Can a Lobster be an Archaeologist? Book Launch

The authors, illustrator and editor gather for a photo.


On 24th November 2015 the Society for Underwater Technology held our first–ever launch of a book aimed at younger readers, “Can a Lobster be a Archaeologist?”, kindly hosted at the premises  of Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants Ltd in St Paul’s Churchyard, London.

The launch was a huge success with around 50 attendees. Authors were signing copies, there was lots of chatter and excitement about each others chapters, and plenty of copies sold for Christmas gifts.

The book is very much the brainchild of former SUT President Dr Bil Loth, who as chair of the Policy Advisory Committee was concerned that although we’re good at influencing policy makers, government departments, trade bodies and industry colleagues we’re perhaps not so skilled at getting our message across to the next generation of underwater technologists, scientists and engineers. Our Education and Training Committee does a good job reaching the mid-teens and university students, but what about something for the 10-14 years olds? What about a bright, colourful book that might inspire them?

“Can a Lobster be a Archaeologist?” is the result. SUT pulled together a team of 23 authors from our membership and friends, each an expert in their field, and we asked them to write a chapter or two about an aspect of SUT’s broad range of interests that would fire the imagination of younger readers. Emily Boddy from the London office was tasked as editor, designer, and chief wrangler, keeping everyone on schedule. Perhaps the key person though was the artist we contracted to illustrate the book, Rachel Hathaway. With so many ‘voices’ from the team of authors, Rachel’s beautiful illustrations give a consistency to the book that would otherwise be hard to achieve, helping to weave the stories into a coherent whole. Areas covered are diverse, ranging from exploring for treasure and sunken airliners to offshore renewable energy, scientific diving, oil and gas production and how tsunamis are caused.

The book is for sale via the SUT website, and soon through Amazon.

As for the lobster – you’ll need to read Gary Momber’s chapter to find out!

[photo from L-R: Simon Boxall, Prof Ralph Rayner, Steve Hall, Dr Bob Allwood, Prof John Sharp, Roland Rogers, Dr Bil Loth, David Pugh, Mike Seares, Garry Momber, Bob Cole, James Cooper, Ian Gallett. Front row L-R: Emily Boddy, Rachel Hathaway, Katie Momber]


Subsea compression innovator presented with President’s Award by SUT

Photo: SUT president David Kirkley presents Dr Kjell Olav Stinessen with his award


– Thirty year old napkin sketch became a reality in 2015 –

The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) has presented its President’s Award to Dr Kjell Olav Stinessen in recognition of his long term services to industry at the Society’s AGM and annual dinner in London.

Dr Stinessen has been an engineer for over 50 years and is now a First Chief Engineer at Aker Solutions. In 1985, he drew a sketch on the back of a napkin of his vision for how subsea compression might work in the future. In September this year, 30 years after the napkin drawing, that vision was transformed into reality with the offshore industry’s first full-scale subsea compression station in operation at the Statoil-operated Åsgard field.

Dr Stinessen said: “Being awarded SUT’s President’s Award is a great honour. Countless engineering hours have been spent together by thousands of employees at Aker Solutions, sub-suppliers, Statoil and Shell to realise this vision and I am pleased that persistence can be awarded.

“Even at the age of 73, this inspires me to carry on for more years. I am now working on the development of a new concept which I believe has the same game-changing potential as subsea compression. With the experience we’ve gained, it will not take as long as 30 years this time and I am aiming at seeing it operational while I am still in work.”


The 2015 winners and new Fellows pose with their awards

Jane Bugler was also presented with The Houlder Cup for her outstanding contribution to underwater operations at the event on December 1. Recently retired, Ms Bugler spent the latter part of her career with the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) as technical director.

She was responsible for all aspects of IMCA’s technical work addressing offshore diving, marine, offshore surveying and ROV activities by developing good practice guidance, liaising with regulatory and industry stakeholders and representing IMCA members’ interests throughout the world. Her contribution towards improving safety in the most challenging of industries has influenced regulations throughout the world.

SUT awarded its Oceanography Award to Dr Karen Heywood, professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia, for her outstanding contribution to the field of oceanography.

Dr Heywood’s research into the processes and dynamics of ocean circulation in the Polar Regions has led to new insights into how mixing and water-mass transformations at small and regional scales affect the global thermohaline circulation. She was also an early advocate for the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) as carriers of sensors and samplers in experiments. Her recent work on this topic has seen undersea gliders being used in the Antarctic, including under icebergs.

Dr Bob Allwood, CEO of SUT said: “The Society is honoured to present these awards to such well-deserving winners. All the awardees have contributed greatly to their professions over the years and it is clear to see that they are still as passionate as ever about their fields of work.”

SUT’s Aberdeen Branch Award of Merit was presented to Ian Murray at a ceremony at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, Aberdeen. He was recognised as supporter of the underwater community by encouraging membership, delivering project insights and making time to mentor and encourage newly graduated engineers.

Matthew Head, who picked up his MEng Mechanical and Electrical Engineering degree from Robert Gordon University earlier this month, was also awarded the tenth Martin Richmond Award at the dinner for demonstrating academic rigour and a passion for their chosen subject. He was presented with a painting created by Gray’s School of Art student Dagmara Milosz.