March 2022 OES Beacon

VPTA Column (March 2022)

Venugopalan Pallayil, Vice President for Technical Activities, IEEE OES

OES colleagues,

We have stepped into another year and wish that it would be a better year than the one before. Indeed, it appears that the world is getting better in handling the pandemic and many countries have started to open for businesses, slowly but cautiously. This will surely add momentum to our technical and administrative activities in the coming months. The late Omicron virus scare has seen a much lower participation level than expected in our flagship conference OCEANS held in Chennai during 21-24 Feb 2022. The Ocean Science Meeting (OSM22), where OES is scheduled to organize many technical sessions and a Town Hall, has also been converted to a fully virtual event. The IEEE OES AUV Symposium in Singapore during Sept 2022 is planned to be a fully in-person event along with the Singapore AUV Challenge, an international student competition. This may be an opportunity for our AUV community to meet in person after a long time. All these are encouraging, but most of our activities under Technology Committees, Chapters and the Distinguished Lecture are likely to continue through virtual engagement.

Technology Committees (TC)

Many of our fellow colleagues have continued to sign up for various TCs and the numbers have gone up from last year. This indeed shows the willingness and interest of OES members to get engaged and participate in our technical activities. This is a great resource for our technical and volunteering activities. So, please take this opportunity to engage with them by organizing virtual meetings, technical talks, workshops, and symposia. The new list of sign-ups will be shared shortly with all TC Chairs. The OES members are also encouraged to identify, where there are technology gaps, and propose new TCs to build interest among our members.

Chapter Activities

I would like to welcome Ms. Amy Debb, a new volunteer who is helping our chapter coordinator Dr Gerardo Acosta (Gerry) to organize chapter chairs (Cha-Cha) meetings and briefings. They together organized two virtual meetings on 16th and 17th Feb 2022. These meetings were well attended, and Gerry will carry a separate report on these meetings and outcomes. Thanks to them for a great job and well done! We would like to remind the Chapter Chairs and Student Branch Chapter coordinators to take advantage of our DL programme and get to hear the experts in different technical fields related to oceanic engineering.

Distinguished Lecturers (DL)

Starting this year, we have 14 DLs with expertise in varying topics. Our website will soon be updated with the details of four new DLs and their fields of interest. I wish to propose that we start a DL calendar where the availability of DLs for the current year is listed along with the topics. This would make it easier for those who would like to organize lectures to plan early and engage with relevant DLs. A separate website for DLs is also in my agenda for this year. Due to financial constraints at the society level, there will be no travel support this year as well for those who wish to give the lectures in person.

The call for new DLs for the period 2023-25 has been announced and is available in this edition of Beacon. The involvement of TC Chairs in identifying, endorsing, and proposing new candidates is key to the success of this programme. I request their active participation in this process. The candidates for DLs should be able to deliver talks to a broader audience of our community and hence should be prepared to be not too technical. Areas of emerging technologies and techniques should be given preference when selecting the topics.

Ocean Science Meeting 2022 (OSM 22)

As reported in the earlier editions of this Newsletter, IEEE OES is organizing virtual sessions covering five different technical areas during the OSM 22 event. A Town Hall on ‘Connecting Early Career Ocean Professionals with Academia” will be hosted on 25 Feb followed by other technical sessions. The full schedule of presentations is available on the OSM22 website and has also been circulated among the OES community through an e-Notice. At the time of writing this article, OSM22 is at its final preparation stages and by the time this edition of Beacon goes out, the program would have finished. Hence a detailed report on the OSM22 and OES participation will be covered in the next issue of Beacon Newsletter.


What are your thoughts about IEEE OES Technical Activities? I welcome constructive suggestions and criticisms on VPTA activities. It would help to look at things from different perspectives and bring new ideas and thus make our technical activities more appealing and useful. Email me at