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The Underwater Technology Podcast

Author: Steve Hall, Society for Underwater Technology

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Weekly short podcast from the Society for Underwater Technology featuring news & an interview with an expert on underwater technology, engineering, science, history & policy from across the international subsea world. For more about SUT visit, email SUT is a Learned Society for underwater technology, engineering & science established 1966. We're a Charity / Not for Profit in most of the countries where we operate. Local branches in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Malaysia, Middle East, Norway, Singapore, UK, USA, West Africa. #technology #subsea #ocean #offshore #science #engineering #oceanliteracy #oceandecade #AUV #robots #exploration #renewables #energy #aquaculture #policy #careers #STEM
37 Episodes
Podcast episode 37a, 27th November 2020 - in a change to the advertised schedule, this week we're using an edited audio version of the webinar that Nick Swift, chair of the Society for Underwater Technology's Defence Special Interest Group, gave on 16th November 2020. You can view the video version on YouTube at talks about the role of the SIG, the projects that it is engaged in such as producing a position paper on the legal and policy aspects of armed autonomous underwater vehicles, and the rapidly changing technology that will impact how opponents contest the underwater battle space. Find out more about SUT at, you can contact Nick at or via info@sut.orgWell be back next week with the interview with Professor Ralph Rayner that was originally scheduled for 26th November. Please note that it's our AGM on 14th December, if you'd like to attend please register here. Support the show (
Podcast 36, 19th November 2020 - this week SUT CEO Steve Hall speaks to member Vahid Walker, founder & CEO of Walker Subsea engineering about the innovative subsea engineering sector in North East England, where an industry that was once dominated by heavy engineering such as shipbuilding has adapted to the requirements of technology-driven innovation, support for emerging industries, and where innovation in the region's automotive sector is able to feed technology into subsea systems too. Steve & Vahid also talk about the need to encourage the next generation into subsea engineering, science and technology and the value of SUT as a Society able to nurture and support individuals in their career journey. Find out more about Walker Subsea at Find out more about SUT at Contact SUT at info@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for creating the podcast artwork, composing & performing podcast theme music, and her intro & outro narration. Support the show (
Podcast Episode 35, 11th November 2020 - this week SUT CEO Steve Hall speaks to Adrian Phillips, Chair of SUT Middle East Branch about his career, the founding of SUT's first Branch in the Middle East, and the rapid growth in the region for companies engaged in subsea engineering, technology and services. Adrian highlights the importance of ADIPEC as the key trade show and networking opportunity in UAE and the advances being seen in encouraging local young people to enter the sector too. There's also a brief mention of Oceanology Middle East due to take place in September 2021.You can contact Adrian at and see for more abut the Branch.To find out more about SUT see, or email us at info@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork & composing & performing the podcast theme music. Please send us your questions for the 17th December Q&A special episode. Please subscribe, rate and review and we'll be back next week. Stay safe, stay healthy!Support the show (
Podcast episode 34, 5th November 2020 - SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews David Ince of Reed Exhibitions, the company behind Oceanology International, Offshore Europe and All-Energy. David speaks about the role that exhibitions and conferences play in supporting the underwater technology community through knowledge sharing, awareness building, an opportunity to network and encourage the next generation too. It's been a tough year for the sector thanks to COVID, and David talks about the ways that conference & exhibition organisers have had to adapt to online delivery, including the Oceanology Connect event that will take place in December 2020. Find out more about SUT at, you can mail Steve Hall at steve.hall@sut.orgPlease send in your questions for our forthcoming 17th December Q&A episode to info@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for creating the podcast artwork and composing and performing the podcast theme music. This week onwards she's providing the intro and outro VoiceOver and will start to take on podcast editing before Steve leaves SUT in mid-December. Thanks to for ambient ocean sounds. Thank you listeners for your support - with this episode we expect to pass our 6000th download! You can support the podcast through the JustGiving link below, & you can sponsor episodes too - contact us for details. Support the show (
Podcast episode 33, 29th October 2020 - SUT CEO Steve Hall interview Chris Gilson, General Manager of Canada's 2G Robotics (now part of the Sonardyne Group) about the company's role in bringing dynamic laser scanning to the subsea sector, which has enabled users to visualise underwater structures in great detail, and can even be used effectively for mine field scanning. The talk includes details of 2G Robotics development of technologies that enable ROVs and AUVs to capture high resolution images, to enable enhanced levels of autonomy and also touches on the challenges of dealing with the enormous file sizes of the data sets that are generated with these techniques. Find out more about 2G Robotics at out more about SUT at and contact Steve Hall at Please note that we have a Questions and Answers Christmas Special coming up so contact us if you have anything to ask any of our podcast guests. Thanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork and for composing and performing the podcast theme music. Support the show (
