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REF NO.: 16

SUBJECT: Memorial University to showcase oceans research at international conference in St. John’s

DATE: Sept. 15

       Researchers from across Memorial University will showcase the latest oceans research and technology at an international conference in St. John’s this week.

       The Oceans ‘14 Marine Technology Society/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (MTS/IEEES) Conference will bring together leading experts from around the world to address challenges and identify solutions related to oceans. The conference is taking place Monday, Sept. 15, to Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, St. John’s Convention Centre and Mile One Centre, and will feature hundreds of sessions and exhibitors from around the globe.

       Memorial University will have a significant presence at the conference, with 44 presentations by, or in collaboration with, the university’s researchers, students and staff, on topics including ocean observation systems, ocean safety and survival, underwater vehicles, education and training for offshore workers, environmental approaches for sustainable fisheries, and more. For the full conference agenda go to: http://www.oceans14mtsieeestjohns.org/.

       Delegates also have the opportunity to discover Memorial’s contributions to oceans research through the conference exhibition at Mile One Centre. The Memorial booth (#76-#79) will feature researchers and experts with specialties in oceans research. The booth will provide demonstrations of the Seaformatics Pod, a self-power generating ocean platform system as part the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s Seaformatics Project, designed to monitor the subsea and seabed environment. The pod is targeted at applications such as geological imaging and earthquake detection, among others.

       The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will also be featuring a demonstration of the Inspirus Project. The Inspirus Project is developing intelligent sensors that increase the autonomy of unmanned vehicles, including sensors that will have the ability to interpret the environment around them. The project will demonstrate a head-slaved camera, one that will synch the motion of a remote camera to the movement of the user’s head, while displaying video from the camera in a pair of video goggles worn by the user. It also features a quad-copter with integrated camera for pose estimation. The two demonstrations will convey three of the project’s technologies and include a display of the other technologies developed. The Inspirus Project will assist businesses in becoming more efficient in their operations, from helping oil and gas service companies inspect underwater assets, to ensuring wind farmers can examine their turbines.

       “The history and culture of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is deeply anchored in our relationship with the ocean, and so is our future,” said Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research). “Memorial researchers contribute significantly to identifying and discovering methods for harnessing, preserving and protecting ocean industries that have substantial global impacts, including the fishery, offshore oil and gas, and the study of the ocean environment.”

       “Oceans ‘14 provides an incredible opportunity for Marine Institute researchers and technical personnel to exchange knowledge and forge new collaborations with scientists, engineers, responsible ocean users and decision-makers worldwide,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “We are also pleased to be able to share this event with local educators through our Ocean Innovation 2014: Youth and the Oceans conference which will bring together educators, students, policy makers, and ocean scientists this week in St. John’s and Lewisporte to discuss the challenges and opportunities pertaining to ocean literacy in the current education system.”

       Memorial University is also sponsoring this year’s Student Poster Competition (SPC), a competition open to engineering and science graduate and undergraduate students of any tertiary level university or college worldwide. The technical posters submitted will be on display in the exhibition area and prizes will be awarded during the conference.

       Also during the conference delegates will also have the opportunity to sign up for one of two tours of Memorial’s Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) in Logy Bay on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The tour of the OSC will include the Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building (JBARB), which houses state-of-the-art facilities for research and training related to marine aquaculture, as well as the Cold-Ocean Deep-Sea Research Facility (CDRF), which makes possible the study of freshwater and marine organisms, among other features.

       To view the full list of Memorial presentations, please visit http://today.mun.ca/news.php?id=9168.

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For more information, please contact Krista Davidson, communications co-ordinator, Office of the Vice-President (Research), (709) 864-4073 or kdavidson@mun.ca.

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