Gwyn Griffiths Underwater Robotics Award: Nominations now welcome

The Society for Underwater Technology’s (SUT’s) International Panel on Underwater Robotics has announced that nominations/applications are now welcome for the Gwyn Griffiths Underwater Robotics Award (GGURA) at The deadline for entries is 1 May 2023.

The GGURA recognises people in the early to mid-stages of their career (and under 40 years old) who have made outstanding contributions to their field in underwater robotics. The award may be for industry/commercial, research and/or creative activity in underwater robotics. The winner will receive £500, a certificate, and an engraved award.

Neil Bose, Chair of the Panel on Underwater Robotics stated:

“Members of the Panel on Underwater Robotics were excited by Professor Gwyn Griffiths’ generosity in supporting this award and were especially enthusiastic that it should be an early to mid-career award to encourage the up-and-coming generation of underwater robotics workers in their careers.“

While Gwyn Griffiths MBE, a Past President of the SUT added:

“As a vibrant, forward-looking learned Society the SUT is at the forefront of encouraging and facilitating international cooperation in Underwater Robotics. From my own career, I know that peer recognition of achievements through an international Award can make a substantial and lasting difference. These have been times for reflection, and by enabling this new Underwater Robotics Award I am delighted to support the innovators of today and tomorrow.“

Nominations or applications for the 2023 GGURA must consist of the following documents.

  • A letter of nomination or application that describes how the candidate meets the criteria.
  • The letter should be no more than two pages in length. Supporter(s) of the nomination/ application may add their signature to this letter or supply an email that indicates their support for the candidate
  • A 100-word citation or appraisal of the candidate’s research describing their contributions in a way easily understandable to those outside the discipline
  • A curriculum vitae

So far there have been two winners of the GGURA, both can be heard on the ‘Underwater Technology Podcast’. The winner of the inaugural GGURA in 2021, Aleksandra Tomaszek MBA, 1 CSI Ltd Co-founder & COO, Strategic Subsea Business Partner can be heard at; while 2022 winner Rustom Jehangir, Founder and CEO at Blue Robotics can be heard at

SUT | Astrimar Virtual Training Course – Qualification of New Technology

  • The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) and Astrimar join forces to provide their popular training course as an online virtual course 14-17 March 2023
  • Aimed at engineers on both sides of the energy transition – oil and gas and offshore renewables

Innovation and technology are key to any industry’s success – this has never been more true as we face the challenges of achieving the energy transition to Net Zero. Confidence in technology can be a barrier to investment and its acceptance into the market. Effective technology qualification can help address and overcome these barriers

Having run a series of popular ‘in person’ courses together, SUT and Astrimar have collaborated to bring their ‘Qualification of New Technology’ course to a wider global virtual energy industry audience. The course is aimed at engineers, at any stage of their careers, who are involved in the development of new technology or who need to accommodate new or existing technology in new or more challenging applications. Importantly examples will be drawn both from traditional subsea technologies and state of the art net-zero technology solutions.

The new virtual training course (14-17 March 2023 – 09:30-13:00 GMT) grasps this nettle, with leading energy industry experts, providing an overview of industry best practice for qualification of technology and how to select and design appropriate testing and analysis regimes to demonstrate functionality, reliability and durability for novel and modified technologies..

A combination of presentations, discussions and group break-out sessions will be used and will cover:

  • The Technology Qualification Process
  • Defining Qualification Goals and Requirements
  • Use of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)
  • Types of testing and analysis to support qualification at each TRL
  • Qualification of extended/modified technology
  • Application of FMECA for technology qualification
  • Techniques for demonstrating technology confidence and reliability
  • Residual technical risk and uncertainty
  • Qualification assurance

David Saul, chair of the SUT training committee

David Saul, chair of the SUT training committee explained: “We are delighted to widen our audience and bring this important topic to the fore. Technology qualification is a demonstration process that forms a key part of technology verification and validation. Its aim is to provide evidence and confidence that the new technology, so vital to the sectors in which our members serve, meets the necessary function and performance requirements, that it is reliable for the intended service and life, and that any risks to its operation are well understood and managed.

“Importantly it is also key to enabling new technologies that replace existing technologies as they need to be able to demonstrate that they are as good or better that the existing technology. The assurance that can be gained from adopting these best practices are key to enabling successful technology deployment and commercialisation.”

Further information and booking details, including SUT member discount, are available here.

