Events June 2022 OES Beacon

OCEANS 2022 Chennai – A brief report

Nidhi Varshney on behalf of LoC, Photographers G. Pannerselvam and A. Ranjan


Aerial view: IITM Research park – the venue of OCEANS 2022 Chennai

OCEANS 2022 Chennai was the most sought-after event after long COVID dredges. It was held in the beautiful city of Chennai, which is a cosmopolitan city, playing an important role in the historical, cultural, and intellectual development of India where one can experience the enchanting ocean.  OCEANS 2022 was a hybrid event keeping both the virtual and physical event spirit live. The event had a theme — Inspire, Innovate, Sustain, which was meant to inspire the new generation to strive and work in the field of Ocean technology, which needs innovations and a thought process to find sustainable solutions to harvest the ocean resources.  IIT Madras Research Park served as an apt venue for the hybrid conference, situated in the heart of the city with greenery all around and having world-class infrastructure. This is India’s first University-based research park, which is a hub for R&D partners.

It was an amalgamation of technology building through collaborative learning, technical sessions, workshops, panel discussions, student activities, and a huge range of exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in products and services from across the globe. There were 207 physical participants & 131 virtual participants from the host Country and 28 physical participants & 138 virtual participants from other countries. OCEANS 2022 was also endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Student Hackathon

Great Minds at work during Hackathon

OCEANS 2022 Chennai kick-started with a student Hackathon on 20 February, which aimed at Hardware Interface and Data Analysis (HIDA) for Unified Earth System Observation. Participants were invited to come up with new innovative prototypes or ideas that will help in efficiently solving one or more problems for the Earth system observation. There were two tracks for the event.

 Track 1: HARDWARE INTERFACE focused on using hardware to provide the solution to the problem. Robust, flexible all-time 24×7, all-weather, and low-cost electronics and software to be the main goal to be applied to a variety of science missions for acquiring data and storing for both terrestrial and ocean applications.

This was a completely physical event having 44 students participating as 10 teams from various institutions. IIT Madras bagged the 1st Prize, Sri Sai Ram Engineering College – 2nd Prize and SRM University – 3rd Prize.

Track 2: DATA ANALYSIS involves using high-quality labelled data from prior missions to investigate natural and sensor/platform-induced signals. The problem statement will initiate a new thinking process among students to handle different types of data formats used in land and ocean observation and also involve them in producing logical codes to process the data based on the requirement.

Data Analysis was conducted through virtual mode on the same day. A total of 26 students participated from 7 institutions, where IIT Kharagpur bagged 1st Prize, IIT Bhubaneswar – 2nd, and IIT Madras – 3rd Prize.


As part of the pre-conference activity, eight tutorial sessions were conducted on 21 February, 2022. The tutorials were free of charge for registered participants. The sessions were held online on a virtual conference platform created exclusively for OCEANS 2022. Six half-day and two full-day tutorials were scheduled over the day, considering the time zone of the instructors being from different parts of the world.

  • T1- Prof. R. Sundaravadivelu, IIT Madras, Topic: Deepening of ports in India.
  • T2- Dr. B. Pranesh and Mr. Rahul Bharti, NIOT, Topic: Design in Nature and its Applications in Ocean Engineering
  • T3- Dr. Pushp Bajaj and VAdm Pradeep Chauhan, National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi, Topic: Collapsing Marine Biodiversity and its Implications for the Blue Economy – How You Can Help Reverse This.
  • T4- Dr. Anders Tengberg, University of Gothenburg/Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden Topic: Oxygen Measurements in Ocean.
  • T5- Prof. Karl von Ellenrieder, Libera Universitá di Bolzano, Italy, Topic: Fundamentals of Marine Vehicle Control
  • T6- Prof. Nikolas Xiros, the University of New Orleans USA Topic: Dynamical Systems for Harnessing Water Wave Power
  • T7- Prof. Francisco Presuel-Moreno, Florida Atlantic University, Topic: Corrosion Control and Mitigation for Materials Used in the Ocean
  • T8- Prof. P. Ananthakrishnan, IIT Madras, Topic: Study of Oceanographic Flows

 Student Activities

The outdoor activities are opening up and hence a student mixer activity as is common to all OCEANS conferences was held. Student Luncheon and outing to an aquarium and beach were organized on the 21st providing an opportunity to chill and relax. After the outing, the group made a quick dash to the city for the ice-breaker dinner, which again was the time to socialize before the intense conference.

Students outing to the aquarium and beach
Christopher interacting during Ice breaker dinner

Ice breaker reception

Ice breaker reception was held at Hotel GRT and it was enjoyed by one and all. Mr. Christopher Whitt, IEEE OES President, interacted with the participants, sponsors, and students during the dinner.

