CEO Update – Steve is Moving On

Dear members, friends and supporters of SUT. Many thanks once more to everyone who’s rejoined the Society, individual or Corporate, in recent weeks. We very much appreciate your faith in us, especially in the challenging times we’ve all been through. We’ll continue to work hard to provide value to our members, even if much of the interaction for now still needs to be virtual rather than face to face. Members still outstanding at the end of September will be deleted from the database so do please respond to Jane if you haven’t already.

It’s good to see that our Perth, Australia branch is already able to carry out some face to face meetings and we look forward to when this can be rolled out across the whole of the SUT family.

In the meantime we’ll continue with our regular webinars and podcast, and our committees and Branches are meeting very effectively online. Forthcoming podcasts cover autonomous underwater warfare, salvage and decommissioning, & offshore wind with more always under preparation.

Keep up to date with what’s happening via https://www.sut.org/events/ for all but USA Branch, who list theirs at https://sut-us.org/Events

Steve Moving On

Many of you know that I have a strong interest not only in underwater technology, but in how we transition to a sustainable economy, learn to value a biologically diverse & healthy marine environment and to benefit from what I like to call ‘Vitamin Sea’. To that end, I’ve accepted the offer to become the next CEO of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum in South Wales – an opportunity for me to help my home region adapt to changing climate, rising seas, the transition to offshore renewable energy – and combine all that with Pembrokeshire’s successful coastal tourism, outdoor pursuits & agriculture industry, whilst influencing policy makers and funding agencies.

I’ve submitted my notice to finish my term as SUT CEO with effect from the SUT AGM on 14th December 2020, and will work with my excellent staff, our Executive and Council to ensure an orderly transition. If any of our members might be interested in being my successor please contact our Honorary Secretary David Brookes, if you don’t have his details contact me or any of the staff and we’ll pass on his email address.

It certainly won’t be the last of me and SUT – I’ll continue to be a member of several committees and working groups, will honour existing commitments to serve on conference panels and chair external meetings, and will assist my successor, when appointed, in taking up his or her duties.

I’d like to thank you all for your support, friendship and laughter over the last three and a half years. SUT has a well-earned international reputation as a politically neutral, well-informed source of expertise and knowledge about many aspects of working in an underwater environment. We’re still growing overseas, we continue to support students, provide input to policy development, share knowledge and even in these strange COVID times have tried hard to maintain regular contact with our members, in part through the weekly podcast and fortnightly webinars.

It’s still three months away so I’ll be working as normal, and will update you with more news nearer the date on succession planning and who does what as we move into 2021.

Thanks.

Steve Hall CEO 15th September 2020 steve.hall@sut.org

SUT & EA Subsea Engineering Webinar

If you missed the SUT & EA Subsea Engineering Webinar you can now access the recording and slidepack!

Presented by Ian Wilson, here is what he had to say about the webinar:

“I enjoyed presenting the joint EA and SUT Subsea Engineering webinar with Steve Algie and was pleasantly surprised at the interest in subsea engineering. I hope to meet some of those people at future SUT technical evenings and events either online or face to face starting in October. For those who cannot attend in person stay connected via the EA and SUT webinars and online training courses. Below are links to a recording of the webinar and the SUT (Perth Branch) website for more details on how to engage in Subsea Engineering ”

View the presentation here

View the recording here

Insights from a Scholarship Winner

We recently caught up with 2019 Chris Lawlor Scholarship winner Guy Mccauley to see how winning the scholarship has impacted his career. Here’s what he had to say:

“The SUT Scholarship has provided the opportunity for me to engage with others in the subsea industry who I otherwise might not have had the chance to meet. In particular being a member of the YES! Committee has been excellent for meeting young engineers in the industry. 

The funds allowed me to travel to the UK for an exchange program and to present my work at a conference, but without a doubt the networking opportunities have been the best part.”

