Oceans ’07 hailed huge success as it draws to a close

Oceans ’07 hailed huge success as it draws to a close

This has been a very special week for Aberdeen and it has certainly seen a tremendous gathering of those involved with all aspects of the marine engineering and science industry.

The city of Aberdeen has been the focus of the global marine community with the very first IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, OCEANS conference – the first of its kind ever held in the UK (June 18-21).

The conference was officially opened on Tuesday, June 19 at 10.30am by Richard Lochhead, MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment of the Scottish Executive, in his address on "Marine policy drivers from a Scottish perspective".

The prestigious Oceans series of conferences is recognised throughout the world as being the premier forum for the international marine community to meet and discuss topical issues in a format of easy information exchange and was held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

"Marine Challenges: Coastline to Deep Sea" was this year's theme of Oceans '07 Aberdeen and highlighted the significant challenges facing marine, subsea, and oceanic engineers in their drive to understand the complexities of the world's oceans.  These challenges start from the shallowest waters around our coastlines and stretch to the deepest subsea trenches and cover not only science, technology and subsea exploration, but also preservation and sustainability, extraction and protection of resources (mineral and natural), policy and education, and financial support.

Oceans '07 IEEE Aberdeen brought the worldwide marine community of scientists, engineers, and technologists together with policy makers, managers and educators.

More than 1,000 delegates attended from more than 35 countries, including Argentina, North America, Venezuela, Russia, Malaysia, Asia, Australasia and from across Europe and more than 300 technical papers were given.

During the event, delegates had the opportunity to attend keynote presentations by leading experts in the marine engineering and science industry. Technical and plenary sessions, workshops and social events also formed part of the packed programme.  Delegates shared the latest ideas and innovations, established valuable contacts and developed new collaborations.

A series of plenary talks were held on Tuesday, June 19 and keynote talks were held on Wednesday 20and Thursday 21June and technical papers focussed on the 'Challenges' theme.

Welcome addresses were given on Tuesday, June 19 by Professor Watson; the Lord Provost, Peter Stephen; Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, Professor C Duncan Rice; Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of the Wood Group, and the President of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, James Barbera.

Rear Admiral Neil Latham RN, Commandant, Defence College of Management and Technology, also gave a presentation on "The scientific and technical challenges for oceans defence". 

The morning's plenary addresses were drawn to a close by Ms Manuela Soares, Director of Environment Directorate, Research Directorate-General, European Commission, who delivered "the European Community's RTD strategy to address marine challenges".

Professor John Watson, of the University of Aberdeen and Executive Chair of Oceans '07 Aberdeen said: "This has been the first time that the prestigious Oceans series of conferences has been held in the UK and we are extremely proud that the IEEE chose the city of Aberdeen.

"This has been a fantastic week.  We have had great speakers, great science, and a great social programme.  I hope all the delegates who attended Oceans '07 enjoyed the hospitality shown by Aberdeen."

Spanning three days, the technical programme provided delegates with coverage of some of the most important marine and coastal research currently being undertaken around the world – including renewable energy, oceans and climate science, conservation and sustainability, subsea optics, deepsea exploration, integrated observing systems, remote sensing, sonar and acoustics.

Associated with the technical conference sessions is an important exhibition of some of the major companies and institutions representing the global and local marine community. Eighty five exhibitors presented their wares and services in the exhibition arena of AECC and demonstrated some of the latest state-of-the-art devices and technology devised to help us explore, understand and utilise the oceans environment.

Professor Watson added: "The oceans of the world have a significant impact on our lives and almost everything we do affects this unique environment. To bring together the world's foremost oceanic engineers and scientists in Aberdeen is a major achievement for the City, the academic community and the local industry.

"We are very grateful to our many patrons across the oceanic community who have helped to make this meeting possible.

 "This week's conference has been crucial in developing research and development and policy and strategy around the world for the next decade."

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