Marine Technology Society Celebrates 60 Years

Formed in June 1963, the Marine Technology Society (MTS) stands stronger than ever six decades later.

In the early 1960’s, a group of business, academic, and government leaders recognized the need for a professional society to bring together scientists, engineers, and others interested in the rapidly growing fields of ocean technology and marine affairs. They convened a committee to establish the character, name, objectives, and basic policies of MTS – launched as a not-for-profit corporation in June of 1963. 

The founding members of MTS believed that advancements in the development and use of marine technologies would be essential to support responsible and sustainable use of the ocean. Recognizing the increasing diversity of ocean interests, they established a system of regional sections and topical committees to allow members to self-select into, as a means of uniting the diverse and burgeoning membership around areas of interest. This framework was designed to facilitate the small-group interactions and discourse necessary to propel the marine technology field forward, and it remains largely unaltered today – boasting 20 geographical sections and 15 technical committees worldwide.

“MTS is, at its core, a member organization,” commented Chris Ostrander, MTS Chief Executive Officer. “We exist to support the community of businesses, institutions, and people that work to advance ocean sciences, innovation, and marine technology. The fact that MTS has been in existence for sixty years is a testament to its members.”

These members, then and 60 years later, represent all facets of marine technology – industry, education, government, and policy making. “With a rapid expansion of the ocean information economy there comes a requirement to develop career pathways, alternative credentialing and certification programs, and inclusive recruitment mechanisms to grow the ocean workforce,” explained Ostrander. “We will continue to tackle these challenges and opportunities in the Society’s next chapter.” Since its inception, MTS has increased its international presence, significantly broadened its educational component, and developed strong communication capabilities. As a demonstration of its dedication to developing the future workforce, MTS has established an Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Section, created initiatives such as the EMERGE program and the MTS Career Center, and continues to facilitate collaboration through TechSurges and other signature events.

In July 2023, MATE Inspiration for Innovation and its signature program, the MATE ROV Competition, which was established thanks to contributions from the National Science Foundation and the MTS ROV Committee, will be integrated into MTS’s program offerings. “By uniting current professionals with the next generation of marine technologists, we are forming a bridge and establishing a route for young professionals to further their progress in marine technology,” said Ostrander. 

“The Marine Technology Society is stronger than it has ever been in its long history,” stated MTS President, Justin Manley. “In addition to the long-standing pillars in the industry, the membership includes young, innovative professionals on the upslope of their careers, and students just embarking on their life journeys,” said Manley. Manley also stated, “The financial foundation is stable and enables investment in programs that enhance member value and expand the influence of the Society. A living plan is in place to guide the future – and the future is bright.”

In celebration of this milestone, MTS is reflecting on the technological advancements that were made by the many talented individuals and pioneering organizations over the past six decades by sharing the history and stories behind the innovation. To access these stories and more highlights from the last 60 years, follow MTS on social media or visit

About the Marine Technology Society

The Marine Technology Society (MTS) believes that advancements in the development and use of marine technologies are essential to support responsible and sustainable use of the ocean. Founded in 1963, we are an international professional society that provides members of academia, government, and industry a common forum for the exchange of information and ideas. Our members are engineers, scientists, technologists, policy makers, and educators on the leading-edge of technology design and application. MTS members work within the full spectrum of ocean and subsea technologies that support sustainable ocean use, ranging from offshore energy to dynamic positioning, ocean robotics to buoys, and many more.

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