Press Release /

Marine Technology Society, the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, Schmidt Ocean Institute Announce New Partnership, Including Support for an International Student Competition, at OCEANS 2021

WASHINGTON, DCMarine Technology Society (MTS), the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) and Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), announced a new partnership today that will focus on the effective development and application of marine science and technology for purposes of exploration, understanding, and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources. The collaboration includes supporting student and early career marine technology professionals, women in marine science and technology, and other joint activities between the two societies and the Institute.

The partnership kicked off with sponsorship of the international OCEANS Student Poster Competition to encourage the next generation of marine engineers, which took place this week at OCEANS 2021 San Diego-Porto.

The OCEANS Student Poster Competition offers an opportunity for students to travel to an OCEANS conference to present their research, expenses paid. There are two OCEANS conferences held each year and each conference hosts a Student Poster Competition. During each competition 20 – 22 students (depending on available funding) are selected for the prestigious program. Students from colleges and universities around the world are eligible to compete.

The Student Poster Competition winners who were announced at the OCEANS 2021 Gala Event on September 22 are:

First Place:
Schuyler Nardelli
Rutgers University
Developing a convolutional neural network to classify phytoplankton images collected with an Imaging FlowCytobot along the West Antarctic Peninsula

Second Place:
Isaac Gerg
Penn State University
A Learnable Image Compression Scheme for Synthetic Aperture Sonar Imagery

Third Place:
Diogo Teixeira
University of Porto – LSTS
3D Tracking of a River Plume Front with an AUV

“As a learned society where members share their knowledge and experience; informing and educating one another through meetings, special interest groups, conferences, training courses and publications, MTS is excited to enter into this partnership with SOI and OES,” said Zdenka Willis, MTS President. “It is through partnerships like this one and programs like the Student Poster Competition that we can best engage early career ocean professionals and students, which will further contributions to ocean technology and science now and into the future. We congratulate all the winners today.”

As part of the organizations partnership SOI will support the funding of the MTS/IEEE OES OCEANS non-North American conference Student Poster Competition (SPC) prize money for the next four conferences. “MTS and OES are both prominent international societies in the marine technology fields and we are delighted that this partnership allows us to broaden opportunities globally for current and future marine science and technology professionals,” said Dr. Jyotika Virmani, executive director of Schmidt Ocean Institute. “This partnership embodies innovation and education and encourages new and diverse talent. What the students have achieved is inspiring and will lead us to the next generation of technology to better understand our ocean.”

“The Oceanic Engineering Society is thrilled to begin this partnership with MTS and SOI. Our goals align very well: to apply technology to better understanding of the ocean, and to empower the professionals who make that possible. We are so happy that SOI is supporting student and Young Professional activities at OCEANS Conferences, which is crucial to building the future of ocean science and technology,” said Christopher Whitt, IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society President.

Additionally, MTS, OES, and SOI will explore ways to broaden participation in student and early career ocean professional opportunities including participation on research expeditions, conduct joint activities between the society’s sections/chapters and SOI, and support Women Leadership in Science and Technology programs.


About the MTS
The Marine Technology Society (MTS) promotes awareness, understanding, and the advancement and application of marine technology. Incorporated in 1963, the international society brings together businesses, institutions, professionals, academics, and students who are ocean engineers, technologists, policy makers, and educators. The Society publishes a peer-reviewed journal — The Marine Technology Society Journal. It has three technical divisions and 31 Professional Committees (technical interest groups). The society hosts several conferences yearly, and it supports 13 Sections, which focus on events and programs unique to their geographic areas, enhancing networking among local colleagues, businesses, universities and government/military offices.

About OES
Established in 1968, the Oceanic Engineering Society (OES) promotes the close cooperation and exchange of technical information among its members around the world through networking, conferences, and publications with a focus on the future through extensive support of our student and young professional members. The Society publishes a peer-reviewed Journal of Oceanic Engineering, a newsletter the Beacon, and a science communication e-zine Earthzine.  The Society has 12 technology committees and supports 29 chapters, covering broad geographic and technological areas. Working with local chapters, the Society sponsors numerous conferences, workshops, and student competitions globally throughout the year. The Society has appointed liaisons for both IEEE Young Professionals and IEEE Women in Engineering and provides opportunities to attract and support a diverse member base.

About SOI
The Schmidt Ocean Institute was established in 2009 by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to advance oceanographic research through the development of innovative technologies, open sharing of information, and broad communication about ocean science and discoveries. It operates Falkor and Falkor (too), philanthropic research vessels that are made available to the international science community at no cost. For more information, visit

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