, ROV in action, A team (just finished the tasks)
group photograph

The Hong Kong IEEE CT/OES Joint Chapter are looking forward to an exciting 2022.

Japan Chapter 

The 7th Underwater Technology ForumZERO – Hybrid Reported by Harumi Sugimatsu, OES-J Vice Chair

The 7th Underwater Technology Forum・ZERO was held from 13:00 to 17:00 on 22 April 2022, on the Institute of Industrial Science, the U-Tokyo in Tokyo where we will organize the UT23 Symposium in March 2023 (http://www.ut23.org).  This time, therefore, the forum was held in a hybrid format looking after the COVID-19.  The forum is broad and covers hot topics in science and technology.

The topics of this forum are as below;

  • Radioactivity on the seafloor along the Fukushima coast: the last 10 years and the future
  • “Zero Emission” of international maritime transportation- Economic and technical problems and solutions
  • Development of the novel oil skimmer and application to floating matter recovery
  • Ecosystem changes in the future ocean with increased carbon dioxide
  • Volumatic survey of manganese crust by multiple AUVs
  • The future prospects of underwater drones in Japan
  • A novel underwater acoustic technology, FINE (Fast Interval Echosounding)

More than 280 people participated in the forum and enjoyed the discussions.  Hopefully we will be in more face-to-face meetings soon.  See you in Tokyo at UT23!

From the talk “Radioactivity on the seafloor along the Fukushima coast”
From the talk “Zero Emission of international maritime transportation”
From the talk “Volumatic survey of manganese crust by multiple AUVs”
From the talk “A novel underwater acoustic technology, FINE”

 Canadian Atlantic Chapter

Inspiring Voices of the Ocean Decade Seminar Series and Dialogue – Multi-Section OES Chapters’ Activity on the Ocean Decade

Reported by M. Seto, Canadian Atlantic Chair, J.R. Potter, Norway Chair, M. Migliaccio, Italy Chair, J. Nichols, Vancouver Chair, R. Prabhu, UKRI Chair  

Feature speaker
Dr. Maurizio Migliaccio – OES Distinguished Lecturer

As the UN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’ puts it, we have 10 years, with 10 challenges, for 1 Ocean (https://www.oceandecade.org/).  The urgent need to bring a new focus to sustainability and responsible management of our life-giving Ocean, the source of much of the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, has never been stronger.  2021 marks the beginning of the Ocean Decade and five IEEE OES Chapters (Vancouver, Canadian Atlantic, UK and Ireland, Norway and Italy) have taken up the challenge to organise a seminar series; Inspiring Voices of the Ocean Decade that explores the Ocean Decade Challenges.  Recognising that, historically, we have failed to comprehend, let alone act effectively, regarding so many aspects of ocean environmental degradation, the current seminar series is entitled “Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean”.

The first seminar in this series, “Synthetic Aperture Radar for Oil Spill Observation“,  was convened on April 23rd at 16:00 UTC.  The seminar was delivered by OES Distinguished Lecturer,  Prof. Maurizio Migliaccio (Università di Napoli Parthenope, Italy), followed by an open discussion forum.   Given the wide geographic spread of the five organising chapters, the meeting was hybrid, meaning that where feasible, in-person gatherings were organised, with online linking between the groups.  The 41 participants came from government, academia and industry, ranging from students to established professionals, spanning 9 time zones.

Prof. Migliaccio’s talk was followed by a 30-minute question and answer period and then a spirited discussion on how OES Chapters and our membership of engineers, scientists and ocean technologists could, with our unique skillset and appreciation of the issues, act to make a difference in ocean sustainability and management.

The Earth is a living system with enormous capacity to absorb, adapt and even recover from the indignities of industrialization.  But it is now abundantly clear that, while we have traditionally taken this great reservoir for granted and assumed its capacity to absorb our sins was without bound, humanity has now brought the Ocean to its knees, the damage so diverse and so great that recovery will not happen without deliberate, effective and concerted intervention.   As ocean scientists and technologists, we are in a uniquely powerful position to contribute to solutions and, arguably, we have an ethical responsibility to do so.  If we fail, the Ocean may adapt, rather than recover, and those adaptations may not be amenable to our continued survival.

The IEEE OES represents a rare concentration of skills, experience, knowledge and, for some, the voice or platform, to act and be effective.  We can, indeed must, show how technology can make a difference.

Climate change and pollution challenges seem to have transitioned from nobody knowing, believing, or caring enough, straight to helplessness and the sense that it’s all too late to do anything.  It is not.  Still not.  Some of us have been banging the drum throughout our professional lives, championing the cause and attempting to bring engineering and science to bear, passionately advocating the message that we must change our relationship with our planet, or face disaster.  It has all too often seemed like an impossible and thankless task, and it is little consolation that, 40 years later, our largely-unheeded warnings are now rapidly becoming our new reality.

Being realistic, it is true that the window of opportunity to avoid severe consequences has now closed.  The impacts of Ocean acidification, thermally-bleached coral reefs, pervasive plastic and heavy metal pollution, severe storms, droughts and sea level rise are already upon us.  We cannot change the past, but we can still avert global catastrophe by taking action in the present.  That means NOW.  We do not inherit the Earth from our forebears, we borrow it and are custodians of it for our children, to whom we owe a better future, with a planet in better condition, than it is currently headed for.   We have perhaps a decade or two (at most) to act effectively and decisively to divert humanity from its well-worn and rutted path.  Only a fundamental shift in our relationship with the Ocean will make this possible. It is time to stop talking and start doing what needs to be done.

We believe that IEEE OES, in partnership with other key stakeholders, is a great place to start, by pooling our collective experience, skills, knowledge and influence to show how technology can make a difference and what solutions technology can offer.

This OES activity presently contains founding members for an intended OES Working Group on the broader issue of Ocean Health.  We hereby invite existing OES initiatives, such as the one on Ocean plastic pollution, to join us, swelling our numbers and core competencies.  Early activities will be aimed at crafting a vision appropriate to IEEE OES, discussions on sponsors and funding, with the intent to develop a road map with goals that realize the vision.  Stay tuned for more updates at https://cas.ieee.ca/ocean-decade/

The next Inspiring Voices of the Ocean Decade seminar will be  in the third week of September 2022.  The speaker will be OES Distinguished Lecturer and Fellow, IEEE Prof. John Potter (NTNU Trondheim, Norway) who will talk about “Distributed Acoustic Sensing and the potential for a near-real-time global ocean observatory”.  This will be delivered globally as a Zoom meeting, with groups of local in-person gatherings as appropriate.

We invite all interested IEEE Sections to join the Inspiring Voices of the Ocean Decade Seminar Series and Dialogue.  If you would like to join forces, please send an email to mae.seto@dal.ca