MTS Technology Forum

August 20, 2020

A Virtual Panel Hosted by the Washington D.C. Section and Oceaneering

Thursday, September 17 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (EDT)
Register Here

Topic: Technology Trends and Challenges

During this 90 minute virtual panel, we will hear from a diverse group of experts that will lead us through technology trends and challenges which will include: unmanned systems, maritime cyber security, oceanographic platforms and sensors, and more.

Opening Speakers:

  • Jake Sobin, Kongsberg & Marine Technology Society D.C. Section Chair
  • Zdenka Willis, President, Marine Technology Society and the CEO of Veraison Consulting
  • Philip Beierl, Vice President, Oceaneering Advanced Technologies


  • Lisa Blodgett, Sector Head, Force Projection Sector, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Ms. Blodgett became the Force Projection Sector Head at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on July 13, 2015. The Force Projection Sector comprises close to one fourth of the sponsored programs conducted by APL and employs more than 1,400 staff. Through its three mission areas Precision Strike, Sea Control and Strategic Deterrence, its programs range from those that enhance the capabilities of the nation’s submarine fleet and the readiness of submarine-based ballistic missile systems to those designed to provide precision strike and engagement. As the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center, APL performs research and development on behalf of the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal agencies. The Laboratory has more than 7,000 staff members who are making critical contributions to a wide variety of nationally and globally significant technical and scientific challenges. Ms. Blodgett is Co-Chair for the Submarine Technology Symposium, is an Advisory Council member for the NDIA Undersea Warfare Division, and is on the Board of Directors of the Naval Submarine League. She is a member of the U.S. Strategic Command Strategic Advisory Group and chairs the Nuclear Command Control and Communications Task Force.  She served on the Defense Science Board Task Force for Next-Generation Unmanned Undersea Systems and also served on the Submarine Superiority Technical Advisory Group. She is a graduate of MIT Seminar XXI and Harvard Senior Executives in National and International Security and has also taught a graduate course for Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering. Ms. Blodgett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, and both a Master of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering and a Master of Science degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University.

Panel Speakers:

  • Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From 2017-2019 he served as the Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. Before these assignments, he served for 32 years in the US Navy, completing his service in 2017 as the Oceanographer of the Navy. In his current position, Rear Admiral Gallaudet leads NOAA’s Blue Economy activities that advance marine transportation, sustainable seafood, ocean exploration and mapping, marine tourism and recreation, and coastal resilience. He also directs NOAA’s support to the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, oversees NOAA’s Arctic research, operations, and engagement, and is leading the execution of the NOAA science and technology strategies for Artificial Intelligence, Uncrewed Systems, ‘Omics, Cloud, Data and Citizen Science. Additionally, Gallaudet chairs or co-chairs several interagency bodies, including the US Coral Reef Task Force, the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee, and the Ocean Resources Management Subcommittee (ORM) under the White House Ocean Policy Committee (OPC), of which he is also a member. Other committees on which he serves include the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the NSTC Committee on STEM Education, the Policy Coordination Committees (PCCs) under the National Security Council (NSC) on Pacific Island Countries, the Arctic, and Maritime Security, and the Executive Steering Group of the National Space Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee. Rear Admiral Gallaudet has a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master’s and Doctorate Degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.
  • RADM William J. Houston, is the Director, Undersea Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N97). RADM Houston is a native of Buffalo, New York and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and was commissioned via the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. His sea tours include, division officer assignments on USS Phoenix (SSN 702), Engineer Officer onboard USS Hampton (SSN 767), and Executive Officer onboard USS Tennessee (SSBN 734)(B). He commanded USS Hampton (SSN 767) in San Diego and was commodore of Submarine Squadron 20 in Kings Bay, Georgia. His staff assignments include Flag Lieutenant for Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; the Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board; Special Assistant to the Director of Naval Reactors for Personnel and Policy; Deputy Commander for Submarine Squadron 20; the Principal Director for Nuclear Matters within the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Submarine and Nuclear Community Manager, Military Personnel Plans and Policy (N133) and Division Director of Submarine and Nuclear Propulsion Distribution, Navy Personnel Command (PERS-42). His first Flag assignment was Deputy Director for Strategic Targeting and Nuclear Mission Planning (J5N) United States Strategic Command. Following this he served as Director of Operations, Naval Forces Europe-Africa; Deputy Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and Commander, Submarine Group 8.
  • Dr. Peter B. de Menocal is eleventh President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, effective October 1, 2020. A marine geologist and paleoclimatologist, de Menocal’s research uses deep-sea ocean sediments as archives of how and why Earth’s ocean and climate have changed in the past in order to predict how they may change in the future. Prior to assuming leadership of WHOI, de Menocal was the Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In 2015, he became the founding director of Columbia’s Center for Climate & Life, a research accelerator of 120 scientists and other experts dedicated to understanding how climate affects life’s essentials—the security of food, water, and shelter—and exploring sustainable energy solutions in partnership with industry, finance, and government. From 2016 to 2019, de Menocal served as Columbia’s Dean of Science for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, overseeing 240 faculty across the university’s nine scientific departments. During his tenure as dean, de Menocal developed and carried out a strategic plan that helped to double philanthropic support for the sciences at Columbia, significantly increase success in winning large center and institute awards, and increase faculty hiring rates for women and under-represented minorities in the natural sciences. De Menocal has published more than 150 scientific papers over his decades-long career in oceanography. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, AGU Emiliani lecturer, a Lenfest Columbia Distinguished Faculty award, and a Distinguished Brooksian award. He earned a doctorate in geology from Columbia University, a master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Lawrence University.
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