June 2022 OES Beacon

From the President (June 2022)

Christopher Whitt, OES President

As we approach half-way through 2022, we are continuously working on ways the Society can help us each to connect with our colleagues, lead in our technical communities, and mentor the next generation.

In February we held OCEANS 2022 Chennai in a hybrid format. The Chennai team worked extremely hard to execute a seamless program for both the in-person and virtual delegates. The abstract deadline for OCEANS 2022 Hampton Roads just passed and we are looking forward to an increase in the in-person attendance while still having the virtual option available to include as many of our community as possible.

In May the Houston Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was held in-person with a significant increase in attendance from 2021. While OES is only one of many professional societies that sponsor OTC, the OES sub-committee on the technical program produced many excellent technical sessions and contributed substantially to the conference. A key theme for 2021 and 2022 at OTC has been the energy transformation. It is clear there will be massive opportunity in the coming years as innovation and investment occurs in offshore renewals and many other sectors. There is potential for the technical sessions to include more topics like automation, control systems, power system design, connectors, and instrumentation. This could be of increasing interest to OES members. OTC has a strong focus on the energy industry and is quite different from OCEANS. Nonetheless, it is also a key source of revenue for Society operations. The increased attendance this year will allow us to begin to reinvest in Society operations, including chapter and student activities, as well as many other programs.

There are several important things happening now with Society Governance and I encourage each member to participate. By the time you read this report you will have received the ballot to elect the six members of 2023-25 class of the Administrative Committee (AdCom), which governs the Society. Electing AdCom members is one of the most direct ways each member contributes to running the Society. Please carefully read the candidate position statements and bios in this issue, and most of all, please vote.

Additionally, the Strategic Planning Committee has been hard at work for many months now. Recently we updated our Mission and Vision. Now we are working on an update to our Strategic Plan. If you are sent a survey or other communication about strategic planning, please participate, and help us guide the society priorities for the future.

Also, the Governance Committee has been working to keep our Governance documents current. Recently, some administrative updates were required by IEEE, so we took the opportunity to look at the rest of our Constitution and Bylaws to see what improvements we might make. In April, AdCom endorsed the recommendation from the Governance Committee to restructure the President offices (without changing the total number of offices). In May, this change was approved by the IEEE Vice President for Technical Activities. Finally, this change will be voted on by the membership for approval. You will receive emails with more information about the proposed change and the approval vote – if you haven’t already.

This coming October, the current AdCom will elect several new officers for the Executive Committee (ExCom). Due to coincidental timing, more offices than usual are due for election or re-election. Those offices include President, VP OCEANS, VP Technical Activities, Secretary, Treasurer-in-Training, and JOE Editor in Chief in Training. We will also elect a new Executive Vice President, should the proposed Constitutional change be approved. We encourage current and past AdCom or ExCom members to consider running for office.

Looking to the second half of 2022 with so many opportunities for us to continue to connect with each other. Whether it’s at OCEANS or at a Chapter event, in-person or virtually, let’s all keep connected with each other as we advance ocean technology.