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Memorial stands out at Oceans 2012

The installation of the transmitter antenna for a high frequency radar installed near Argentia, Placentia Bay.


By Meaghan Whelan

Memorial University was well-represented at Oceans 2012, an international conference meant to bring together the technology, people and ideas that will help to expand the understanding of the Earth's largest natural resource.

The conference series, jointly sponsored by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE/OES), is a 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. The conference also includes exhibition space, where Memorial showcased its oceans expertise as part of an Atlantic Canadian pavilion.

"Memorial can and should become known as Canada's oceans university. From basic to applied research and all areas related to oceans – ocean safety, ice-structure interaction, fisheries and aquaculture and biodiversity and sustainability – our researchers are internationally recognized for their expertise," said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. "Conferences like Oceans 2012 are an opportunity for us to paint the full picture of the depth and breadth of oceans research at our university."
At Oceans 2012, the university showcased research projects that are ready for commercialization; promoted Oceans 2014, which will be held in St. John's; and spoke broadly about oceans research at Memorial.

Five projects promoted by Genesis Group, Memorial's technology commercialization arm, were on display. One project, SEAformatics, led by Dr. Vlastimil Masek of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and partially funded by the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency's Atlantic Innovation Fund program, has resulted in a prototype of a self-powered seabed sensor platform designed to host sensors for monitoring the ocean environment. This technology has applications in the oil and gas sector, security and defense, ocean observation systems and marine science.

"Oceans 2012 was an opportunity to connect with companies and other organizations who may be interested in partnering with us as we further develop ocean technology projects, including SEAformatics," said Brian Terry, technology commercialization officer with Genesis.

Dr. Eric Gill, professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and principal investigator on the High Frequency Radar Ocean Surface Applications (HF ROSA) project, was a featured presenter at the conference. He spoke about the use of high frequency surface wave radar to detect ocean swell.

St. John's will be hosting the 2014 Oceans MTS/IEEE conference, Sept. 14-19, 2014. Dwight Howse, head of the Marine Institute's School of Ocean Technology and general chair of the 2014 organizing committee, said work is well underway preparing for 2014 and that the 2012 conference was an opportunity to promote Oceans 2014 to delegates.

The conference took place in Virginia Beach, Va., from Oct. 14-19.