Dr. Victor Zykov leads the development of research programs and strategic initiatives for Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) with the goal to advance the understanding of the world’s oceans through technological innovation, intelligent observation, and open sharing of information. As Director of Research, Victor interacts with the broad international community of ocean scientists and technology developers to facilitate their participation in scientific collaborations with Schmidt Ocean Institute onboard the globally capable research vessel Falkor.
To support the SOI research program development, Victor established and currently oversees the merit-based proposal review and selection process, and facilitates the resulting scientific collaborations through their completion and delivery of scientific outcomes, data, and information products to the public. Victor works closely with the SOI Marine Operations department on the implementation of the planned research programs, as well as introduction of new technologically advanced research facilities for SOI, such as, for example, the new series of hybrid remotely operating vehicles and full ocean depth robotic systems, live HD video and data streaming from R/V Falkor, and high performance shipboard cloud computing.
Previously, Dr. Zykov coordinated the development of science mission requirements and related refit specifications for the current SOI research vessel Falkor and previous SOI ship Lone Ranger. Victor oversaw the scientific refit for both vessels as Director of Engineering and Director of Operations in 2009-2011. In July 2011, following the delivery of Lone Ranger, and when Falkor refit was approaching completion, Victor assumed the role of the Director of Research.
His professional and research interests span multiple areas of science and technology including robotic exploration of natural unstructured environments, sensor and communication technologies, renewable energy, modular self-reconfigurable robotics, evolutionary system optimization, under-informed structural system identification, robotic self-repair, self-reconfiguration, self-reproduction, and controls engineering. His research was published in some of the world’s most respected scientific journals, including Nature and Science. His self-reproducing robots Molecubes were on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Victor received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Engineering and Technology Summa Cum Laude in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Automation, and Drive Systems from Ivanovo State Power Engineering University in Ivanovo, Russia, and his Master’s of Science and Doctor’s of Philosophy degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY.