March 2023 Beacon

Awards for OES members

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We are pleased to inform you that two new AdCom members, Albert J Williams 3rd and Karen A. Panetta, have received the following Awards.  Congratulations!

A celebration of installing the Alvin Milestone bronze plaque at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on October 21, 2022.

Albert J Williams 3rd

The IEEE President Elect, Dr. Saifur Rahman, Albert J Williams 3rd, President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dr. Peter de Menocal (From L to R)

On October 21, 2022, a celebration was held at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to install the Alvin Milestone bronze plaque.  The figure shows this plaque with Dr. Peter de Menocal, President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at the right, accepting it from Albert Williams, Scientist Emeritus and organizer of the Milestone.  The IEEE President Elect, Dr. Saifur Rahman in the figure at the left; WHOI VP Marine Facilities and Operations, Robert S.C. Munier; Alvin Senior Engineer, Lane J. Abrams; and WHOI Past Executive VP & Director of Research, Larry Madin gave presentations to an audience of about 80 including 24 members of the Providence Section OES Chapter.  After the installation, a reception was held for all attendees and subsequently there was a dinner at the Landfall Restaurant in Woods Hole Village where informal conversations were continued.  The plaque is mounted on the Smith Laboratory of the Institution near the entrance where it can be viewed up close by visitors without restrictions.

Alvin was launched in 1964 and commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1965.  From 1974 – 84, Alvin’s engineers developed acoustical navigation (ALNAV), communications, photography, lighting, and life support systems specifically intended for the deepest oceans.  It is now certified to 6500 meters depth and is continuing its support for scientific studies of hydrothermal vents, where much of its fame has arisen.  But Alvin is famous for recovery of a hydrogen bomb fallen from a plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966, a box lunch that didn’t decay after spending a year at a depth of a mile after sinking filled with near surface water in 1969, and the earliest exploration of hydrothermal vents at the Galapagos vents on the East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979.  Alvin also visited the RMS Titanic after its discovery by Bob Ballard in 1986.  Now with more than 5000 dives under its titanium hull it continues to be one of the most capable and sought-after vehicles for visiting the seafloor.

It is noteworthy that this Milestone is the second to be awarded to the Providence Section OES Chapter, the other being for the first direct transatlantic telegraph cable, Brest France to Orleans Massachusetts in 1899 installed at the Orleans Cable Museum in 2018.

You can read the Alvin Mile Stone Story on pages 18-20 of the BEACON 2021 December issue, and its sequel is on page 9 of the BEACON 2022 June issue.

IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Announces Its 2022 Awards Program Recipients

Dr. Karen A. Panetta

Jim Conrad presents Dr. Karen Panetta with the DSA

Dr. Karen A. Panetta received the 2022 IEEE-HKN Distinguished Service Award “for outstanding contributions to the advancement of IEEE-HKN educational and professional programs.” Dr. Panetta was inducted into Tufts University’s Epsilon Delta Chapter of IEEE-HKN.

According to their website ( IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), the honor society of IEEE, promotes excellence in the profession and in education with ideals of Scholarship, Character and Attitude. Founded on 28 October 1904, HKN promotes professional accomplishment, service to others, and leadership development for students and professionals in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and other IEEE fields of interest. With its merger in 2010 with IEEE, the honor society now has over 200,000+ members in more than 250 Chapters around the globe. The Distinguished Service Award was initiated in 1971 to recognize those members who have devoted years of service to Eta Kappa Nu, resulting in significant benefits to all of the society’s members. The award is based on lifetime contributions to Eta Kappa Nu.

Congratulations to Karen and her happy family.

KAREN A. PANETTA (S’84-M’85-SM’95-F’08) is the Dean for Graduate Education in the Tufts University School of Engineering, a Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and an adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Panetta was the 2019 President of IEEE HKN (Eta-Kappa, Nu) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine. She is a Fellow of IEEE, NASA JOVE, AAAS, AAAI, and National Academy of Inventors. She is a Past-Vice-President of IEEE-USA. Prior to joining the Tufts faculty, Dr. Panetta was a Principal Engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation. She has numerous awards including the NSF Presidential (PAESMEM) Award, awarded by U.S. President Barack Obama. And, she was elected to the 2023-2025 OES AdCom.