Industry Talent Shines In Troubled Times

By Ed Freeman, Editor, ON&T

This has certainly been a bizarre and challenging year. But it will no doubt prove transformative.

The pandemic forced us into a new, somewhat sobering reality. Our promotional calendars were torn apart as one conference after another was put on hold. With in-person activities indefinitely sidelined, we embraced a surge of webinars and online gatherings and tried to adapt accordingly. Those in the field incorporated ever more stringent safety protocols and procedures. While it might seem like suspended animation, we, the ocean industries, have actually adjusted with gusto.

As disruptive as things have been, the manner in which our sector has reacted echoes a number of truths about our professional community. The “in this together” mindset is evermore palpable and a clear indication that true collaboration spurs resilience. And it is in the face of this adversity that we see a creative and innovative workforce announcing a steady stream of virtual product launches, contract awards, and breakthrough research are all symptomatic of a creative and active marketplace.

When we meet at OCEANS 2020 next month (virtually, of course), we will have further opportunity to recognize the professional talent our industry nurtures, thanks to MTS’ Awards & Honors Program. Once again, we are delighted to sponsor the ON&T Young Professional Award, which is presented to an MTS member, 35 years old or younger, who has consistently shown leadership in a marine technology field. In 2020, we congratulate Hannah Toerner, whose contribution to ocean science and technology belies her years. Following her time as an active student ambassador for MTS, Hannah’s work has significantly contributed to the development of a composite material derived from recycled plastic and glass fibers, the properties of which make it an eco-friendly and cost-effective resource for coastal infrastructure.

Visit ON&T at to stay informed about the current developments in our industry.

Stay well, and stay in touch:

This post is sponsored by our media partner, ON&T.

OCEANS 2020 Singapore – U.S. Gulf Coast

The enduring COVID-19 pandemic does not allow the Marine Technology Society and the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, co-sponsors of OCEANS 2020 Singapore and OCEANS 2020 Gulf Coast, to hold these conferences as planned with all their regional distinctiveness by their respective organizing committees.

Safety of the participants being paramount, the organizing committees have decided to combine forces and invite worldwide community participation to a single virtual conference “OCEANS 2020 Singapore – U.S. Gulf Coast”, which will feature a mix of live and on-demand events available to all registrants at a very affordable rate, October 5-30, 2020.

Further details of this first-ever virtual OCEANS conference will be posted in the coming weeks on the conference website and on the Societies’ social media channels.

Zdenka Willis, President, Marine Technology Society &
Christian De Moustier, President IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society
(For Sponsoring Societies)

Federal Agencies’ Provide Strategic Outlook on the Future of Ocean Observations

Originally posted on the Marine Technology Society Website
Author: MTS President-Elect Zdenka Willis

Earth observations impact our lives every day. The United States relies on a robust system of Earth observations from satellite, aerial, shipboard, and in situ platforms to enable individuals and organizations to make informed decisions to strengthen public safety and boost the marine economy. At a Town Hall event at the 2019 Oceans Conference, “Federal Strategic Vision for Ocean Observing,” federal agency leaders discussed their strategic vision for the next 18 months.

In December 2019, the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP) released the second National Plan for Civil Earth Observations. New observational technologies and analytics from a broad array of entities calls for a new way of doing business.

In response the National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, defines the Earth Observations Enterprise and focuses on collaboration and robust dialog to reshape America’s strategies for the collection and use of Earth observations. The plan outlines the Administration’s priorities and focuses the Nation’s civil Earth observations efforts. The U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) Subcommittee will use this plan to coordinate implementation of the recommended actions.

Strong coordination among the multi-sector enterprise will:

  • Advance observational capabilities Improve America’s ability to bolster infrastructure resilience;
  • Improve Earth system prediction capabilities by leveraging the power of Earth observation data and fostering strong research environments;
  • Foster a thriving Earth observation economy; and Retain American science and technology leadership

The Panel at the 2019 Oceans Conference gave the components of the of the Earth Observations Enterprise a chance to hear agency strategic goals, priorities, programs, and needs. To hear from the marine technology sector about their challenges with growing their business, advance ideas and research and areas where government can change practices to lower barriers.

After the panel presentations, Agency representatives toured the exhibit floor which gave them the opportunity to see new technologies and interact with the exhibitors.

Overall, the event was well received, and we look forward to continuing this dialog at the future Oceans Conferences.

By President-Elect Zdenka Willis