Podcast 32, 22nd October 2020. This week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Peter Bromley, who has recently been appointed as the new Engineering Director of Seiche Water Technology Group. He talks about their line of products, including the Autonaut autonomous surface vehicle, how underwater sound measurements are used across industry, and about the challenges of making sustained ocean observations at an affordable cost. Find more more about Seiche at, Ashridge at and about Autonaut at http://www.autonautusv.comContact me at - we're planning on a Q&A special edition before Christmas so please send in your questions which can be for any of our guests so far or to me and the SUT staff and members. Find out more about SUT at Support the show (
Pod 31, 15th October 2020 - SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Luke Alden, a Mechanical Designer working for International Submarine Engineering in British Columbia, Canada. Luke's background is in industrial design, working on projects such as the design of aircraft cockpit instrument layouts and watertight doors for lifeboats. He moved to Canada and joined ISE, a company that has been a pioneer in the development and operation of marine autonomous systems, industrial remote operated vehicles and semi-submersible platforms for long-range surveillance and patrol. Luke tells us some of the rich history of ISE, which included the famous 'Theseus' vehicle we spoke to Bruce Butler about back in Pod 15, and moves on to the present-day 'Explorer' vehicle, before talking about future developments. Find out more about ISE at & you can contact Luke at lalden@ise.bc.caFind out more about SUT at, email Steve at We're making a special Question & Answer episode for broadcast in December 2020 so please get in touch if you have questions on any aspects of ocean technology or for our previous guests.Thanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork and composing and performing the podcast theme music. See you next week!Support the show (
Episode 30, Thursday 8th October 2020 - SUT CEO Steve Hall speaks solo with an introduction to the 'Blue Economy' - the wide range of ocean activities such as offshore energy, fossil & renewables, deep sea minerals, offshore aquaculture, pharmaceuticals, leisure, defence and the associated legal and policy services that are needed to support it. Also about the autonomous systems and sensors that will enable it to grow and prosper.  Find out more about SUT at, contact Steve at steve.hall@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for producing the podcast artwork, and composing & performing the podcast theme music. Thanks to for ambience underwater sounds.  Support the show (
Podcast episode 29, 1st October 2020. This week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Alastair McKie, Director of Remote Operations for Europe and Africa at Fugro. Alastair explains that advances in digital communication & control technology now enables operators of offshore systems, & their associated seafloor infrastructure, to bring staff onshore, and that ultimately almost all staff who currently need to work onboard offshore platforms may be able to work from a remote operations centre on land. By having a global network of remote operations centres, you can hand over operations from a Scottish centre to a US or Australian centre providing 24/7 coverage and backup in case a centre goes offline. Onshore operations are also expected to help diversify the workforce in the sector, providing a working environment that is more conducive to work/life balance and family commitments.The technology today is mainly applied in an offshore energy context, to include hydrocarbons and renewables, but is suited to future industries such as offshore hydrogen, carbon capture & storage operations, and perhaps defence operations. Challenges include the continued requirement to repair and maintain systems, and new risks need to be mitigated such as cyber-attack on digital systems. Find out more about Fugro at Contact Steve Hall if you would like to be featured in a future episode - also we want to make a Christmas Special based on questions asked by our listeners, going back to previous guests or to new voices who can answer your questions about all aspects of underwater technology. Thanks to Emily Boddy for the podcast artwork and for composing & performing the podcast theme music. Thanks to for ambient ocean sounds. Support the show (
Podcast 28, 24th September 2020. SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Moya Crawford - who was the Society for Underwater Technology's first female Fellow - about her fascinating life in deepwater salvage & decommissioning. Moya literally 'ran away to sea' from the island of Foula age 17 with the man who became her husband, Alec Crawford, to salvage the wreck of the 'undiveable' White Star Liner 'Oeanic', and later they formed a successful salvage company Deep Tek. Moya speaks about her extraordinary life, some of the highlights of her involvement in salvage down to considerable depths, and later moving into the growing area of decommissioning. Sound advice too for young people thinking of entering the industry, and about how being a SUT member has benefited her networking and ability to learn and share ideas. Today much of Deep Tek's work is based in Norway - find out more at and Moya also co-founded the D'Arcy Thompson Simulator centre which creates an immersive environment for high-tech collaboration. Moya's excellent first book 'Deep Water' has been out of print for a while but can still be found online, ISBN 9780901281838. Alec Crawford has also just published his own book of salvage stories 'Treasure Islands: True Tales of a Shipwreck Hunter' ISBN 9781780276014 Find out more about SUT at , contact Steve Hall at with any feedback or to offer to be recorded for a future interview. Thanks to Emily Boddy for creating the podcast artwork, and composing & performing the podcast theme music. Support the show (
