Board Candidate – Justin Manley


About Justin

Justin Manley is an innovative technologist and executive with experience in commercial, academic, and public sectors. He has been working with marine technology, especially unmanned systems, since 1990. He worked with autonomous vehicles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1993 to 2002. Between 2002 and 2009 Mr. Manley provided marine technology consulting services, primarily to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 2009 Mr. Manley transitioned to the private sector, joining Liquid Robotics during its startup phase. There he was responsible for developing new commercial and scientific programs. In 2011 he joined Teledyne Benthos where he managed a diverse product portfolio and led the development of a networked systems strategy across Teledyne Marine Systems (Benthos, Webb Research, Gavia, and SeaBotix).

Drawn back to entrepreneurial endeavors, Mr. Manley founded Just Innovation Inc. in 2015. He supports clients from startups to multi-national corporations with core technical specializations in unmanned vehicles, robotics, sensors, and undersea systems. Mr. Manley offers clients support with strategy and innovation, business and product development, evangelism, and marketing.

Mr. Manley is extensively involved in the marine technology profession. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, a Life Member of MTS, a Fellow of the Institute for Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMAREST) and was a founding member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Advisory Committee. He is dedicated to innovation, mentoring startup companies, and serving as a judge for the XPRIZE Foundation. He holds two patents in the area of unmanned systems oversight and security.

MTS and Other Association Experience

Justin Manley has actively supported the Marine Technology Society for more than 20 years. He has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles including:

  • Chair of the AUV Professional Committee
  • Editor of the MTS Journal
  • Vice President of Government and Public Affairs

He has also actively supported MTS conferences with significant roles, including:

  • Student Program Chair, OCEANS 2005
  • Technical Program Chair, OCEANS 2011
  • Technical Program Chair, Underwater Intervention 2009

He has frequently contributed to the execution of OCEANS and Underwater Intervention as a track chair, panel moderator, and author. He routinely reviews abstract submissions to the OCEANS conferences in North America, Europe, and Asia.

What qualities and experience do you possess that make you a strong candidate for this position?

My experience in professional societies and the ocean technology ecosystem make me well suited for this position.

I have extensive experience contributing to MTS through many past positions in both event and organization leadership. I am well-versed in the structure and activities of our society. Pre-COVID I routinely attended many technical conferences and trade shows and saw our “competition” and stakeholders firsthand. I expect to continue this as our society returns to “normal.” Direct experience of our society and operating environment are critical to delivering value to our members.

I have a strong global network and have frequently traveled internationally. This shapes my understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our global ocean community. While MTS is a robust organization, it is a modest player in a large ecosystem. Maintaining familiarity with that wider ecosystem is important to ensuring MTS remains relevant to our members and grows as an international expert resource.

Professionally, I have worked across most major segments of our community. I have work experience in academic, government, and industry roles. I understand the needs and expectations of these sectors and can adapt my perspective to ensure our society is serving its diverse membership. From a researcher looking to publish, to a sales manager seeking leads, I have personally experienced many facets of MTS membership and activities. I will bring these diverse experiences into all facets of society leadership to ensure our broad membership will be well represented.

I have significant experience with board roles and organizational governance. I have served as a director for several non-profit organizations. In my professional practice I support several for-profit organizations working with senior executives in an advisory position. Through a variety of executive and managerial roles I have refined a consultative management style and welcome collegial development of strategies, tactics, and ideas. I view MTS leadership as a stewardship function and will strive to support the organization and its leaders in steady growth through good governance and a strong vision of our ocean planet’s future.

What are one or two key goals you hope to accomplish in this position?

It is impossible to look to the future without considering both the present and the past. Before COVID-19 radically changed the reality of travel and in-person networking, MTS was facing an environment of increasing “competition.” Social media, digital publishing, and a growing number of global ocean events challenged our organization to improve its value proposition and deliver meaningful services to members. With current social distancing requirements we face even greater challenges. Fundamentally, MTS must evolve to engage today’s real-world requirements. Our offerings and activities must harness modern technology and a global perspective. We must provide value to our members in many more ways than we have before while we also adapt our traditional offerings to current circumstances. Navigating these uncertain waters and delivering viable member offerings for the future is my core goal for our society.

I aim to work with the MTS Board, section/committee leaders, and our individual members to ascertain the most useful offerings our society can provide. This may require substantial evolution of our shared vision. Events, activities, and ideas that previously served us well might not be the core of our future. Our efforts must be carefully reviewed to ensure benefit to our members and the ocean ecosystem we inhabit. We must approach the future as explorers, learning what works for the new environments we encounter. We can do so without forgoing our past or our shared values. But we must be open-minded and inquisitive.

I will bring my own interest in innovation and disruption to our shared future. I aspire to learn from our diverse and talented members and our dedicated volunteer leaders. I hope to take these lessons and provide a collaborative approach to our future. Fundamentally, my goal is to strengthen our society, grow our global membership, and provide value to all who join us.

MTS has provided me with significant opportunities for personal and professional growth. I wish to ensure such opportunities exist for all our members, today and into the future. I hope to see our membership and global impact expand. I believe the role of MTS President is one of stewardship. As a youth in scouting we spoke of leaving a campsite as pristine and pleasant as we found it. I hope to ensure that MTS remains as robust and meaningful to its members as it is today. Together, we will make our society even more relevant to our individual members and the global ocean community we share.

Share This Page With Your Peers!