March 2019 OES Beacon

OES Mid-Career Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement 2018 Awards

Hanumant Singh, OES Member
The OES Autonomous Marine Vehicle Awards ceremony was held during the AUV 2018 Symposium in Porto, Portugal on 8 November 2018.


Hanumant Singh, Hayato Kondo and Bill Kirkwood.

2018 Mid-Career Rising Star Award:

This is the first time we are presenting this award and the idea is to recognize the faculty and researchers who have been exceptionally good work but as a mid-career award we also want to celebrate the future potential of these individuals.

This year we considered 10 nominations and as it was the first year we are doing this we actually deadlocked and decided to make two awards.

Hayato Kondo

Hayato Kondo graduated from Waseda University with Bachelor and Master Degrees in mechanical engineering. He graduated from the University of Tokyo and received his Ph.D. in naval architecture in 2002. After doing research as a post doctoral fellow (JSPS) at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, he started teaching, as an associate professor, at Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine, which later became Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) after a merger in 2003. He is currently a professor.

He distinguished himself from the very beginning while working on a wide variety of problems to do with optical and acoustic imaging from AUVs. His work on the Biointeractive AUV “BA-1” is particularly impressive. This was designed specifically for working with the fisheries industry and he continues to work on a variety of new vehicles, navigation and imaging algorithms.

João Tasso de Figueiredo Borges de Sousa

Hanumant Singh, João Sousa and Bill Kirkwood.

João Sousa is the director of the LSTS lab here at the university of Porto. He received his PhD and an MSc in Electrical Engineering, both awarded by Porto University.

His work and that of his lab in the area of AUVs, USVs and UAS, individually and taken together as a system is at the cutting edge of where our field is going.


2018 Lifetime Achievement Award:

William Kirkwood

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the 2018 Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the IEEE committee on Unmanned Underwater Systems.

William (Bill) Kirkwood has been with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) for close to 30 years. While at MBARI he has held various positions including being the Director of Engineering.

He has worked on a large variety of vehicles and sensing systems in that time including the Tiburon ROV, the Dorado AUV, Deep Ocean Raman In Situ Spectroscopic (DORISS) and the Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) systems. He has taken these systems all over the world including deployments in the Arctic, in the Antarctic as well as the Mariana and Costa Rican Trenches.

Hanumant Singh, Pamela Kirkwood and Bill Kirkwood.

While these achievements are extremely impressive, there are two other aspects of Bill’s career that really stand out. The first is the (often) thankless job of taking leadership administrative roles within the community. He has been the Chair or Co-chair of the Unmanned Underwater Systems committee for almost ten years (now the Autonomous Marine Systems committee), he was also the treasurer of the IEEE OES Society from 2013 to 2017 and is currently on the Executive Committee (ExCom) as Assistant to the President as well as on the Advisory Committee (AdCom) for OES as the OES Chair on the Joint Oceans Advisory Board (JOAB). Having interacted with him in this capacity I can tell you most people are in awe of his ability to do the right thing while offending the least number of people.

And finally, and almost most importantly Bill has been the mentor to literally dozens of students and researchers. I know there are senior people in the room whose careers have been powerfully affected by his advice and guidance. Bill’s work continues to this day, if you attended this conference as a student with a travel grant it is in large part because of Bill. As an Adjunct Professor at the university at Santa Clara, Bill has positively changed the lives of an entire generation of graduate and undergraduate students.

So please join me in congratulating the latest recipient of this prestigious award—Bill Kirkwood.