June 2023 OES Beacon

From the President (June 2023)

Christopher Whitt, OES President

I hope the first half of 2023 has been successful for you and your loved ones. For the Society it has been a great start to the year! Following our AdCom meeting in January, many projects and initiatives have been put in motion. Some are internal, such as improvements to our website or communications with chapters and volunteer leaders. Others are external, such as strengthening and expanding connections with other IEEE societies/councils and external societies. I hope you will see the results of these new activities throughout all areas of OES concern.

As you can see elsewhere in this edition, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was just held, with both overall growth for OTC itself, as well as increased OES involvement. The OES Technical Program Sub-committee once again contributed very strongly to the technical program. We look forward to participating also at OTC Brazil in October, and OTC Asia next February.

Of course, OCEANS 2023 Limerick will have just concluded when you read this, and OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast is only a few months away! We eagerly anticipate seeing you, along with many new colleagues, collaborators, and partners as this is the first year that travel has fully resumed for some of us. Not only are both OCEANS editions back at full strength, but we also see that all our workshops and symposia are in full planning and preparation, and even some new events are being added to the calendar.

Thank you to all the hard-working volunteers that make OES events happen! Volunteering with OES is one of the most rewarding ways to add value to your membership and build your professional network. If you have an idea for the Society to take on, or would just like to be involved but don’t know where to start, please email me anytime at president@ieeeoes.org.

Looking beyond our own OES events, the future for our community, and all of ocean technology, science and engineering is incredibly bright! Everywhere we turn we see an increasing need for innovation in the ocean to meet the needs of the future. Robotics, automation, sensors, and remote sensing, machine learning and AI: these are all essential for better measurement, monitoring, and management of ocean resources, and doing all these things more effectively and cost-efficiently. Offshore energy (not only, but especially renewable energy and green/blue hydrogen) is attracting increasing investment all around the world. Oil and gas, commercial shipping and defense are increasingly adopting electrification and automation of more and more infrastructure. Fisheries and aquaculture are on the cusp of a technology revolution as food security remains a crucial sustainable development goal for many parts of the world. The need to do all these things sustainably is also catalyzing significant R&D investment in innovation all around the world.

All this tells me that our community is part of something very exciting: an emerging revolution in ocean technology that will be a large part of meeting the world’s needs for food, energy, security, transportation, and economic development, while sustainably and responsibly managing the ocean ecosystems that provides so many of those benefits. Thank you for being part of our community, and we look forward to seeing you again soon, whether at a workshop, conference, an online talk, or your local chapter events.