Advisory Board Bios

 

Don WalshDon Walsh, PhD CAPT (Ret)

Don Walsh is head of the Oregon based consulting company, International Maritime Inc., a business he founded in 1976. He was born in Berkeley California and grew up in the Forces, and in the San Diego based submarines Rasher (SSR-269), Sea Fox (SS-402), and Bugara (SS-331) before commanding Bashaw (AGSS-241).

Lieutenant Walsh was the first Officer-in-Charge of the Bathyscaph Trieste at the Navy Electronics Laboratory in San Diego. Designated USN Deep Submersible Pilot #1 he was also the first submersible pilot in the US. He and Jacques Piccard dove Trieste to the deepest place in the World Ocean: 35,840 feet. For this achievement, Lieutenant Walsh received a medal from President Eisenhower at ceremonies in the White House. No one has ever repeated this exploration.

Commander Walsh was on duty in Washington DC serving as Special Assistant (Submarines) to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development (ASNR&D) and later as Deputy Director of Navy Laboratories. During his 24-year naval career he served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In 1975 he retired as a captain to accept a professorship of ocean engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). There he became Dean and founding Director of the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies (IMCS). He left USC after 8 years to form IMI, his present consulting practice. Don Walsh was educated at Annapolis (BS in engineering), Texas A&M University (MS and PhD in oceanography), and San Diego State University (MA in political science). He also spent 14 months as Resident Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian.

Since 1959 Walsh has participated in diving operations with over two dozen manned submersibles, piloting seven of them.   He has also been active in the design, manufacture and operation of manned and unmanned submersibles.

Dr. Walsh has also worked in both Arctic and Antarctic regions including the North (5 trips) and South Poles. To date he has participated in over 50 polar expeditions. His first trip to the Arctic was in 1955, the Antarctic in 1971. During November 2002 - February 2003, he made a circumnavigation of the continent. It was only the 11th time this voyage has been made since Captain James Cook first did it in 1773-74. The "Walsh Spur" (ridge) near Cape Hallett is named for him in recognition of his contributions to the US Antarctic Program.

Among other awards, in February, 2001 Dr. Walsh was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his four decades of work in the design, construction and operation of undersea vehicles. In March 2001, he was awarded the Explorers Medal by the Explorers Club. A few years earlier he had received their Lowell Thomas Medal. Also in 2001, the French Jules Verne Aventures organization awarded him its "Etoile Polaire" medal celebrating "The Greatest Explorations of the 20th Century". In 2001 he was also cited as one of the great explorers in the Life Magazine book, "The Greatest Adventures of All Time". Walsh was awarded The National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal in 2010.

In addition to numerous other awards, he is also an Honorary Life Member of both the Explorers Club and the Adventurers Club and is the Honorary President of the Explorers Club.Since graduation from the Naval Academy, his travels have taken him to about 112 nations throughout the world. In 1999, using a Russian Mir submersible, he dove 8,000 feet to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores at the Rainbow Vents hydrothermal vents field. Later, in July 2001, he dove 12,500 feet to the wreck of RMS Titanic and the next year to the WWII German Battleship Bismarck at 15,500 feet. He has dived in Lake Geneva in a Mir submersible.

Bev Morgan, Kirby Morgan Dive Systems International

Bev Morgan began free diving and surfing in 1949, a year after leaving high school and became  a Los Angeles County lifeguard in1952.  That year, he purchased an early Aqua Lung scuba unit and founded the Los Angeles County Instructors program which was the first scuba instructor's program available to the public. He also wrote the first Instruction manual which was based on the Scripps Institute program and also the Underwater Safety, a standard diving book of the 1950's.

Bev's ideas and inventions have had a huge impact on commercial and sport diving for nearly half a century. He also began manufacturing wetsuits and developed what would become Body Glove. As an early diving writer and photographer his work appeared in Skin Diver magazine, and also dove commercially for abalone and in the oilfields. In 1966, in association with Bob Kirby, a former Navy diver, he started The Kirby Morgan Corporation, a company that would change the face of commercial diving forever with its development of lightweight, comfortable, professional diving gear. It also produced the diving equipment for the movie "Sphere." Today the company is the world standard for surface supplied diving helmets and its products are employed in every ocean in the world. Kirby Morgan, a name that has become synonymous with outstanding diving equipment and the company through which Bev Morgan continues to serve the diving industry.Francisco Bay Area. Joining the US Navy at Naval Air Station Oakland, he became an aircrewman in torpedo bombers before entering the Naval Academy. 


Dick Frisbie, Oceaneering International (ret)

Dick earned his BSc Naval Architecture in 1965 and after serving in the US Army 1967-1972 Germany & Vietnam, earned his MSc Physical Oceanography in 1974. Dick then began his career with Oceaneering:
  • 1974 Ocean System/Oceaneering-Diving Systems Engineer
  • 1977 Ocean Systems/Oceaneering-formed the ROV Group; purchased first Scorpio from Ametek Straza. Managed this group for the next 25+ years.
  • 1983 Oceaneering- formed OceanSystems Engineering to develop ROV Tooling and to act as incubator and early manager of new technology groups such as Oceaneering Space Systems, Oceaneering Production Systems, Oceaneering Intervention Engineering, etc.        
In 2004, Dick was honored with the Offshore Technology Conference's Lifetime Achievement Award. Dick rounded off his career with Oceaneering by overseeing subsea technology for Oceaneering worldwide as VP Subsea Technology then Sr VP Deepwater Technology until retirement in 2012.


