Not so far on the heels of an excellent experience during OCEANS’18 Kobe, we were now headed to Charleston, SC with renewed excitement and enthusiasm to partake in our second stint as Young Professional (YP) BOOST Program members at an OCEANS conference. Having been spared from the wrath of hurricane Florence and the looming threat of hurricane Michael, Charleston, a city steeped in history and Southern charm, welcomed us with exceedingly pleasant weather.
As YP-BOOST members, we were invited to the Presidential dinner, on the evening before the first day of the conference. It was a fabulous opportunity to not only catch up with the AdCom folks but also to meet the spouses of some of the members. Frédéric Maussang, the OES YP chair, who was unable to attend the previous OCEANS conference in Kobe, Japan, was present at the dinner and we were glad to finally meet him in person.
The AdCom meeting, on the following day, progressed with much gusto, amidst occasional lighthearted infusions from several of the members. Numerous motions were raised and passed throughout the day and as we continued to witness the proceedings and the ensuing deliberations, we developed a much better appreciation for the YP BOOST initiative and a stronger sense of purpose in OES. As the meeting neared its end, we were thrilled to find out that our roles within the society were being considered for elevation, i.e., for induction into the AdCom to fill two recently opened positions. When the meeting finally ended, there was just one thing on our minds – the yearning to hear the ‘clinking’ of glasses and to gulp the celebratory sip. So, in 2019, besides continuing to fulfill our existing duties and helping with the initiation of the next batch of YP BOOST Program members, we will also be stepping into a larger role in the AdCom.
Of our duties as YP BOOST Program members, the most exciting one has been to serve as judges in the Student Poster Competition (SPC). In comparison to the SPC at OCEANS’18 Kobe, the number of participants had increased this time. This meant that our schedules were going to be a bit more packed. Nonetheless, we were very happy to find out that it was not just an increase in quantity but also in the quality of the research presented. Choosing the winners was quite hard as there were several high caliber participants presenting excellent studies.
Social media reporting, led by Brandy Armstrong, witnessed increased participation of volunteer reporters this time, which provided excellent coverage of the event. The coverage also included short videos with main sponsors as well as live streaming of the Career panel and Women in Engineering (WIE) panel discussions. We are still improving and enlarging this initiative but the results have been encouraging and it is a pleasure to contribute to this.
Besides all the commitments, we fortunately had time to share many joyous moments with several of the society members like William (Bill) Kirkwood, Christopher Whitt, Marinna Martini, João Alves, John Watson and Philippe Courmontagne who, on numerous occasions, amused us with several of their captivating anecdotes. It is great that we had the time to ‘hang out’ with other AdCom members, as they continued to integrate us in the society. This is not only encouraging for us given our impending involvement in AdCom but is also attractive for potential future candidates considering participation in the YP BOOST Program. We are eager to find out what else is in store for us going forward as we take on bigger responsibilities within the society and contribute to shaping the future at AdCom meetings.
We are very much looking forward to OCEANS’19 Marseille. See you in France! Au revoir!