Podcast episode 27, 17th September 2020 - This week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews David Strachan, who writes as Strikepod - see He's an author specialising in imagining future scenarios where rival autonomous systems engage in conflict in the underwater battlespace in various ways - not just combat, but by attaching themselves to seabed infrastructure, injecting payloads such as viruses into subsea digital systems, deliberately shutting down pipelines or opening valves, even attaching themselves to the anechoic stealthy coating of submarines to hitch a ride and transmit position to friendly forces at an opportune time. Publications include the well-regarded 'Operation Indigo Spear and the Second Tanker War of 2022' Some of the technologies we talk are still in the future, but others are not (even micro-nuclear power plants) and what David writes is eagerly read by professional defence analysts, military personnel, and presumably by potential opponents. All of us who work in underwater technology need to be aware of these forthcoming technologies - they'll change the way we work, and the way our nations might need to fight. To feature in a future podcast contact Steve at, find out more about Sut at My thanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork and for composing and performing the podcast theme music. Please subscribe, rate and review. Support the show (
Pod 26 - In an extra-length episode, SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews John Englander, author and expert advisor on sea level rise. In his long ocean-focused career that has included serving as CEO of the Cousteau Society, running a diving business, advocacy work and much more, John has gained an international reputation as a trusted source of knowledge on a range of marine issues and is an acclaimed speaker. In the interview he explains the reality of sea level rise, emphasising that even if all human greenhouse emissions ended today, the momentum in the Air-Sea-Ice system means that we've already banked hundreds of years of inevitable rising seas. There's abundant observational evidence that the rate of rise is speeding up, and that rises of over 1 metre this century are entirely realistic. The impact on coastal regions will be enormous, impacting habitation, infrastructure, ports and harbours, estuaries, low-lying island states and much more. We should be planning for world where the sea level is 3 or 4 metres higher than it is today. There's nothing we can do to stop it, only adapt. John goes on to mention the planned establishment of the Rising Seas Institute, and looks forward to working with SUT, IMarEST and other Learned Societies & Decision Makers to help the world prepare for the coming situation. Find out more about John at and check out his influential bestselling book 'High Tide on Main Street' - next year his new book 'Moving to Higher Ground' is due for publication. The September 8th 2020 update to John's graphic on sea level rise can be seen at the highly regarded presentation John gave at the Royal Institution in May 2019 'Sea Level Rise Can No Longer Be Stopped, What Next?' go to out more about SUT at, if you'd like to be featured on a future podcast or have feedback you can email Steve Hall at Thanks to Emily Boddy for composing and performing the podcast theme music and creating the artwork, thanks to for ambient ocean sounds. Please rate, review and subscribe to our podcast and we look forward to welcoming you back next week.  Support the show (
Episode 25, Thursday 3rd September 2020. SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Professor Gwyn Griffiths, who has had a long career pushing the boundaries of new technology in ocean engineering within the oceanographic sciences community, starting as keen young scientist at school in Holy Island, North Wales, building underwater communications equipment while still a student.Gwyn Griffiths received his B.A. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Essex, U.K. in 1975, and M.Sc. degree in underwater systems engineering from the University of Birmingham, U.K. in 1976. He joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Wormley, U.K., in 1976 and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, U.K. at its formation in 1995, retiring as Chief Technologist in 2012. From 2000 to 2012 he held a part-time Chair in Underwater Systems at the University of Southampton, U.K.His research interests centre on underwater technology and applications for oceanography, especially on instrumentation and autonomous marine vehicles and fostering their use by the research, defence and commercial sectors - and also the history of ocean science & instrumentation.Under Gwyn's leadership, the Autosub AUV quickly demonstrated success as a scientific instrument able to gather valuable data from hitherto hard to reach locations such as underneath polar ice, and he was innovative in bringing in talent from outside the traditional marine science community to help deliver successful missions, using expert statisticians and risk analysts to help plan science, sensor deployments and data-gathering systems able to work in all weathers in under-sampled areas of ocean. Gwyn has