OCEANS 11 Conference Kicks Off at the Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hawai`i’s Big Island will be the site of the international OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona conference sponsored by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (OES/IEEE).

The Oceans 11 Conference

The theme for this year’s conference is Oceans of Opportunity: International Cooperation and Partnerships Across the Pacific. OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawai`i, September 19-22, 2011. Conference registration is now open at http://www.oceans11mtsieeekona.org.

The conference is the major international forum for scientists, engineers, and responsible ocean users to present the latest research results, ideas, developments, and applications in Oceanic Engineering and Marine Technology. Hawai`i’s conference will feature tutorials on special interest topics, a comprehensive technical program of lectures and presentations, a student program, and a large oceans technology trade show with products from over 80 companies. Attendees will include a world-wide collection of experts in the field, educators, and students.

The last time Hawai`i hosted this conference was in 2001 in Honolulu, Hawai`i. More than 2,000 attendees are expected to participate this year, says Conference Chairperson and Director of the Hawai`i Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, John Wiltshire, Ph.D. The conference committee has already received over 700 abstracts from around the world, the greatest number in the history of the conference. The conference is expected to pump about $5 million into the Big Island economy.

The Oceans 11 Conference

Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi is serving as an Honorary Co-Chair along with the Dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai`i, Brian Taylor, Ph.D. “OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona focuses on ocean technology but we also cover a wide range of topics, including biological oceanography, aquaculture and marine geophysics,” says Dr. Wiltshire. “This year’s program emphasizes international  cooperation and includes a large number of Chinese presenters, as well as the bulk of the abstracts (94) from the International Symposium on Underwater Technology 2011 (UT11), which had to be cancelled because of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.” A complete list of abstract topics is available at http://oceans11mtsieeekona.org/main.cfm/EID/36/List-of-Abstract-Topics/

Among the Workshops offered include Local Tsunami Detection, Assesment and Warning Guidance with Donna Kocak and Eddie Bernard; LGEOSS Workshop XLII with Francoise Pearlman; and Partnerships Across the Pacific: Ocean Technology Collaborations with Government, Academia and Industry with Michael J. Larkin.

NEHLA

Makai side of the NEHLA plant

A special tour of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority (NELHA) will be offered as an optional activity to conference attendees. At NELHA’s 870-acre site on the Big Island, various organizations explore opportunities for alternative energy production, solar-based energy techniques, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, and coldwater agriculture systems. NELHA is a sustainable, net-zero energy multi-use facility that engages in various distributed and renewable energy research, generation, development, demonstration, education, and outreach activities.

Exhibitors in the OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona trade show include leading ocean technology and engineering companies from around the world. For information on how your company can exhibit at OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona, contact Exhibits Chair, Ty Aldinger, at exhibit@oceans11mtsieeekona.org.

Floor Plan

Nearly 100 organizations have already committed to participating the Kona event. According to Aldinger, “Hosting this event provides a unique opportunity for Hawai`i companies to showcase their expertise and technology to the industry leaders in ocean science and engineering. In addition to the obvious local recognition, it will certainly open the door to international sales opportunities.”

Tutorials in full and half-day presentations meant to complement the technical program of the OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona conference will be offered on a wide variety of oceanographic subject matter, from Hyperspectral Imaging to How to improve your Federal Proposals by understanding DoD Processes. Other tutorial subjects include: AUV Technology and Application Basics, Acoustic Seabed Classification with Multibeam and Sidescan Images, and Model Testing and Simulation Techniques for Wave Energy Converters, among others.

Tutorials are conducted under the auspices of the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and participants may be eligible for Continuing Education Certificates. For more information about the Tutorial program and associated fees to participate, e-mail tutorial@oceans11mtsieeekona.org.

One of the missions of OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona is to foster and encourage participation by undergraduate and postgraduate engineering or science students enrolled in degree programs at accredited university or engineering schools around the world. Students are encouraged to attend the conference for the purpose of interacting with leading technical experts and to actively network for contacts for future employment opportunities.

The OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona Student Poster Competition has been a long-standing opportunity for students to be recognized by submitting a 500-800 word abstract. The posters are judged by experts in the respective fields, given awards and displayed during the conference. Students who were accepted for the Poster Program will receive a travel allowance, complimentary registration, and will have their work included in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

This year’s OCEANS conference will also host a free Educator’s day on Saturday, August 20, with full and half day curricula for upper elementary to high school teachers. Among the subjects offered to educators will be classes on how to teach a variety of ocean-related topics, including Corals and Climate Change, Sound in the Sea, Ocean Exploration, among others. Teachers interested in participating should register at: http://www.oceans11mtsieeekona.org.

Early-bird registration to attend OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona is now being accepted through August 1, 2011. After August 1, rates increase. Registration is available in a variety of categories, from Life/Emeritus member to Student non-members with participant fees varying accordingly. Registration is also available for single day participation or the full conference from September 19-22, 2011. For complete conference registration information, visit the website at  http://www.oceans11mtsieeekona.org/main.cfm/CID/16/Registration/.

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