SUT-OSIG Members Make Presentations at MoU Signing


Anna Heller// SUT Houston// December 20, 2016

From left to right: Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina, Dr. Charles Aubeny, and Dr. Victor Taboada toast after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. Photo/ Anna Heller

Houston, TX- The Society for Underwater Technology’s Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics (SUT-OSIG) had three committee members present technical talks at the celebration of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Texas A&M University and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI). Hosting the evening’s event was SUT-OSIG Committee member, Dr. Victor Taboada, President of NGI Houston.
On November 10th, Consul General Morten Paulsen held a reception at the Norway House in Houston to celebrate the signing of the MoU, a document that observes the longstanding collaboration between the two organizations.
According to Mr. Knut Schrøder, NGI’s Expert Advisor in Offshore Geotechnics and SUT-OSIG member, “NGI is the largest center for geoscientific expertise in Norway, with offices in Houston, Oslo, Trondheim, and Perth. NGI with around 230 employees, eighty percent of whom have MSc or PhD degrees, is recognized as a leading international center for research and consulting within the geosciences.”
The MoU will set, “a framework for cooperation in joint investigations, international projects, scientific exchanges and training of personnel concerning the field of offshore geotechnical engineering, on subjects of mutual interest.”
Dr. Taboada, began the evening with introductions and was followed shortly by the three technical presentations.
The three SUT-OSIG committee members who presented and the title of their presentations were:
Dr. Charles Aubeny (Co-Chair Student/Faculty Research, Mentoring, and Innovation; Professor at Texas A&M); ‘Geotechnical Engineering for Offshore Renewable Energy.’
Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina (Honorary Chairman and President of SUT Houston Branch; Associate Professor at Texas A&M); ‘Lessons Learned at NGI, 10 Years Later.’
Knut Schrøder (Associate member, Lunch & Learn Committee; Chairman of NGI Houston); ‘Offshore Renewable Energy at NGI.’

Knut Schrøder presents 'Offshore Renewable Energy at the Norwegian Consulate.Photo/ Anna Heller
Many of the professionals attending the event were also SUT members; SUT’s presence throughout the evening was very prevalent.
Dr. Medina-Cetina, President and Chair of SUT in the USA, was thrilled about this presence, “We are working very closely with industry, we’re talking about underwater technology applications. I was very happy to see that it was implicit during the night; many of the attendees are members of SUT as well. I think we are generating what is an ideal situation for academia; you want to be close to the industry, and we also have government representatives.”
Throughout the evening it was very telling, for all attendees, of the importance of bringing academia and industry together. The continuing education in the field of professionals and the ongoing support of students and research is what the signing of the MoU and what SUT represents. 
Schrøder paralleled these thoughts, “We are happy that this has happened, also with the event as such, it was a good crowd. It is a good place to show that we will interact and are interacting with research institutions.”
Overall the evening was not only a good representation of the collaboration between NGI and Texas A&M University, but also a great representation of the ideals of SUT, which states that it is a multi-disciplinary learned society bringing together organizations and individuals with a common interest in underwater technology, ocean science and offshore engineering. 

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