President's Letter


MTS President Zdenka Willis presents during a MTS India event on July 4 for a student competition about ocean pollution with Dr. R.Venkatesan and Professor Monika Aggarwal.



Let me begin with a shout out to our student sections!  I had the pleasure of attending a competition put on by our MTS India Sections in partnership OES and IEEE-WIE where school children from middle and high school level provided their solutions on the problem of pollution. The presentations were a combination of video and narrative. I was impressed by their knowledge and uplifted by their positive solutions. This event is part of a larger series of events in the run up to OCEANS 2022 – Chennai in February 2022.

Congratulations to our San Diego student section for their monthly webinars on a range of robotic, submarine and technology topics.   We look forward to MATE World Championship which will be held at East Tennessee State University - August 5-7, 2021.  This competition engages students to engineer solutions to global problems. For more information on MATE click here.  

We continue to expand our partnerships to bring more opportunities to our membership. The MTS/The Ocean Exchange Blue Technology Webinars covered tourism in July with Danica Reinicke, SmartFin, and Chris Maxey, Island School. In August, we will hear from Carl Goulmann, the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System Program, and Kellie Keller, from new MTS member, Sofar. They will discuss the results of the second United States Ocean Enterprise Study and introduce data as a service in the new Blue Economy. In September, we will focus on new business models and market disruption with Dr. Jacqueline (Jax) Kirtley, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Jim Costopulos, CEO and founder of new MTS member, Global Oceans®.

Through our partnership with the Ocean Decade, I had the pleasure of moderating the next panel of MTS’ Women Leadership in Technology and Science during the first Ocean Decade Laboratories. Thank you, our amazing panelists, Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Dr. Shakila Merchant, and Dr. Deidre Gibson. The panel was followed out by break out room discussions – see the webinar here. MTS also teamed up with the United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service on opportunities for businesses in Spain. We had a successful webinar on 28 July and intend to facilitate follow up conversations.  

I was pleased to see support of sustained ocean observing by the G7’s Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative. Delegations from Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US met to agree on the way forward with a set of joint G7 ocean actions aimed at strengthening the sustained ocean observing system including the key activities agreed as part of the G7 Ocean Decade Navigation Plan. Read more here:

Shout out to Dr. Kathy Sullivan, former MTS Compass Distinguished Achievement Award, on launching her Explorer series podcasts in June. Kathy has interviewed a superb line up of individuals from all sectors and has an uncanny ability to bring out her guests as they tell their story and provide their tips for success. Check out her podcasts  

I look forward to traveling to be with MTS members as I participate in OCEANS Actions and Port Security Summit organized by our Gulf Coast Section and OCEANS 2021: San Diego – Porto. Justin Manley, President Elect and Joshua Baghdady, ECOP Section Chair will travel to Houston for OTC and engage with MTS’ Houston’s section that has been working hard organizing several strong tracks at OTC.

Welcome to Sofar, DTN, Saildrone, CAMERI, PREVCO Subsea, DOER, Nautilus Cables our new corporate members.

I am always happy to engage with our members. You can reach me by email at [email protected].

Best Regards,


Zdenka Willis

President, MTS

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