All Systems ‘Go’ for SUT’s Offshore Wind Introductory Course

Wednesday 1 February sees the Society for Underwater Technology’s (SUT’s) Offshore Wind Renewable Energy virtual course make a welcome comeback. This two-morning course is designed for professional non-engineers who would benefit from understanding the offshore wind energy industry; and engineers and technical staff who are new to this sector or making a transition from another industry.

Held in association with Cranfield University the course on 1 and 2 February builds on the SUT’s international reputation for ocean and marine engineering and science training; and is delivered over two online interactive 4-hour sessions by industry and academic experts from BP, Cranfield University, Partrac, GUH, MarineSpace, MCL Consultancy; the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and St Jules.

 Topics covered over the two mornings Include:

  • Wind and the Net Zero Challenge including Deepwater Floating Potential
  • Planning, Environmental Studies, and Approvals
  • Metocean/Weather: UK and NW Europe Focus including Deepwater for Floating Technology
  • Fixed Bottom Offshore Structure Design and Integrity
  • Offshore Site Investigation and Seabed Site Foundations
  • Construction
  • Cables
  • Floating Wind
  • Completion, Post Installation, and Ongoing Operation

 In looking forward to welcoming delegates from around the globe on 1 and 2 February, Cheryl Burgess, SUT’s CEO, explained: “The virtual course was created during the pandemic and proved extremely successful, with delegates from all over the world joining in and benefiting not only from our splendid speakers, but the 30-minutes before and after the morning session which enabled them to ask questions and begin networking with each other and with speakers. We are looking forward to welcoming people from home and overseas for two stimulating and highly informative sessions.”

Further information

Further information on the course and registration is at

Course costs and SUT membership

The course costs £375 (plus VAT where applicable) for SUT Members (EEEGR, OES, IMCA and EIC members will also benefit from the discounted member price); The Non-Member charge is £465 (plus VAT where applicable). CPD Credits will be available.

SUT membership information is at The SUT membership year runs from 1 July until 30 June, so currently half rates apply for new members.

SUT Awards Those Who Discovered Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’

Image above: (left to right) Donald Lamont, Moya Crawford and Mensun Bound following the presentation

The discovery of Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, an incredible feat of subsea engineering and specialist expertise, took centre stage at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) along with news of the election of a new Fellow of the learned society and the presentation of the Alan Greig Memorial Prize.

After the formal proceedings, marine archaeologist and author, Mensun Bound and Donald Lamont, Chair of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT) were each presented with the SUT President’s Award by the SUT’s President, Moya Crawford.

As she explained:

“The story of Shackleton, Frank Worsley, and the rest of the crew of the Endurance remains an inspiration to people around the globe over a hundred years after her loss. I can think of no better team of people to find her and re-kindle this story than Mensun Bound and his friends and colleagues from the FMHT.

“For this prestigious award from the SUT to go to the Southern Ocean, to mark the discovery of such an iconic wreck, lying in  3000 metres water depth, beneath the ice brings modern elements of determination, teamwork and endeavour to the fore, giving us all inspiration and it is my privilege to present the President’s Award to mark such an outstanding achievement.”

Falklands-born Mensun Bound the Expedition Director of Exploration and a Trustee of the FMHT responded saying that the Award was unexpected and that he was overwhelmed and extremely grateful. He emphasised that it was: “a team effort from beginning to end” a theme repeated by Donald Lamont who, speaking on behalf of the FMHT, said how delighted and honoured he was saying:

“The project emphasises that teamwork involving people using up-to-date technology in the most challenging of environments brings success” and adding: ““I consider it a matter of pride that an outstanding team can achieve such an incredible result.”

Mensun Bound then spoke about the two expeditions in 2019 and 2022 to discover ‘Endurance’ the story of which is told in his new book ‘The Ship Beneath the Ice: The Discovery of Shackleton’s Endurance’, with Nico Vincent of Deep Ocean Search (DOS), who was manager-in-charge of all equipment preparation, testing and training ashore and all subsea operations and related topside activities at sea on Endurance22, explaining the numerous technical achievements.

In his book Mensun gives a blow-by-blow account of the two dramatic expeditions, the Weddell Sea Expedition and Encurance22, to find ‘Endurance’. As with Shackleton, Bound too experienced failure and despair, and at times his own ship was on the cusp of being frozen in ice, much like Endurance.

As one of the world’s foremost experts on the ‘Endurance’ his book includes previously untold stories of Shackleton’s epic survival and fascinating details about his iconic ship. It also includes numerous photos from the original expedition in 1914-17, as well as from the wreck on the seafloor.”