strong trans-Atlantic links and has worked extensively with colleagues in the USA and Canada. He remains a highly regarded and influential technologist, continuing to write, publish and encourage the real-world use of advanced equipment. Gwyn can be contacted via his business or via SUT.He is an Honorary Fellow of the SUT, a past Chair of the SUT Council and a Past President. His awards include the David Partridge and President’s Awards from the SUT and the IEEE OES Distinguished Technical Achievement Award.Many of his publications are available via out more about SUT at, contact Steve Hall at steve.hall@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork, and for composing and performing the theme music, & thanks to for ambient underwater sounds. Please also contact Steve if you would like to feature in a future episode. Thanks for listening. Support the show (
August 27th 2020, in today's episode of the Underwater Technology Podcast, SUT CEO Steve Hall speaks to solicitor Andreas Dracoulis, a partner at Haynes and Boone LLP helping clients resolve problems in the energy, shipping and construction sectors. The focus of discussion is the subject of consequential loss - an area of contract law where an offshore operator (corporate or individual) may find themselves in complicated legal waters when a project doesn't go according to plan, and perhaps gets sued for damages. Andreas talks us through the subject, helping clarify what consequential loss means, and how to take the risks into account when working on a project - fallout from consequential loss can arise at any stage in your career so it's worth learning about it.  If you'd like to find out more about Andreas please see - in future we hope to ask him back for episodes where he can help provide answers to your questions on legal issues pertaining to energy, shipping and construction, but please note that this podcast has been recorded for information purposes only, highlighting issues of general interest and importance. It is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and you should always seek professional advice from a legal professional like Andreas on any relevant contract or matter - content is provided for education and information only!To find out more about SUT please contact Steve Hall, or visit our website. Thanks to Emily Boddy for podcast artwork and composing and performing the theme music. We'll be back next week, please remember to subscribe, rate and review - thank you! Support the show (
Episode 23 of the SUT Underwater Technology Podcast features Steve Hall interviewing Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of innovative San Diego company BlueNalu who aim to be one of the first to market with sustainable, tasty, real fish meat (not a vegetarian substitute) made from cultured cells - 'Cellular Aquaculture' rather than wild-caught fish. You're making fish muscle tissue, not the head, organs, scales so it's efficient and cruelty-free.The technology is scaleable, can be applied to many species of fish & shellfish, and will enable consumers to purchase a delicious and healthy fillet of fish, complete with omega 3 oils and other beneficial trace components, without the carbon footprint, environmental damage, or sometimes unsustainable efforts of wild fish capture. This offers the possibility for wild fish stocks to recover, for fishers to focus on small, high-value 'luxury food' catches, with the potential bulk of the market one day supplied from shore-based manufacturing plants. The implications for sustainable use of wild ocean resources are immense, & enable projected future 9 billion-plus human population to be fed without destroying wild ecosystems. In the interview Lou explains the technology and vision of the company, how far they are from market, and how the product is intended to help achieve the UN sustainable development goals to protect life under water, and ensure healthy food for human populations. Find out more about BlueNalu at and for their corporate responsibility programme see https://eat.blueFind out more about SUT at, contact Steve Hall at steve.hall@sut.orgThanks to Emily Boddy for composing & performing the podcast theme music and creating the podcast artwork, thanks to for ambient ocean sounds. We'll be back next week - please subscribe, rate and review - and contact Steve if you'd like to be featured in a future episode. Support the show (
Episode 22, 13th August 2020 - In a longer than usual episode SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Dr Jon Copley about his career in deep-ocean exploration and research. Jon was an SUT-sponsored student back in his university days, and has gone on to become one of the world's leading experts on the deep ocean environment, currently he's the Associate Professor in Ocean Exploration & Public Engagement in the School of Ocean & Earth science at the University of Southampton, and also works as a freelance science communicator, contributing to publications such as New Scientist magazine, and training scientists how to communicate effectively. Jon is one of the small number of human beings who've spent time exploring the abyss on board human-occupied vehicles such as the DSVs Sea Cliff, Shinkai 6500, Johnson Sea Link and others. Jon is also a user of deep-rated Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) - indeed he followed Steve Hall's stint as 'Autosub Science Missions' Programme manager at the UK National Oceanography Centre in the early 2000s, taking the work to the next level as the 'Autosub Under-Ice Science Missions' Programme Manager.Jon speaks about hydrothermal vent ecosystems, the technology needed to explore them, what it's like to dive into the depths of the ocean far beyond the limits of military submarines, and includes tips for young people