The Inaugural Function – Prof. S. A. Sannasiraj, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Mr. Madhu Nair, Mr. Christopher Whitt, Dr. G. A. Ramadass, Prof. M. A. Atmanand, Dr. Tata Sudhakar


OCEANS 2022 was formally inaugurated on the Feb 22nd by Mr. Madhu Nair, Chairman cum Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Ltd., who was the chief guest.  Other Dignitaries being, Dr. G. A. Ramadass, Director, NIOT – Patron, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras – Patron, Mr. Christopher Whitt, President IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, Padmashree Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chief Executive, IITM Research Park. 



Prof. M. A. Atmanand, Co-Chair, OCEANS 2022 presenting a memento to Mr. Christopher Whitt, President IEEE OES at the Inaugural Function
Prof. S. A. Sannasiraj, Co-Chair, speaking at the Inauguration

As always OCEANS 2022 had a huge range of exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in products and services from across the globe. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies and former Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, inaugurated the exhibition. An exhibitor’s dinner was held in the venue itself on the 22nd with live counters preparing authentic Indian cuisine.  Our sponsors and the exhibitors were also felicitated during the dinner. 28 Exhibiting Companies were present physically and 31 companies were virtual. There were 4 Platinum Sponsors, 9 Gold Sponsors, 14 Silver Sponsors, and 2 Exhibitors. The Exhibition hall was excellently renovated. Marine Technology Society, Sea Technology, and Hydro International were the Media Partners. IIT Madras, NIOT, IITM Research Park, Naval Research Board – DRDO were Patrons. Ocean Society of India, SOCERS, SUT, and Ocean Energy Systems were the Technical Sponsors.

Dr. Shailesh Nayak inaugurating The Exhibition
Visit to exhibition
Exhibition stalls
Dr. Shailesh Nayak (Center), Dr. M. A. Atmanand (Left), Prof. V. Kamakoti (Right) visiting the exhibition
Virtual exhibition – MTS
Virtual exhibition – IEEE OES
Felicitation of sponsors by Dr. Tata Sudhakar, Finance Chair
Felicitation of sponsors by Prof. K. Murali, Finance Chair
Participants enjoying the cuisine at Exhibitor’s dinner
Felicitation of MTS by LOC
Felicitation of Patrons by LOC


Plenary Sessions

The event hosted plenary talks by eminent scientists and researchers from across the world on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Prof. R. Sundaravadivelu, Emeritus Professor IIT Madras, was the chair for the plenary-1 session on the 22nd.

Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director Institute of Advanced Studies, physically presented the talk. Topic: Towards Heralding an Era of Blue Economy.

Dr. Sameer Kamath, Director General Naval Systems & Materials (NS &M) from DRDO. Topic: Virtually on Technologies for Secure Seas – Current and Futuristic Perspective

Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Material of the Indian Navy. Topic: Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Naval Ships

Dr. Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vice-Chancellor – Marine Science of University of California San Diego. Topic: The UN Ocean Decade and COP26 Ocean Action: an important synergy

Prof. Peter M. Haugan Former Chair – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO, Programme Director – Institute of Marine Research, Professor – Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen. Topic: The role of science and technology in transformation towards a sustainable ocean economy.

Dr. G. A. Ramadass, Director, NIOT chaired the 2nd Plenary Session on Wednesday, the 23rd.

Dr. Katsuyoshi Kawaguchi, Director–General, JAMSTEC, Visiting faculty member of Center for Integrated Underwater Observation Technology, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo. Topic: Earthquake and tsunami surveillance system in seafloor and social implementation of real- time data.

Mr. Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (NOAA Research). Topic: If not now, when? A lifetime’s opportunity in this moment

Dr. Gary Brassington, Australia’s Leading Researchers in the Operational Ocean Prediction, Bureau of Meteorology’s Senior Principal Research Scientist for Ocean Modelling. Topic: Operational global ocean forecasting – how the international community is organised, the status of current systems, performance and comparison

Mr. Liu Feng, Secretary  General of COMRA. Topic: COMRA’s Deep Seabed Nodule Mining Test Project

Christopher Whitt presenting a memento to Prof. Sundaravadivelu
Prof. Sannasiraj presenting the memento to Dr. G. A. Ramadass
Dr. Margaret Leinen during the Plenary talk
Mr. Craig McLean during the Plenary talk


Screenshot of the virtual platform

Technical sessions

The complete event was on hybrid mode with participants presenting papers physically in 4 parallel sessions and participants presenting papers virtually in 5 parallel sessions, all at the same time.

The event had 33 hybrid and 51 virtual technical presentations on a large number of topics viz Underwater Acoustics and Acoustical Oceanography, Sonar signal/Image processing and communication, Ocean Observing Platforms, Systems and Instrumentation, Remote Sensing, Ocean Data Visualization, Modeling and Information Management, Marine Environment, Oceanography and Meteorology, Optics, Imaging, Vision and E-M Systems, Marine Law, Policy, Management and Education, Offshore Structures and Technology, Ocean Vehicles and Floating Structures, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Petroleum Engineering and many more.

There were some parallel events like GOOS MTS Ocean Dialogue and Panel Discussion, Women in Engineering Session and Young Professionals’ Program in Hybrid mode.

