Society for Underwater Technology Awards Six at Scholarship Reception


By: Anna Heller SUT February 15, 2017
Scholarship recipients Oluwarotimi Shoge, Natalie Zielinski, and Babalola Komolafe pictured at the Milford House at the SUT Scholarship Cocktail Reception. Photo: Anna Heller
Houston, TX- It was standing room only for the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), as members attended the Annual Scholarship Cocktail Reception at the Milford House in Houston’s Museum District.  
The event celebrated the recipients of the 2017 Society for Underwater Technology Scholarship.  There were six recipients this year, each being awarded with $3,000 for the school year. The students represent three different universities and as many educational disciplines.
The scholarships are the culmination of years of hard work from SUT’s dedicated volunteers and members. Through learning courses, membership, events, and sponsorships, these scholarships are made available each year to deserving students. 
The recipients of this year’s scholarships were: 
  • Ms. Natalie Zielinski: Texas A&M University
  • Mr. Ashesh Srivastava: University of Houston
  • Mr. Babalola Komolafe: University of Houston
  • Mr. Devvrat Singh Rathore: University of Houston
  • Mr. Oluwarotimi Shoge: University of Houston
  • Ms. Anne Wright: East Carolina University 
The event began with Master of Ceremony, Alan Foley, Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics committee member (OSIG), welcoming everyone and introducing Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina, President of SUT’s US branch and Associate professor with the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. 
“Today is the best day of the year for SUT, we celebrate the best of the best in Underwater Technology in SUT-US.” Medina-Cetina stated. “We recognize the best students involved in underwater technology programs.”
The scholarship cocktail reception was the biggest celebration of the year for SUT-US, giving the opportunity to recognize deserving students, university student-chapters, and volunteers for their continued hard work. 
“We are glad to see that many of them are strongly involved, representing SUT in their corresponding university’s student chapters.” Medina-Cetina said about the students. “Recipients of SUT awards today remind us why they make SUT- US proud.” 
Following the introduction was a keynote presentation by Craig Shipp Ph.D., P.G., Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc. His presentation, “Offshore Geohazards Assessment: Where Deepwater Drilling Meets Shallow Geology,” gave those attending a look at what ‘get’s him up in the morning’ and excites him about the work he does. 
Also celebrated during the night was the reintroduction and sponsorship of the Texas A&M-Galveston Student Chapter by the SUT board. Marissa Malinoski, president of the TAMU-Galveston student chapter, was thrilled to receive a $2000 sponsorship to help put on events and build their membership. She also made a presentation of their first events coming up in the spring. 
The student chapters from Texas A&M and University of Houston also made presentations of their past and upcoming events. Chukwuemeka Obi, president of SUT-TAMU was optimistic about the events for Spring Semester, one being the ROV Collegiate Competition hosted by SUT-TAMU. 
University of Houston’s student chapter president, Stacy Short, presented the events for SUT-SES, one specific event will be a continuation of their lunch and learn series held on campus. 
Lastly the celebration ended with the symbolic granting of the fellowship tie to Mr. Andrew Haigh. He is the chair of the school touring committee and has worked relentlessly to engage professionals in the industry with young students. In 2015 his efforts reached over 6,000 students in the greater Houston area and even more students in 2016.

The HSPVA jazz ensemble entertained throughout the evening while those in attendance enjoyed drinks, hors d’oeuvres and great conversation. 


Natalie Zielinski
Texas A&M University
PhD Candidate; Oceanography

What does it mean to be awarded the SUT Scholarship for this year?
It was definitely an honor to be acknowledged for the work that I’m doing at A&M and chosen to receive the support to my education and professional development, especially because it’s an ever-restricting financial domain with environmental science, so any assistance in any amount goes a long way. I’d like to offer my thanks to the society for their investment in my future. It really is an honor, I think I heard that I was the only A&M recipient, even above all that is an honor because I am invested in this school and love to be able to represent them in the way that I can.

What do you value about SUT?
SUT is perfectly challenging in the way that I can interact with people that have completely different backgrounds than I do. The connections that I can make, everything is beneficial to myself and I feel like I can bring fresh ideas to the society

Oluwarotimi Shoge
University of Houston
Graduate Student;
Subsea Engineering

What does it mean to be awarded the SUT Scholarship for this year?
I am honored to be awarded this scholarship, especially because it has been quite challenging to meet the financial demands of graduate school. This scholarship will also support my research work, assist me in realizing my dreams with renewed hope and contribute immensely towards alleviating my evident financial hardship.

What is something that you are particularly passionate about within your educational and professional career field?
I believe that a major driver in this industry is cost optimization in the ways subsea project are carried out so that profit is maximized. I am passionate about designing of new subsea equipment and implementing new technologies that will help reduce the cost of operating a subsea field.