interested in a career in ocean discovery. We also talk about using robots to explore the oceans of other worlds, and how today's work in Earth's ocean will make that possible in the not-too-distant future. He also speaks briefly on deep ocean mining to supply raw materials for a post-hydrocarbons world, and the need for effective planning and legislation to ensure it is conducted in the safest & most sustainable manner. Find out more about Jon at His book 'Ask an Ocean Explorer' is available from the usual sources, ISBN-13: 9781473696877. Find out more about the Society for Underwater Technology at, contact Steve Hall at with feedback or questions and especially if you'd like to be featured in a future podcast - we have listeners all over the world. Please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast. Thanks to Emily Boddy for composing and performing the podcast theme music, and creating podcast artwork. Thanks to Zapsplat for ambient ocean sounds. Next week Pod 23 we'll be learning about breakthrough technology in sustainable aquaculture using vat-grown fish cells. Support the show (
Podcast 21, 6th August 2020. This week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews PhD student Karen Boswarva of the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Dunstaffnage, Scotland, about her almost-finished doctorate using the SAMS Gavia Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) 'Freya' to conduct environmental surveys in sea lochs, and overseas on fieldwork in Chile. Contact Karen via the SAMS website (linked above) or follow on Twitter as '@bozwoz'. Find out more about SUT at, contact Steve Hall here especially if you've got a subject for a future episode of the podcast. Thanks to Emily Boddy for producing the podcast artwork and composting and performing he podcast theme music, and to Zapsplat for ambient ocean sounds. Support the show (
30th July 2020 - this week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Professor Ed Hill, OBE, who is Executive Director of the UK's National Oceanography Centre, which is based on two sites in Southampton & Liverpool. The National Oceanography Centre is the United Kingdom’s centre of excellence for oceanographic science, with a remit to provide national capability and leadership for big ocean science. It is home to two of the UK's fleet of Royal Research Ships, RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook, and houses major national facilities for marine autonomous systems, sensor development, the national oceanography library, the British Oceanographic Data Centre, National Marine Equipment Pool, and much more. NOC leads the UK delegation to UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and provides expert advice to government, industry and stakeholders across the world. Read the NOC 'Big Science for Big Challenges' here. We are honoured that NOC is also a long-standing member & supporter of SUT. Please subscribe, rate & review our podcast. Find out more about SUT including details of how to join here. Contact Steve Hall if you'd like to be featured on a future episode of the podcast. Thanks to Emily Boddy for composing & performing the podcast theme music and creating the artwork, thank you to Zapsplat for ambient ocean soundscape. Support the show (
For podcast 19 SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Mick Cook about his long career in offshore site investigation, geotechnics and geophysics. Mick talks through how he entered the sector in the 1980s, how the technology and techniques have evolved, and how particular incidents & individuals influenced and shaped how he learned to interpret and add value to the data that constantly-improving instrumentation, software and sensors provided him. He speaks about the work of the SUT Offshore Site Investigations Committee (OSIG) and of the help and support being a member of the Society for Underwater Technology has given him throughout his career. He heartily recommends that young people enter the field, there's plenty to do as the world moves forward with renewable energy, carbon capture & storage and other disciplines that will require knowledge about the sea floor.Contact Mick at, find out more about SUT at and contact Steve Hall at if you'd like to be featured in a future podcast episode. Thanks to Emily Body for podcast artwork, and for composing and performing the podcast theme music. Support the show (
SUT Underwater Technology Podcast episode 18, 16th July 2020 - Steve Hall interviews Alexander Fuglesang of FASTsubsea & FSubsea AS, Norway, about subsea pumping systems - essential tools for offshore industry, be it traditional oil and gas, future carbon capture & storage, deep sea mining and even aquaculture - fish farms turn out to also be major users of subsea pump systems. Many human activities below sea level would quite literally be impossible without effective, reliable pumping systems. In the FASTsubsea partnership the standardised Hydromag™ Drive Unit from FSubsea is developed in partnership with Aker BP, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Lundin, NOV, OMV and Voith Turbo. It combines the a powerful magnetic coupling with a proven Hydrodynamic Variable Speed “Torque” Converter. The Multiphase Pump Hydraulics are from Aker Solutions, based on the qualified MultiBooster™ , in partnership with Aker Energy, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Equinor, Chevron, Shell and Total.Find out more about FSubsea at, about FastSubsea at Alex can also be found easily on LinkedIn.Contact Steve Hall if you'd like to be featured in a future episode, find out more about SUT at Thanks to Emily Body for composing and playing the podcast theme music, and for creating the podcast artwork. Support the show (
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