Annual Report 2018-19

Chair: Richard Binks

The Executive runs this branch and their efforts are valued and appreciated. We are indebted to the regular help from other committee members notably Peter Hayward, Joe Hulm, and Geoff Lyons. This year Brian Green Hon secretary SW branch and SUT+ Chair Arabella Walker stepped down. A big thanks for their help in running the branch and welcome Phil Johnston (SW) and Claire Cardy (SUT+) onto the Executive Committee. As ever we would not be able to work without the admin and organisation support of Jacqui Adams, SUT Events Manager.

 

 

Executive
Richard Binks Chairman
Keith Broughton Deputy Chairman
Iain Knight Hon Treasurer
Claire Cardy Hon Secretary SUT+
Jacqui Adams SUT Events Manager
Phil Johnston Hon Secretary SW Chapter
Graham Taylor Hon Secretary

Summary

We had a mixed year with an excellent calendar for our London Lunch and Learn events. We struggled to run evening events as we have not been able to secure a permanent venue to hold them. Our past evening venue at London Imperial College was curtailed as they needed their lecture theatre in term time. We have tried other venues, such as the Hoop and Toy pub in Kensington and thought we had an excellent opportunity for flexible conference facilities in the Institute of Physics. However, others had the same idea and availability of rooms is a problem. The Hoop and Toy was used for our annual Global Oilfield Prospects lecture by Westwood Global Energy. The mix of social plus education worked well but at times we need a more prestigious venue. The problem with London is that conference rooms are often quoted at £1000+ per night.

Unfortunately also, when we have organised events, invite up-take, at times, has been low. This has happened even when the topic is mainstream to our active special interest groups. In these circumstances, we try and postpone to another date rather than cancel. Sadly also we had to cancel our financial year end summer BBQ bash as here again we did not have sufficient tickets sold.

Evening Events:

  • Nov 2018: Annual Pub Quiz Ye Olde Watling, London
  • March 2019: Global Offshore Prospects Westwood Global Energy
  • May 2019: Simpler, Leaner, Smarter – The Subsea2.0™ Product Platform for iEPCI™ Project Execution Technip FMC
  • June 2019: Intecsea/Sonardyne: Pseudo Dry Pipeline/ Pipeline Remote Monitoring – Postponed
  • June, 2019: SUT Summer Reception HQS Wellington – Cancelled

Lunch & Learns:

  • October 2018: Autonomy Under at Sea
  • November 2018: Subsea Power Hub
  • February 2019: Westwood Global Offshore Prospects
  • May 2019: OGA Wood Review 5 Years On
  • June 2019: Blue Future  

SUT+

We are having a reality check with our SUT+ sub group. Whereas the group is active, it has limited members. There are few SUT+ members outside of those on the SUT+ committee. This needs addressing, it is fundamental to the future of SUT that we appeal to younger people to join. Geography and cost are issues. There are clusters of underwater related companies on the UK South Coast. Time away from work and cost of travel make it expensive for south coast SUT+ members to attend London events. It helps if corporate members are prepared to expense their individual members to attend meetings but these days this is longer common practice.

City Subsea Awarenes Course and Unexploded Ordnance courses

We have not run any of these courses in this financial year. Mark Murawiecki, an experienced trainer from the subsea industry, has revised the one day SSAC on a modular format. We are currently finalising presenters and look forward to running the new city Subsea awareness course in 2020.
It is still planned to run a longer (4 x ½ days). This would be targeted at senior City loss adjusters. Unexploded Ordnance courses course is work in progress again for the City Insurance market. Setting up and running courses takes up a lot of our volunteer effort. We look forward to more help from the newly established Training Special Interest Group.

Summer BBQ June HQS Wellington

Summer BBQ July 2018

Although we had a rerun of last year’s successful event all planned, organised with sponsorship in place, we had to cancel, due to lower than expected ticket sales. If we feel that an event is not going to show a profit, we have to be pragmatic and cancel in good time to avoid any penalties. Some of our regular corporate members who buy blocks of tickets could not attend this year, which was one reason that ticket sales were lower. Ticket price at £87.50 was still a breakeven price. This is still too high for most of our younger SUT+ members and gives us very little flexibility to offer cheaper tickets eg for partners.

We are reviewing our options for next year, but I believe we need to have a lower-cost, more inclusive event.

SW Chapter Update

The committee is now working with new SW secretary Phil Johnston on an agenda for three events in the coming year.

Events in 2018-19:

  • November 2018: Advances in Marine Measurements: A forum evening with presentations from Nortek, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Labs, Marine Biological Association and Fugro on various aspects of measurement. The event was kindly sponsored by the Metoffice and hosted by Plymouth University.
  • April 2019: Satellite Data For Marine Applications

Conclusion

We have been treading water in 2018-19. Careful not to run any events at a loss but equally suffering from problems of no consistent evening venue and low numbers attending some events. Our itinerary of Lunch & Learns in the City is a key success and we appreciate the generosity of the city companies that provide venues and lunches.

Engaging with existing and recruiting new Corporate members is key to our future. Ensuring that the corporate members appreciate the value proposition of SUT is a fundamental building block.
As ever we need to encourage more active committee members but, as always, value and appreciate the efforts of everyone that volunteers their time for SUT.