The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Welcome from the Society's new CEO
Dear members and friends of the SUT, allow me to introduce myself, Steve Hall. I started as the new CEO of the Society for Underwater Technology at the start of April after Dr Bob Allwood’s retirement, and following a first week attending the Ocean Business trade show in Southampton am now settling in at the London office.
As some of you will know, I have been a member (eventually fellow) of the SUT since the 1990s, mainly supporting our education and outreach activities, presenting at the Christmas lectures, and serving as a member of Council, including stints as chair and honorary secretary. It will be quite a different kind of role as chief executive. I am very happy indeed to have been appointed, and am looking forward to working with the global SUT family to deliver a progressive, innovative, international learned society that promotes the further understanding of the underwater environment and encourages the sharing of ideas, best practice, research, techniques and tools to explore the ocean and harvest resources in a responsible manner.
My own background is in ocean science, technology and policy. I worked for the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council for more than 26 years, ending up as head of the International and Strategic Partnerships Office at the National Oceanography Centre, where I was also head of the UK’s delegation to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. I was elected vice-chair of UNESCO-IOC in 2015. Over the last decade I have helped the UK, EU and UN system develop policy on marine autonomous systems, marine spatial planning, decommissioning, tsunami warning systems, fisheries reform, oil spill response, data management and many other areas of ocean governance and policy. Before that, my career included time as programme manager for Autosub AUV science missions, conducting tracer chemistry analysis at sea as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, acting as the schools and colleges liaison officer and interaction with learned societies and professional bodies. I spent an early phase of my career in a small private sector survey company and as a hydrocarbons specialist for HM Customs and Excise.
My role at the SUT enables me to offer my experience and network of contacts to the service of our individual and corporate members as we face a rapidly changing world where the ocean will be increasingly where humankind looks for living space, energy, food resources, minerals and security. It is a wonderful time to be working with the global ocean science, engineering, education and policy community and I look forward to engaging with you all in the coming years.