June 2023 OES Beacon

‘Changing’ OCEANS

Venugopalan Pallayil, Vice President for OCEANS (VPO)

Hello OES Colleagues,

In my last report I had mentioned about the formation of a new Joint Conference Committee (JCC) to manage OCEANS conferences. This is still work in progress. We have interviewed a few candidates for the conference manager position and expect to have a person recruited for the job by the end of May 2023. The new JCC will be formed immediately after with each society nominating four of its representatives. The Joint OCEANS Advisory Board (JOAB) will cease to operate once the new committee takes over the conference operations.

I have been spending much of the time reviewing contracts for the future conferences, including the OCEANS 2024 Singapore. We now have the MCI-USA marketing contract for both Limerick and Singapore in place. We have also signed the marketing contract for Gulf Coast OCEANS with MCI-USA. The Gulf Coast main conference contract with MCI-USA is under review and is expected to be signed later this month or early next month. The Singapore OCEANS main contract is in the pipeline and so is the Brest 2025 venue contract.

By the time this edition of Beacon gets out of the press, OCEANS Limerick would have been over. The conference would have seen over 420 technical papers presented. A record ten Tutorials and one Workshop are also scheduled to be held on the day prior to the conference. As per the latest updates, there were 550 registrations, and we shall see possibly over 600 delegates at Limerick, getting closer to pre-pandemic attendance level. We are also holding our Administrative Committee (AdCom) in Limerick on the 8th and 9th of June, 2023. This will be a good time for many of us to catch up after the London in-person AdCom.

The Gulf Coast OCEANS has received about 375 abstracts and with some late additions the total number of abstracts is expected to be around 400. For North American OCEANS conferences, this is a low number. Nevertheless, the registration numbers are expected to be at par with Hampton Roads OCEANS. I am happy to mention that IEEE OES has proposed two panels related to Ocean Decade Initiative for the Gulf Coast event and is waiting for a decision by the Technical Programme Committee (TPC). You might have also noticed that there was a revamp of the conference website and if you have feedback on the same, please feel free to share with me.

The preparations for OCEANS 2024 Singapore are in full swing. A PCO has now been identified and will be appointed soon after the contract is signed. The contract is currently under review and expected to be signed by end June, 2023. MCI-USA will be handling for the first time the website design and marketing for OCEANS 2024 Singapore. This is a deviation from the normal practice and is expected to bring uniformity to the OCEANS website look and feel. The marketing through MCI-USA will have a better reach and hence is expected to attract more attendees as well as exhibitors. The Singapore conference will soon be sending calls for organizing special sessions and the support from OES Technology Committee chairs is vital to the success of this approach. A highlight of the conference would be a special session on surface and underwater autonomous platforms with applications in the defense sector.

Mr. Brian Horsburgh has been appointed as the OES liaison for OCEANS Brest 2025 conference and Ms. Debbi A. Kill would be the MTS liaison. The requirement of liaison and the roles thereof under the new JCC is yet to be defined. We are yet to find an OES Co-Chair for Washington DC OCEANS conference to be held in late 2026. Suggestions are welcome, especially from those who are familiar with the senior members from the DC area.

I hope to bring more OCEANS news to you in the next edition of Beacon.