Other presentations – one new Fellow and the presentation of the Alan Greig Prize

Nick McNaughton: was is a newly elected Fellow of the SUT for ‘Services to the Perth (Australia) Branch’, as the citation explained:

“Over the last 13 years Nick, through direct involvement with the Society’s Perth branch has assisted it in moving forward through tough times by taking on a number of sub-committee positions including Branch Secretary, working on Branch Strategy, Scholarships, YES!, training courses, involvement in the AGM and Annual Dinner.  His direct and on-going support has directly assisted the Branch in achieving SUT goals and member engagement.”

Roger Scrivens is presented with the Alan Greig Memorial Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Commercial Oceanography by Moya Crawford

The Alan Greig Memorial Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Commercial Operational Oceanography was awarded to Roger Scrivens who was presented with the Ekman Meter, first awarded in 2006 following Alan’s death in 2004.

As he accepted the award, Roger Scrivens paid tribute to Alan Greig:

“My delight at receiving the Alan Greig Memorial Prize has obvious grateful overtones of professional recognition from my peers but above that is the personal aspect. Alan Greig, believed to be the UK’s first ever ‘commercial oceanographer’, was a very intelligent, humble, knowledgeable, diligent and professional man. For me he was also a wonderful family man, a trusted friend and a very reliable business partner. Taken too soon in his mid-fifties, he was a great loss to the world of operational oceanography and a great loss to me.”

During his long career Alan Greig worked for Imcos Marine, Hunting Surveys, Space Technology Systems and co-founded InstallOcean Ltd.  The prize was established in recognition of Alan’s outstanding contribution to commercial operational oceanography.

Commercial operational oceanography has grown to be a significant area of enterprise with companies offering a wide range of products and services to meet an ever-increasing range of applications. For example, it is critical to the offshore oil and gas sector where drilling and production are taking place in ever deeper waters and in ever more hostile environments such as the Arctic. In order to conduct these and other operations safely, economically, and in an environmentally acceptable way it is crucial to be able to measure, understand and predict the ocean environment. Many pioneering organisations have emerged to deliver commercial products and services tuned to meeting the specific needs of those who operate in the marine environment.

Further information on all aspects of the SUT’s work and details on all categories of membership are at

Industry Mentoring Program Sundowner

The joint Industry Mentoring Program is a collaboration between nine professional associations: Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA), Australian Society for Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), Energy Club of WA (ECWA), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Engineers Australia (EA), Subsea Energy Australia (SEA), Women in Subsea Engineering (WiSE) and Professional Petroleum Data Management Association (PPDM).

We’re inviting the members of the participating associations to join us for the mentoring program wrap-up. This will be an opportunity to network with mentors, mentees, and members of the participating clubs and associations. There will be networking activities, nibbles and drinks to encourage meaningful networking and connections in a friendly environment.


Date: Tuesday, 29th November 2022

Time: 5:30-7:30pm

Location: The Globe, 495/497 Wellington St, Perth

Cost: 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 & 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐬 in the 2022 programme (invitations sent);

$10 for members of any of the participating associations

**NB: Ticket sales close Sunday 27th November at 5pm**


‘The Ship Beneath the Ice’ Author Mensun Bound, to speak at SUT AGM

Mensun Bound (photo credit: Macmillan Publishers).

This year’s discovery of Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, an incredible feat of subsea engineering and specialist expertise, and the recent publication of ‘The Ship Beneath the Ice: The Discovery of Shackleton’s Endurance’ were reasons enough for The Society for Underwater Technolgy (SUT) to invite its author, marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, to speak, in London on 6 December, at their Annual General Meeting.

Book your place now.

(Image credit: Macmillan Publishers)

Falklands-born Mensun Bound, the Expedition Director of Exploration, a Trustee of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, and discoverer of the Scharnhorst of Admiral Graf Von Spee will take part in a ‘fireside chat’ with the SUT’s President, Moya Crawford and take audience questions once the formal procedures at the meeting have been concluded; and be signing copies of the book (published by Macmillan and available for purchase) at the end of the meeting.

Moya Crawford explained: “The timing of the publication of ‘The Ship Beneath the Ice’ is fortuitous; and there could be no better speaker than Mensun Bound to describe the role that subsea engineering and specialist services played in discovering Endurance in March this year. This was over a hundred years after she sank 3,000 metres down in the Weddell Sea in what Shackleton himself called ‘the most hostile sea on earth’.  We are honoured that Mensun will be joining us on 6 December.

