September 2023 OES Beacon

From the President (September 2023)

Christopher Whitt, OES President

It seems like only yesterday some of us were together in Ireland for OCEANS 2023 Limerick, and as you read this, we are just about to gather again in the United States for OCEANS 2023 Gulf Coast. In between, there have been several great workshops and chapter events in Europe, Asia, and around the world.

In 2022 OES updated our Mission and Vision, which is “a collaborative community working towards a safe, healthy, and productive ocean” and our Mission is “to be the professional home of people passionate about ocean science, engineering and technology.” This strategic planning work has been ongoing since my first term as President and represents the shared understanding of OES that guides the decisions of our Administrative Committee. There will be updates on the website soon, and a full strategic plan update in the coming months.

As the OES voting member of the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB), I attended the June TAB meeting in Chicago. There, I spoke to Presidents of many other Societies about how OES could collaborate to reach the many IEEE members who have interest in ocean technology but aren’t yet OES members. There was an overwhelmingly positive response, and several follow-up conversations. In June, I spoke on a small panel at the Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM) on the importance of the ocean for achieving sustainability. Additionally, OES had a presence at IGRSS, the flagship conference for the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). We would love to hear from members (like you!) who would be willing to help coordinate activities between OES and additional Societies or Councils.

At our 2023 August virtual AdCom meeting, we elected our incoming officers for 2024-25. Please join me in welcoming:

  • Gerardo Acosta as VP Workshops & Symposia
  • Elizabeth Creed as VP Professional Activities
  • Hari Vishnu as Secretary

Since both the VPPA and Secretary offices were vacant, the incoming officers are taking office immediately. Therefore, Bill Kirkwood has moved from Treasurer-Elect to Treasurer slightly ahead of schedule.

Elsewhere in this issue you will see a brief update on Standards. I am pleased to support the effort to have OES ratified as an official originator of IEEE Standards. There are already several potential standards in discussion, and the topic of sustainability has been generating much interest in this area, specifically.

Also, in this issue you will see a report from The Ocean Decade Initiative at Sections Congress. Sections Congress is IEEE’s largest internal volunteer training conference, which brought together over 1000 of the most active and passionate IEEE volunteers from around the world. The OES Decade Initiative Booth was packed, and the response was excellent – there are many activities to follow up on. It was a unique opportunity to share with the larger IEEE how ocean engineering and science is crucial to better understand the ocean, so that we can better manage ocean resources while sustainably meeting the needs of society. This aligns very well with IEEE’s tagline of Advancing Technology for Humanity.

We look forward to seeing some of you at OCEANS on the Gulf Coast very soon! Please see us at the Society booth and attend our member reception Tuesday evening.

As always, there are more exciting projects and opportunities than there are people to develop them. If you wish to get more involved in Society activities in any way, please email me!