Snapshots from technical presentations – physical and virtual

Panel Discussion

A Panel Discussion with topic Climate change solutions & the Ocean Decade was conducted in hybrid mode with moderators Mr. Craig McLean, NOAA; Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. A special address was given by Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO. The panelists were:

  • Bjornar Selnes Skjaeran, Minister of Fisheries & Ocean Policy, Norway
  • Michel Jean, President INFCOM WMO, Geneva
  • Boram Lee World bank
  • Nisha Mendiratta, head CCP and Women Scientists Programme, DST
  • V. Sundar, Professor Emeritus, IITM
  • Danish DR Project Scientist II Global water & climate Adaptation Centre, IIT Madras

Concluding Remarks were given by HSH Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince, Principality of Monaco. Dr. R. Venkatesan, Dr. S. A. Sannasiraj, Meredith Kurz and Theresa Keith were the organisers.

Panel Discussion

GOOS MTS Ocean Dialogue with panelists Emma Heslop, UNESCO IOC; Peer Fietzek, M/s Kongsberg Maritime; Donna Kocak, L3Harris; R Venkatesan, NIOT; George Mathew, M/s Norinco Pvt. Ltd. India; moderated by Zdenka Willis, MTS President, was also organized as one of the side events of OCEANS 2022 Chennai. 

GOOS MTS Ocean Dialogue
WIE Evening session

Women in Engineering session was conducted virtually in the Morning and as Hybrid in the Evening on 23 February, inspiring young women to advance in their careers.

The panelists in the morning session were:

  • Ira Didenkulova, Asso., Prof. University of Oslo
  • Purnima Jalihal, Scientist G, NIOT
  • Nimmi Nair, Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory
  • Milica Stojanovic, Professor, NE University
  • Ananya Sengupta, Asst. professor, University of Iowa
  • Brandy Armstrong, IEEE OES
  • Vinti Nayyar, IIT Delhi
  • Nidhi Bisla, IIT Delhi
WIE Evening session

The panelists for the evening session were:

  • K. Murali, Professor, IITM
  • Zdenka Willis, MTS President
  • Malini V Shankar, Vice-Chancellor, IMU Chennai
  • V G Idichandy, Chairman, Naval Research Board
  • Timothy A Gonsalves, Professor Emeritus, IITM
  • G. Latha, Scientist G, NIOT
  • Sheeja Janarthanan, Associate Professor, IMU Visakhapatnam
  • Ligy Phillip, Institute Chair Professor, IIT Madras
  • Anandavalli N, Director, CSIR
WIE morning session

Young Professionals Program with panelists Dr. T.Asokan, Mr. Antony Jacob Ashish, Acoustics and Non-destructive Evaluation, Planys Technologies, Dr. Nikola Miskovic, Professor at University of Zegreb (Croatia) and Director of LABUST and Ms. Jill Zande, President/Executive Director of Marine Advanced Technology Education Inspiration for Innovation, California, was also held.

YP meeting

Gala dinner

A fun-filled Gala dinner was organized on the 23rd with a cultural program showcasing art forms of the southern part of India. Young girls performed an Indian classical dance called Bharatnatyam. Also, the traditional art forms, nadaswaram (wind instrument), thavil melam (drums), poikaal kudhirai (dance with hoofs like cow), mayilatam (peacock dance) and karagatam (balancing on the head – dance form) were performed.  There were games for kids and youngsters. The prizes for the Student Poster Competition (SPC) were announced during the function. The SPC prizes were sponsored by ONRG.

Hackathon prize distribution
Hackathon prize distribution
Christopher Whitt shakes a leg with the local dancers
Visuals from the cultural program
Visuals from the cultural program
Visuals from the cultural program
Delegates enjoying culturals at gala dinner

Student Poster Competition

Abstracts were received and 19 were selected for Student Poster Competition. The prize winners’ details were announced at Gala Dinner. The winners are:

  • Weng Yang, University of Tokyo, Japan – 1st Prize, called as Norman Miller Award
  • Yang Zhiding, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada – 2nd Prize
  • Bozzi Fabricio, University of Algarve, Portugal – 3rd Prize

The prizes are sponsored by Schmidt Ocean Institute. Special prize for host country was sponsored by LoC to Ms. Nandhini Tata, Sri Sairam Engineering College, Chennai, India. The SPC judges were: Prof. V. Sundar, Prof. T. Asokan, Dr. N Vedachalam, Dr. P. Muthuvel.


The closing

OCEANS 2022 Chennai was a great event and was the result of unstinting efforts of the Local Organizing Committee, who have worked tirelessly for past many years witnessing many ups and downs due to COVID. The event ended with a hot wash meeting with LOC, Dr. John Watson, IEEE OES President, Christopher Whitt, and the liaison officers Dr. Venugopalan and Dr. Donna Kocak. The chairs of OCEANS 2022 Chennai, Dr. M. A. Atmanand and Prof. S. A. Sannasiraj, formally congratulated everyone for the grand success.

Closing session
The team behind the successful OCEANS 2022 Chennai