“In the book he gives a blow-by-blow account of the two dramatic expeditions, the Weddell Sea Expedition and Encurance22, to find ‘Endurance’. As with Shackleton, Bound too experienced failure and despair, and at time his own ship was on the cusp of being frozen in ice, much like Endurance.

“As one of the world’s foremost experts on the ‘Endurance’ his book includes previously untold stories of Shackleton’s epic survival and fascinating details about his iconic ship. It also includes numerous photos from the original expedition in 1914-17, as well as from the wreck on the seafloor.”

The SUT AGM will be held on the evening of 6 December at the Institute of Physics, in London. Free preferential booking is now open for Members, Non-Members, and SUT Member guests (£30). Those planning to attend are asked how many copies of the book they would be interested in buying in order to ensure that sufficient stock is available.

Gwyn Griffiths Award for Underwater Robotics 2022

‘The standard of entries for the SUT’s Gwyn Griffiths Award for Underwater Robotics was extremely competitive this year, and the nominees of high calibre, which challenged the judges to select this year’s winner,’ said Neil Bose, Chair of SUT’s Underwater Robotics Panel, and Vice President (Research), Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador’s University. ‘On behalf of the Panel, the judges and SUT we would like recognise the talent, innovation and qualities of all the entrants working in underwater robotics.’

The Panel is delighted to announce the winner of the GGURA, Rustom Jehangir from Blue Robotics Inc in Torrance, California.

On being informed of the Award, Rustom said, “Wow! I’m honoured and humbled to receive this award bearing Gwyn Griffiths’ name, given all that he accomplished and contributed to the field of marine robotics. ‘I consider this award to be an honour for my whole team.”

Getting to know Rustom we asked:

What inspired your interest in subsea engineering?

I went to school for mechanical and aerospace engineering and was initially interested in drone aircraft. I worked in that field for several years at a start-up company developing a large multicopter helicopter for military applications. While doing that, I stumbled into subsea engineering. At the time (around 2013), a friend and I were both looking for a fun robotics project to do on the weekends and decided that we would make a solar-powered robotic surfboard that could cross the ocean. We thought we could achieve that on a small budget and we dreamt of sending it from California to Hawaii, a trip that would take several months at the slow pace we could maintain with solar power.
We started working on this project and we found all of the components that we needed, like the solar panels, GPS, microcontroller, and satellite radio, but struggled to find thruster motors to propel it. We could only find very inexpensive options that wouldn’t survive for long in the ocean, and very expensive options designed for military-grade applications. We scoured the internet for options and couldn’t find anything, but we did find a lot of other people looking for the same thing. Some of them were on robotics teams and some were hobbyists. At that moment we decided to solve that problem and design an affordable, capable thruster for marine robotics that anyone could use. We were successful and launched Blue Robotics through a Kickstarter campaign in 2014!
So, to answer your question, I was initially inspired by our solar surfboard project and then jumped headfirst into subsea engineering by starting a company. At the time I had no experience with subsea engineering and had to learn quickly! Eight years later, we have made over 70,000 thrusters and have a team of 55 people designing and building a wide range of products that enable marine robotics applications.

How did you become involved in robotics?

I’ve been interested in robotics since I was young. I watched a recorded documentary about the AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) many times and dreamed of being a robotics engineer someday. I got actively involved in university when I joined an IARC team. We never actually competed, but it re-sparked my interest and taught me many of the basics.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in this field?

Great question! I have a few pieces of advice. (1) Expose yourself to a diversity of experiences and classes to be well-rounded. This is particularly important in robotics because it doesn’t fall into any of the traditional mechanical, electrical, or software paths, but rather into all of them. I took software engineering courses in school and learned electrical engineering on the job and it was critical for my current role. And (2), don’t feel excluded from this industry if you’re not an engineer or scientist – we need people of all different backgrounds and specialties. We have engineers designing our products, but we also have marketing team members, assembly technicians, human resources, graphic design, and many more. All of those skills and expertise are necessary to our business and contribute to our mission.

Any advice on innovation and starting your own company?

Yes, my biggest piece of advice on this is to find a “blue ocean market” in which to start your business. Let me explain that. What I often see with people starting companies is that they look at the market and existing successful companies and they try to imitate them or do things a little bit better than them to capture market share. You shouldn’t be looking for who you want to compete with but, rather, you should look for holes in the market where there is a need but no competition at all. This is a “blue ocean market” and it’s much easier to start a company if you can find a space like that to work in. We found this with our original thruster product. There were no similar products at the time but there were many interested customers. We didn’t have to compete with anyone – we just opened up new market possibilities. I encourage you to try to do the same.

What’s next for you and Blue Robotics?