John Hughes, GOM Installation and Subsea Wells Manager - BP

Manager of Subsea Installation and Commissioning, Gulf of Mexico, John currently works for BP America as the Manager of Subsea Construction in the GOM. In addition to conventional Subsea Construction activities, John also oversees all diving and survey activities for GOM work.

John graduated as an engineer from the University of New Brunswick in Canada. He began his career in oil and gas exploration with Shell Canada, working in the survey division of the exploration department. From there he moved onto to Canadian Marine Drilling working on offshore dredging and offshore drilling projects. His career then took a turn and he worked as a Production Engineer for Dome Petroleum and Amoco Canada for several years.

The offshore called again and he embarked on a 3rd career as a Subsea Engineer working on the Liuhua Project in the South China Sea for Amoco Orient. He has continued to progress in Subsea Engineering roles with Amoco and BP for the past 20 years.


Drew Michel

 A US Navy veteran and one of less than ten people in the world considered pioneers in the commercial development and use ROVs; he is an internationally recognized author, lecturer and general authority on the subject.
  • He has worked over the last 50 years in positions as varied as electronics technician, engineering manager, senior VP in a division of a fortune 500 company and small company owner. 
  • He is a life member, a fellow and immediate past President of the Marine Technology Society and served as chair of the MTS ROV Committee for 20 years.
  • A senior life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
  • Inducted into the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame for “notable and meaningful accomplishments in the offshore oil and gas industry in the area of ROV systems”.
  • Inducted into the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) Hall of Fame for work on electronics and life support systems and ROV systems that improved diver safety.
  • Selected by Engineering News Record as one of their man of the year honorees for Outstanding Engineering Achievement using ROV technology. 
  • Featured in the MIT Museum undersea section as a pioneer in the field of ROV technology; The only person featured who was not an MIT alumni
  • Received the MTS ROV Committee Significant achievement award for pioneering development of ROV technology and more than two decades of working to promote STEM and encourage the next generation to enter the marine technology world.
  • Served on a National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council committee to complete a study on the future needs of the nation for Undersea Vehicles. 
  • A recipient of the prestigious Lockheed-Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering, in recognition of his outstanding overall contribution to the development of ROV technology. Drew is retired, but still consults part time from his home on Belle River, near New Orleans.


John HazelbakerJon Hazelbaker


Jon Hazelbaker’s career spans over 46 years in the commercial diving and marine construction industries as an inland “Hard Hat/Heavy gear” diver and as the owner/operator of commercial diving and marine construction companies.

Hazelbaker’s career started in 1968 making his first commercial dives working as a young diver for a small commercial dive firm in the Midwest. He attended commercial dive school after high school and joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as an apprentice in 1969, becoming a journeyman “Hard Hat” diver in 1972, and maintained his membership with the UBC&J local # 2 (Cincinnati, Ohio), until his retirement in 2003. He founded his own dive firm in 1969 and grew it to be one of the larger inland dive firms in the country over a 30 year span.  Hazelbaker sold that firm to American Oilfield Divers, Inc. and stayed on as a V.P. and General Manager of American Inland Divers, Inc.  and subsequently, Stolt Offshore General Contracting Division, until his retirement.   

Hazelbaker served on the Board of the Association of Diving Contractors (International) (ADC & ADCI) from 1990 to 1997, served on the Executive Committee, was the founding Chair of the Midwest Chapter, served in that position for several years and chaired the ADCI National Committee on Underwater Bridge Inspection Standards from 1990 to 1994.  The Bridge committee was the fore runner of the present Engineering Diving Committee and was instrumental in 1990-1991 of making critical revisions to the FHWA Manual 90, chapter17, “Underwater Inspection” to eliminate references to recreational diving certifications and more closely align with the ADCI consensus standard and current industry standards.  In 1991, the committee initiated the first Underwater Bridge Inspectors Substructure training course in conjunction with New Mexico State University’s Civil Engineering Department.

In 2001 Jon was awarded the “Tom Devine Memorial Award” awarded to those individuals making “significant contributions to practice of commercial diving”.  He was inducted into the “ADCI Commercial Diving Hall of Fame” in 2005 and in 2014 he was presented the ADCI “Presidents Award of Excellence”.

Today, Jon resides in South Florida with his beautiful wife, Colleen, and provides consulting services to the industry through his new company Hammerhead Marine Services, LLC., he provides services as an expert witness on diving accident, fatalities and contract disputes, is one of the instructors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Dive Safety Administration (DSA) courses and serves the ADCI on special projects and as a designated third party auditor, conducting dive safety audits on member dive firms.