September 2021 OES Beacon

Who’s Who In The IEEE OES (August 2021)

Bharath Kalyan, IEEE Senior Member, OES Singapore Chapter Chair

I am one of those guys that talks less, has almost zero presence on social media and hence consider writing about oneself as one of the hardest jobs. Nevertheless, here I shall attempt to keep this interesting!

Figure 1: During sea trials at Kamaishi port (c.2004)

Growing up, I knew my calling was towards engineering. After graduation from Bangalore University and a short stint with Dr. K. Rajan, Dept. of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, I landed in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for my post graduate studies. An opportunity to enroll into a Ph.D program soon came knocking while I was mid-way with my post graduate studies from my thesis advisor Arjuna Balasuriya. I grabbed this chance with both hands and enrolled into a Ph.D program in marine robotics. A research scholar program at Ura labs early on in my career opened the challenging underwater domain. I was immensely influenced by the passion and drive of Ura Sensai and the discipline of Kondo Sensai.

Following this, I was attracted to the crazy team led by John Potter and Mandar Chitre (of course the sane one!) at Acoustic Research Laboratory (ARL), Singapore, that got me hooked to this field. It was during these days that I got myself involved in diving (BTW I didn’t know how to swim; so, had to learn to keep myself afloat before diving) to satisfy my curiosity about marine life. This love for marine life has made me a lifelong advocate of anti-whaling and anti-shark finning. Before I knew, I got glued on to photography and diving. These two hobbies led me to take up another one, travelling.

Figure 2: Dive buddies and office mates at Lang Tengah, Malaysia (c. 2012)

At ARL (I don’t even call that work), I dabble myself in myriad projects ranging from building underwater vehicles, to networked underwater vehicles, cooperative navigation, and ocean exploration for minerals in northeastern pacific.

I have been a part of OES for over a decade and a half now. I initially got involved in OES Singapore (thanks to Venu) as part of organizing various local events. In particular, I’ve been part of Singapore AUV challenge ( since its inception in 2013. Along with it, I am part of the OES Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS) Technical Committee. Within this committee, I am mainly involved in marine robotics competitions around the world, such as the Singapore AUV Challenge and the European Robotics League. You can always find me at one of those challenges, and at most OCEANS. We are also bringing the IEEE OES flagship AUV symposium to Singapore in 2022. We are hoping that COVID-19 related travel restrictions will be lifted and the global AUV family could meet in person.

Figure 3: With my partner, Anjali at Sukhbataar, Mongolia (c. 2016)

With the world currently warped in the pandemic and working from home becoming the new norm, I am now trying to get my toddler involved in simple activities such as gardening, recycling trash and conservation of water and electricity with the hope that it would bring awareness in the future generations and thus be more kind to our planet.