We’re eight years into our journey and I’m having more fun than ever! I truly believe in our core mission of making affordable, capable components and systems to enable people to do more with marine robotics and we’re going to keep doing that. We’ve learned a lot and we can keep doing it better and better. The ocean is a big place and there’s a lot of room to grow and a lot of opportunities.

SUT and MTS Announce Winner of the 2022 Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration

WASHINGTON, DC, US AND LONDON, UK — The Marine Technology Society (MTS) and The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) are proud to announce that the 2022 Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration has been won by the internationally recognised oceanographer Samantha (Mandy) Joye, a Regents’ Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, USA, whose work has revealed unexpected connectivity between elemental cycles, unanticipated feedbacks between geological elemental and microbial dynamics, and fundamental controls on microbial populations and their activity.

Joye is an internationally recognized educator, deep ocean explorer, oceanographer, and environmental advocate. She is an expert in ocean biogeochemistry and microbial ecology and her work has focused on the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California, and along the North American Atlantic Margin. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on deep water habitats and extreme environments and tracks the cycles and fate of hydrocarbons, nutrients, sulfur, metals, and trace gasses and interrogating the microbial communities that cycle these materials.

For the past two decades, Joye has studied natural seepage and chemosynthetic habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. She has led exploration missions across the Gulf of Mexico to discover and document otherworldly environments, including mud volcanoes, brine pools, and gas hydrate sites. Her research during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill environmental response significantly advanced the understanding of the critical role of microorganisms in degradation of oil and factors that enhance microbial degradation and optimize their environmental response.

Awarded jointly by the Marine Technology Society and the Society for Underwater Technology, this esteemed award is named after American oceanographer, explorer, retired naval officer, and marine policy specialist Captain Don Walsh. Walsh and co-pilot Jacques Piccard were aboard the bathyscaph Trieste when it made its daunting record descent on January 23, 1960 into the deepest point of the world’s oceans – the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. The award recognizes outstanding, sustained, international contribution to the development, application, and propagation of marine technology toward the advancement of ocean exploration.

I am so incredibly honored to receive the 2022 Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration,” Joye said. “Don Walsh’s contributions to marine technology and ocean science are unparalleled – he is an inspiration to me, and to so many others. I want to thank MTS and SUT for honoring me with this award, and for empowering our community to develop and deploy new technologies that enable ocean discovery.

Dr. Joye’s contributions to the advancement of ocean exploration are significant and exemplify the qualities MTS and SUT are proud to recognize with this award. We are excited to see her innovative techniques and application of marine technology continue to impact the ocean community,” said Zdenka Willis, MTS President.

Moya Crawford, SUT’s President, added: “I am particularly struck by the relevance Dr. Joye places on science and its interface with engineering. This form of collaboration is vitally important when working in our global ocean.

The Award was instigated in 2020 – the inaugural winner was Dr. Edie Widder a MacArthur Fellow, a deep-sea explorer, and conservationist who combines expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation with a commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation. This was followed in 2021 by a joint award to Victor L. Vescovo and Patrick Lahey for the 2019 Five Deeps Expedition and further dives of scientific and historical interest in subsequent years.

Seminar: 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐈𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

Materials Australia would like to invite you to a seminar on the latest materials and maintenance advancements for chemical process engineering and the emerging battery chemicals markets.

The seminar will be followed by a site visit. Hosted by Kwinana Industries Council, delegates will be taken on a bus tour around various facilities on the Kwinana strip/Naval Base. More details about the site visit will be released closer to the event.

📅Date: 25th August 2022
🏢Venue: AMC Jakovich Centre – Lake Coogee Room, Henderson (south of Perth)

More info/flyer/registration, please head to Materials Australia’s website

The SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE)

HURRY! Super early bird registrations close 8th August.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ regional flagship event, the Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE), has since its inception in 1989, successfully established itself as the premier upstream technical event in the Asia Pacific region, covering the broadest range of technical disciplines involved in exploration and production activities

The SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE) will continue to advocate technology dissemination and knowledge sharing amongst energy professionals.

APOGCE 2022 will be held in Adelaide, Australia, from 17-19 October 2022.

Themed “Leading a Sustainable Future of Accessible and Responsible Energy”, APOGCE 2022 includes a comprehensive conference discussing discuss topics revolving around the conference theme including energy security and supply, the role of petroleum engineering in a net zero carbon emissions world, and decarbonisation of the upstream oil and gas industry.

For Exhibit Prospectus and Sponsorship Opportunities, view this flyer here.