AGM and Dinner

06 December, 2012


AGM and Members’ Dinner

6 December 2012 London, UK







SUT London AGM 2012
SUT award winners 2012

The SUT held its AGM, annual awards ceremony and members’ dinner at the impressive location of Trinity House, London (situated overlooking the Tower of London and River Thames) on 6 December 2012. The AGM began at 6.00 pm, followed by the annual SUT awards ceremony honouring those who have made exceptional contributions to underwater technology.

During the awards ceremony, SUT Fellowships were awarded to Prof Menglan Duan, Mr Geir Evensen, Mr Iain Knight, Mr Thomas Thiis, Dr Zenon Medina-Cetina and Mr Toby Powell (who unfortunately was unable to attend the ceremony). Honorary Fellowship was awarded to Prof David Denison, who was unable to attend the awards ceremony. His granddaughter, Francesca Cavallaro, accepted the award on his behalf. The Society wishes him many congratulations on his award.

The Houlder Cup for outstanding contribution to underwater operations was awarded to Mr Michael Cocks for his support to professional divers and their families over many years. Following twenty years as a London stockbroker and eight years trying to get into Parliament for the SDP, Michael found a new challenge in commercial diving. He soon began working for the Professional Divers trade union and with the support of the late Cdr Jackie Warner, Dr John King and Dr John Bevan, launched onto his crusade to ensure there were the same controls for onshore diving as in the North Sea. In 1994 he began writing on diving safety issues for the Commercial Diver magazine, the forerunner of Underwater Contractor International, and is now a regular contributor to the latter. He continues his international diving school visits and advises divers and their families in their fights for compensation following accidents. Michael is a strong campaigner for the facts of diving accidents and incidents to be made public so that lessons can be learned. The SUT wishes Michael many congratulations on his award.

The SUT Oceanography Award was awarded to Dr Neville Smith in recognition of his contribution to the field of oceanography. Neville was appointed to the position of the Deputy Director (Research and Systems) of the Bureau of Meteorology, an executive agency of the Australian Government, in January 2008. He was previously Chief Scientist and head of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, prior to the creation of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research. As a scientist, Neville played a key role in the development of ocean and climate prediction systems and has worked with the international community in the development of ocean observing systems for climate. He initiated and led the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment. Neville is a member of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System Advisory Board, the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, and the National Computing Infrastructure Steering Committee. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2005. Neville is currently the National Delegate to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. He was elected to the IPCC Bureau as vice-chair of Working Group 2 in September 2008 and was a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council WG on Climate Change Regional Impacts and Adaptation (report presented June 2007). He was also a member of the Review Panel for the World Climate Research Programme, 2007–2008. Unfortunately, Neville was unable to attend the awards ceremony in person; however, the Society wishes him many congratulations on his award.

The David Partridge Underwater Technology Award was awarded to Mr Peter Foden. Peter studied at Liverpool John Moores University where he obtained a BSc in Applied Physics. He joined the Cartwright Group in 1977 and since then he has developed, with a small number of colleagues, a series of deeper, longer-deployed and specialised devices for the measurement of tides and non-tidal signals in bottom pressure – the latter for ocean circulation studies. Peter has personally made or supervised over 200 deployments around the world including deployments in the Drake Passage in order to monitor the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Peter currently leads a small team who operate tide gauges at eight sites in the South Atlantic and Antarctica, which provide the UK contribution to the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS). In addition, he has worked in recent years with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and others to establish tide gauges throughout Africa and at sites in the western Indian Ocean to form part of the international tsunami warning system. The SUT wishes Peter many congratulations on his award.

The SUT President’s Award was awarded to Dr Colin Grant in recognition of his enormous contribution over many years to the development of oceanographic research and for services to the Society. Colin was awarded his PhD on “Satellite Meteorology of the UK” by Bristol University in 1979. In 1984, after seven years with Imcos Marine Ltd as a Weather Forecaster and Metocean Specialist, he joined BP and is now the Metocean Advisor for offshore facilities at BP Exploration. He advises on real-time metocean problems, on climate aspects, and on design and operational conditions such as the 100-year return value of wave height for offshore locations throughout the world. He has written and presented many technical conference papers during his time with BP, including a paper co-authored by Chris Shaw on the “Operational Oceanographic needs for the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry”, which was published by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in 2001. However, Colin’s greatest contribution over the years to the wider Metocean community has been his enthusiastic role as a bridge between scientists and offshore designers and operators, facilitating the transfer of knowledge and the transfer of data. He has served on the Council of the Royal Metrological Society, on NERC’s Autosub Scientific Steering Committee and on the Senior Advisory Panel of the EC ‘Maxwave’ Project. He was chairman of the UKOAA Metocean Committee for 11 years, and has been chairman of the North West Approaches Group since 1989. He is currently a member of numerous committees, including the International Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) Metocean Committee, the UK Marine Information Council, and the IACMST Environmental Data Action Group. He is a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Marine Scientist and Vice-President (and Fellow) of the IMarEST (Institute of Marine Engineering Science & Technology). He has also served on the Education and Training Committee of the SUT for many years. For his many achievements and leadership, it gave SUT great pleasure to award Colin the SUT President’s Award for 2012.

The AGM and awards ceremony was followed by a drinks reception and then dinner, attended by around 75 members and guests. After dinner, a game of ‘Heads and Tails’ was led by Ian Gallett. The game raised a fantastic sum of £560 for the Education Support Fund, and all participants were thanked for their contributions.