Think Tank

The UI 2019 Think Tank provides informative and interactive sessions designed to provoke thought sharing and ideation for the industry’s most topical matters. Located in the  exhibit hall for added convenience, join these sessions to learn and share ideas on industry challenges and best practices.

Tuesday, February 5, 11:15 AM - 1:00 PM 
Future Of Subsea Intervention – From Human-In-The-Loop To AI-Enabled Autonomy
Donna M. Kocak, MTS Immediate Past President, Harris Corporation  


For twenty-seven years, the Underwater Intervention Conference has been showcasing technologies (equipment, vehicles, sensors, tools, software) for interacting in the subsea environment. Direct observation and control is performed by SCUBA divers and manned underwater vehicles (MUVs), while remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) provide these same capabilities indirectly through telepresence. Applications for such technologies span across industry, science and military – such as inspecting, repairing and maintaining offshore equipment; installing telecommunications cable infrastructure; collecting biological and geochemical samples; replanting hardened corals; and cleaning up underwater munitions to name a few. A new era is upon us now that removes the human from the loop entirely, allowing autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to interact in the environment. This independent control requires some degree of (artificial) intelligence, depending on the complexity and duration of the task. This panel will explore the current state of the art in technologies and artificial intelligence needed for future autonomous subsea intervention. Please join Donna and her panel for an interesting and interactive discussion on the future of our industry!

Mark Stevens, Oceaneering International, Inc.             
Nicolaus Radford, Houston Mechatronics, Inc.             
Michael Gratton, Metron, Inc.
Steve Roemerman, Lone Star Analysis
Sean Marikle, Harris Corporation                                        
Andrew Nuss, DARPA 

Tuesday, February 5, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM 

Simulation and Simulator Tools for Subsea & Diving Industry 
Feilx Gorbatsevich, Ph.D, PaleBlue AS

The Subsea and Diving industry is at an increased risk because the quality of training is limited by the cost and practical difficulties of providing realistic operational diving scenarios in an accessible, safe and controlled training environment. VR has the unique ability to transport you to a completely made-up, yet completely real environment, and this makes it perfect for training individuals & teams on the different scenarios they may face while doing their jobs. The simulators provide a cost-effective way to deliver training and provide experience that can’t be gained “on the job”. The system is designed to provide users with a realistic learning environment, and provide the opportunity to simulate emergencies – as well as normal situations – that may occur in the real environment, without a diver ever getting wet or in danger. In this session, Dr. Gorbatsevich will discuss the state-of-art simulation tools available for the industry, pro’s and con’s of the solutions, current technologies, and how risks could be visualized and reduced. 

Wednesday, Februar
y 6, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Decommissioning Panel Discussion 
Chuck Webb, Epic Companies 

Underwater Intervention is honored to host our Decommissioning Panel discussion on the Think Tank Track moderated by Mr. Chuck Webb!  Chuck is the Vice President of Corporate Development at Epic Companies, based in Houston, and is a well-known and respected member of the decommissioning community.  We hope for a lively discussion on the expanding host of issues facing our industry as the aging of our offshore oil & gas infrastructure goes into its sunset phase. Moderator Chuck Webb will host discussions on several innovations within the decommissioning market with special emphasis on current issues facing our industry including new processes and technology.  The panel will be discussing some recent decommissioning projects focusing on the challenges faced and lessons learned.  Additionally the discussion will featured the increasing pressure on operators and regulators to assure a clean environmental policy going into the next decade.  Please engage with Chuck on the exhibition floor at UI19 for a lively discussion.

Joe Connell, EOT (Epic Companies)
Gary Fehrman, Independent Well Contractor
John Ferguson, Saxon Remote Systems
Easu Valazquez, Fieldwood       
Scott Cook, Chevron EMC

Wednesday, February 6, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Portable Accomodating Module (PAM) Guidance Engineering Policy
Dan Lawrence, US Coast Guard Headquarters 

On April 29, 2016, US Coast Guard Headquarters issued Engineering Policy Letter No. 01-16 entitled “PORTABLE ACCOMODATION MODULE (PAM) GUIDANCE”.  There has been a bit of confusion as to this policy with the folks most affected by this policy letter – namely, the offshore contractors and vessel operators.  Dan Lawrence was a member of the team tasked with formulating this policy and has graciously agreed to make a presentation, as well as field a question and answer period, during Wednesday afternoon's Think Tank on the exhibition floor at Underwater Intervention 2019.