MTS Technology Forum Agenda

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM - Attendee Check-in

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM - MTS Technology Forum


A New Era of Marine Technology
and Data Management

The maritime domain is experiencing significant growth in the number of platforms and sensors entering the ocean space for commercial, defense and other governmental agency applications. Going forward, the question becomes, are there frameworks in place to handle this growth? Moreover, are there frameworks in places such as cloud-based solutions to handle, and most importantly secure, analyze, store, and distribute large data volumes?

This panel discussion will tackle these important questions and touch on:

  1. The Navy’s strategy on uncrewed systems and the trends and challenges with managing increasingly large data streams
  2. Major initiatives to map the seafloor and the trends and challenges with data management, integration, and visualization
  3. How advanced autonomy and robotic systems are changing the landscape of maritime data collection
  4. How machine learning, AI, and digitalization (e.g., cloud-based solutions) are aiding the challenging issue of collecting and analyzing data in the maritime domain

Panel Participants

2022 02 09 BlodgetLisaA APL Bio
Lisa A. Blodgett
Sector Head, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory 

Lisa A. Blodgett became the Force Projection Sector Head at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on July 13, 2015. The Force Projection Sector comprises close to one fourth of the sponsored programs conducted by APL and employs more than 1,500 staff. Through its three mission areas Precision Strike, Sea Control and Strategic Deterrence, its programs range from those that enhance the capabilities of the nation’s submarine fleet and the readiness of submarine-based ballistic missile systems to those designed to provide precision strike and engagement. As the nation’s largest University Affiliated Research Center, APL performs research and development on behalf of the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal agencies. The Laboratory has more than 8,000 staff members who are making critical contributions to a wide variety of nationally and globally significant technical and scientific challenges.

This is the official photo for Rear Admiral Ronald J. Piret who is the commander of U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command out of Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.
Rear Admiral Ron Piret, USN
Commander, Naval Meteorology & Oceanography Command

Rear Adm. Piret is a native of Chico, Calif., and graduated in 1993 from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Oceanography. He holds master’s degrees in oceanography and meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I., where he graduated with distinction.

Upon commissioning, Piret served in various operational positions, most notably aboard the Royal Navy’s HMS HERALD as the Operations Officer, and the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), where he served as the Meteorologist and Oceanographer (METOC) during a deployment in the Western Pacific.


VLF Headshot
Dr. Vicki Ferrini
Senior Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

Dr. Vicki Ferrini is a Senior Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, and is the LDEO Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her research interests are at the intersection of seabed mapping and geoinformatics. She has dedicated her career to ensuring that data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), and is deeply committed to broadening access to marine geoscience data. Vicki leads several projects related to the management and curation of seafloor and sub-seafloor data acquired with ships and submersibles in support of the U.S. academic research community, and she has extensive experience in all aspects of the data life cycle. She is the Associate Director of Data Strategy for the National Deep Submergence Facility and the Head of the Regional Center for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as part of The Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.

RADM Perry Photo
Rear Admiral Douglas Perry
Undersea Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N97

Rear Admiral Douglas Perry is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. As a Flag Officer, Admiral Perry commanded Submarine Group Nine and Task Group 114.3, and served as Director, Joint and Fleet Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

He served at sea as division officer and Navy diver aboard USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720); executive officer/operations officer aboard Submarine NR-1 and executive officer of USS Maine (SSBN 741). His deployment experiences span the Caribbean and Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific. As commanding officer of USS Pasadena (SSN 752), he led the ship on highly successful deployments to the Eastern and Western Pacific.


Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens
Principal Program Manager
Microsoft’s Advanced Autonomy and Applied Robotics

Mark Stevens is a Principal Program Manager on Microsoft’s Advanced Autonomy and Applied Robotics team, supporting commercial and government customers. Mark has over 30 years of experience in robotics and advanced network solutions and enjoyed a successful career at Oceaneering as Digital Innovation Director before joining Microsoft. During his tenure at Oceaneering, he worked on projects related to the BP Macondo incident and subsequently developed industry standards for subsea communications and remote operations. Mark is passionate about ocean and aviation-related robotics, cloud technologies, and safe operations in harsh environments. He holds a master’s degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle University.

Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.