What are some goals you have within this field?
In the future, I want to be a subsea control-engineering expert, focusing primarily on Subsea production control systems, Subsea instrumentation and control solutions and Subsea drilling control systems. In the next four (4) years hope to have completed my Ph.D.  Thereafter I hope to get my license as a Professional Engineer (P.E). I see myself creating novel subsea solutions and becoming a role model to the younger generations of subsea engineers, providing inspiration, training and mentoring support especially in the field of subsea controls and systems engineering. 

Ashesh Srivastava
University of Houston
Graduate Student; Subsea Engineering
SUT-SES Treasurer
Transcript of video message: 
I extend my deepest gratitude for this 
great honor, I must thank SUT and especially Dr. Zenon (Medina-Cetina) for unwavering enthusiasm he has brought into the society. In the past year my association with SUT Houston has been phenomenal with countless opportunities to learn throughout all of the events. SUT US has nurtured its student chapter at the University of Houston. I’m confident with this recognition and economical support. Not only me, but all (of) the scholarship recipients will excel in the field of underwater technology. To conclude, I must say that I am fortunate enough to be associated with this great society and I pledge to take this good work forward and continue with this legacy.  Thank you. 

Babalola Komolafe
University of Houston
Graduate Student; Subsea Engineering
SUT-SES Professional Development Chair
What does it mean to be awarded the SUT Scholarship for this year?
I’m so grateful for the SUT board for making me a recipient of the scholarship; I was so elated to be a recipient. The SUT scholarship in itself is a very prestigious scholarship. I was happy this would be an opportunity for people in the industry to see that, hopefully the board at SUT sees potential in me and have seen me as a candidate worthy of receiving the scholarship.

This scholarship is not just going to be a financial contribution for my life but it’s also going to help me build my confidence. All of the people on the scholarship committee and even on the SUT board are seasoned professionals with years of experience. I plan not to let them down, I plan to continue to get inspired and connect with people and keep up with the good work and keep up the dream to inspire to be great. 
You are a board member for the Subsea Engineering Society (SES), a student chapter of SUT, what does being a part of that mean to you?
SUT has been such a blessing, I’ve met so many industry professionals that you know if there was not such a platform, SUT-SES, I would have to do so much more to even get an appointment with people of this caliber and experience. Our meetings and networking events just brings everybody to level ground and they are always eager to share their knowledge and meet with the younger ones. So I look forward to continuing to be active. 

Devvrat Singh Rathore University of Houston
Graduate Student; Subsea Engineering 
SUT-SES Events Chair 
What does it mean to be awarded the SUT Scholarship for this year?
I am extremely thankful for the consideration that they picked me; I hope that I will do them proud. The scholarship will definitely help a long way in making me self-dependent now for the rest of my program. 
In the future I hope to be more involved with SUT, once I graduate, I hope I will be given an opportunity to work with SUT and continue the same ideas and implementation that I keep getting in my head, maybe if I add value to SUT that would be fantastic for me as well. 

You are a committee member for SUT-SES, what do you value about these two societies?
Going to these events (SUT-SES) as a participant I could see scope for improvement, I had these ideas like ‘this is how things could be better, this is how things could be better.’ I had these ideas; I needed to try them out, what if this adds value to the whole thing (SUT-SES). So that is one of the reasons I signed up for the board of the SUT-SES, I could see that they were doing a fantastic job, what can I contribute to it. At the end of the day it gives a lot of satisfaction, brings a comradery between you and the members and the board.

Anne Wright
Anne Wright: 
East Carolina University 
Masters of Arts in Maritime Studies 
What does it mean to be awarded the SUT Scholarship for this year?
It’s a really awesome honor and it really is going to help me continue my research. It involves a lot of travel, other expenses such as dive tanks, equipment, and things like that. It’s not easy for a grad student to cover all 
these costs on their own, so this is going to be a really big help in continuing to pursue the research.
What are some goals you have within your field of study? 
The ultimate goal for my research project as a whole is to use these 3D recordings to 3D print submerged artifacts without having to bring them to the surface. It damages them, it’s really expensive, you know, kind of using all this to bring those things to people who might not ever be able to dive. So obviously using this funding is going to benefit me but hopefully other people as well. 
You’ve just become a student member of SUT, do you have any plans to collaborate more with SUT? 
I would like to continue pursuing the technology side of what I’m doing in underwater archaeology and I think that learning from other members of the society, seeing what people are doing and looking at how I can apply some of those to archaeology is definitely something I’m interested in. 

SUT Houston recently changed its title to SUT-US, student quotes were changed to reflect this name change. Student quotes edited for clarity and grammar

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