Scholarships applications will open on the 1st July 2020. Further information about scholarships and how to apply can be found here

Episode 4 – Underwater Technology Podcast

Episode 4 of the SUT weekly podcast is now available here  and will shortly be available from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and others too – search for ‘The Underwater Technology Podcast’

This episode SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews leading oceanographer Professor Rachel Mills, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental & Life Sciences at the University of Southampton, UK. Professor Mills talks about diving to the mid-ocean ridges on board research submersibles such as ‘Alvin’ and the Russian ‘Mir’, a life in science, and the new opportunities made possible by remote operated vehicles, new sensors and autonomous systems. 

CEO Update for 1st May 2020

Dear members & friends of SUT – what an extraordinary period the last few weeks have been for all of us. All over the world, the outbreak of a virus that can only be fought by our own immune systems, with no cure, vaccine or specialist therapies yet available has powerfully reminded humankind that nature does not recognise political borders, and that to fight such a challenge requires joined-up international cooperation. We’ve seen free-market governments make policy decisions that only a few months ago would have been regarded as unthinkable in order to protect populations and jobs, and we’ve moved wholesale to the adoption of home working and teleconferencing with surprising smoothness and effectiveness. 

SUT has been part of this journey, with our Branches, committees and special interest groups moving to online meetings using Teams, Webex, Zoom, Starleaf, Skype and other platforms. In the UK, the government’s staff retention payments scheme is being applied, so that Cheryl, Emily, Jacqui and Lisa are on furlough, with Jane & I keeping the head office functions, website & activities running until something like normal business resumes. Perth Branch have reduced staff hours for Jennifer & her team, & in the USA Patsy and Araceli are keeping things running smoothly. 

I’d like to thank all of our members for their support and patience while the global situation progresses – I’m delighted to see that even now, in the midst of closures and lay-offs, we are still seeing new people join. 

Alongside COVID-19 the world has also seen record low oil prices, as demand for hydrocarbons has fallen to very low levels thanks to the slow-down of economic activity, lack of air travel, & heating demands falling as we move into Northern Hemisphere spring. Technology moves on, and it’s been striking that in the sunny weather experienced in the UK in recent weeks we’ve regularly seen photovoltaic solar energy provide almost 30% of baseload electricity production, wind energy at a similar level, no coal burn at all, and gas & nuclear making up the balance. Energy-producing companies, recognising the economic, environmental & statutory drivers towards a low-carbon future, are taking energy transition very seriously and I expect by the end of this decade in addition to the now well-established offshore wind industry, we’ll see floating solar and offshore hydrogen production playing a significant part in the energy mix, as well as advances in how we store intermittent energy for release to the grid at peak times. 

A return to ‘business as usual’ may not be what we see after COVID-19, essential national infrastructure could well be seen not as new motorways, runways and railway lines, but as multi-gigabyte internet speeds and the ability to source goods & services locally – even distributed micro-generation & energy storage from a range of sources.

For some of our members this is a tremendous opportunity for innovation and growth, for others it’s a threat and they’ll be worried about how they survive turbulent times. As your Learned Society, SUT is here to help you get through this period in good shape by sharing knowledge, networking in new ways, staying in touch with new developments and exploring the ocean together as a source of wealth, creativity & resources for the future. 

Please keep in touch by following our social media feeds such as @SUT_news on Twitter, the various Branch feeds, our website & LinkedIn messages. Every week I’m releasing a new episode of our Underwater Technology Podcast at https://sut.buzzsprout.com/ & every two weeks there’s a Zoom online seminar early Monday afternoon – see https://www.sut.org/news/ or the events pages to keep track of what’s happening, or email me directly at steve.hall@sut.org

Stay safe, stay well. 

Episode 2 – Underwater Technology Podcast

Episode 2 of the SUT weekly podcast is now available here  and will shortly be available from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and others too – search for ‘The Underwater Technology Podcast’

This week CEO Steve Hall interviews Geraint West, Global Business Manager for Oceanographic Systems at Sonardyne International, on the subject of underwater positioning technology.’