March 2024 OES Beacon

From the President (March 2024)

Christopher Whitt, OES President

As we start 2024, it is with great pleasure and gratitude that I reflect on our accomplishments together. The past year has been filled with innovation, collaboration, and a shared commitment to advancing our field, which is only possible because of our collective efforts. First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to each of you for your membership and contributions to OES. Your passion and commitment to furthering the Society’s mission and vision has not gone unnoticed. 2023 saw two successful OCEANS Conferences, several symposiums and workshops, many chapter events, and other local activities from our students, YP, WIE, and Ocean Decade Ambassador volunteers. All these have enriched our professional journeys and collectively elevated our society’s standing.

Looking ahead to 2024, I am optimistic and excited about the future. We stand at the forefront of technological advancements shaping the world. OES contributed significantly to the technical program for OTC Asia in Kuala Lumpur in February, and will contribute similarly to OTC in Houston, USA, in May. Of course, we hope to see many of our friends and colleagues at OCEANS 2024 Singapore next month and then at OCEANS 2024 Halifax in September (the call for papers is open now). Our collective expertise and innovative spirit position us to overcome challenges and contribute meaningfully to the ever-evolving landscape of oceanic engineering and its impacts on society.

In the coming year, we will focus on expanding and strengthening our technical events, supporting our local leaders, improving the Society’s financial stability, and developing volunteer leaders, to name a few. I encourage each member to actively engage, share insights, and contribute to our OES conferences, publications and/or local chapter activities.

There are numerous emerging opportunities to enhance the sustainability of how humanity uses the resources of the ocean. OES sponsored sessions at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in February. We will have a panel at the UN Ocean Decade Conference in April. We plan a workshop in October in coordination with the Robotics and Automation Society in Abu Dhabi. Next year, the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) will have a high-level conference to highlight clean technology solutions from across all of IEEE, and we plan for OES to be prominently represented.

This is the second and final year of my second term as President, and this year I will pass the torch on to the next President to guide the Society into the future. I express my sincere gratitude for your unwavering support and dedication to OES. Together, we have accomplished much, and together, we will continue to shape the future of our ocean. I am honoured to lead such an exceptional group of individuals and look forward to the opportunities, challenges, and triumphs that await us in the upcoming year.

Finally, 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 like to be involved but don’t know where to start, please email me anytime at