March 2023 Beacon

From Treasurer Elect (March 2023)

William Kirkwood, Treasurer Elect

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written for the Beacon. I want to say that it’s great to be back and working with so many long-time friends. A lot has changed in the IEEE treasurer’s world so I’m working with Liz Creed, our current treasurer, to get up to speed and hopefully avoid any bumps for those who are depending on me to assist them in the work that OES is pursuing. I have been busy, however, doing other activities on behalf of OES.

I attended AUV 2022 in Singapore as the liaison and Co-Chair of the Autonomous Marine Systems technical committee. The meeting was a great success and congratulations are in order for the local organizing team led by Bharath Kalyan and backed up by the usual team in Singapore, a very strong group and very active. They always impress and put on good meetings. OCEANS will be returning to Singapore in April of 2024 with the same team. I’m looking forward to the meeting and have no doubt about their continued success. At the meeting I presented a number of awards for outstanding contributions; mid-career awards were given to Blair Thornton and Nikola Miskovic. I also gave an award for Lifetime Achievement in AUVs to Hanumat Singh. On a sad note, I delivered a eulogy for Claude Brancart. Claude was a special person to the AUV community, and the meetings in particular, as he created the Symposia back in the 90’s. I have to mention here that my mentor in autonomous and remote vehicles also passed, James McFarlane Sr., who was someone who gave great advice to me in my early days working in the marine science business. Both will be greatly missed. Look for announcements about the next AUV to be held in Boston, fall of 2024.

On a happier note, I also attended Breaking the Surface (BtS) in the same role as AMS Co-Chair, but also as part of the program committee. A speaker I suggested, Kakani Katija, gave an excellent talk. It isn’t just me who was saying that. The meeting was a great success and, as always, a great exchange of concepts and knowledge. The usual cultural tour happened on the last day of the meeting, entirely optional, but if you want to learn about life on the Adriatic Sea I recommend not missing it. This meeting is also operated mostly by the student chapter from Zagreb, a very capable team. If you haven’t checked out BtS, I highly suggest you do. It is a different kind of meeting where young PhD and Masters students meet with end users of marine technology with a series of demos and tutorials in the mix. The BtS team is outstanding in every respect and next year the location moves to Montenegro.

Presently, I’m working to bring a new group into our OES Technical Committees, a group focused on Marine Imaging. I fully expect the same successful results. They already have a winning track record with several meetings already in the books. They are looking to expand and take the next step in becoming the home for science and engineering to develop and present new technologies and methods in marine imaging. They would like to bring the ocean to the public in a new way as well as carry on their own advanced research. There will be more on this as things take shape.

So, looking forward to the new role as Treasurer . . . well the old role . . . just doing it again.