Annual Student Poster Competition

IEEE/OES Ed Early Student Poster Competition

John Watson

John Watson - Student Poster Chair

Each year the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society sponsors the Student Poster Competition at the spring and fall OCEANS Conferences. Cash awards for the winning posters and the travel, food, lodging, and registration expenses of all students participating in the competition are provided by OES.  Students interested in participating in next year's competition should contact John Watson (j.watson@abdn.ac.uk) for additional information.

In 2003, the OCEANS Conference Student Poster Competition was renamed to honor the late Edward W. Early, a founding member of the Society.  The competition shall henceforth be know as the IEEE/OES Ed Early Student Poster Competition.

Norm Miller

Norm Miller - Former Student Poster Chair

The MTS/IEEE OCEANS Student Poster Completion would not exist today but for the hard work of the late Colonel Norman D. Miller. Norm recently passed away peacefully in his Seattle home on July 3rd, 2015. He was born in 1926 in Spragueville, Iowa, USA and grew up in nearby Epworth, Iowa. After service in World War II, Norm completed his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State College. He reenlisted in the Army Reserve, retiring as a Colonel and also became active in the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES).

In 1989, under his leadership, a new OES program was launched at OCEANS’89 that encouraged the participation of students in the conference and the OES. Norm recommended to the AdCom that the OES sponsor a “Student-Posters Competition” where graduate and undergraduate students would be invited to present posters describing their work. The conference would cover the students’ registration and travel expenses. The AdCom agreed, and a grant of $7,500 was provided to the OCEANS’89 organizing committee to fund the program. The MTS was invited to participate on a matching fund basis, but they declined. Working with Sea Grant, the U.S. national agency that funds oceans-related university research, invitations were sent out for poster abstracts. Sixteen abstracts were received and the students were invited to attend and present their posters. The posters were displayed where the conference attendees had ready access to them and the students were at their posters to explain them. The program proved highly successful and was continued at OCEANS’91 and subsequent OCEANS conferences. Support for the student-posters program has been incorporated into the Conference Guidelines as a budget line item, and as such is endorsed by both the OES and the MTS.

In 1993, the OES began giving more prominence to its student presenters by publishing the winning student papers in the OES Newsletter. A competition was held for best student poster, with the winners being awarded cash grants.

Norm was awarded the 1998 Distinguished Service Award by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society. Even today, Norm’s legacy lives on because the student poster competition is a valuable component of each MTS/IEEE OCEANS Conference. The First Prize Award is named in his honor as the Norm Miller Award. For further details on Norm's life, please read the wonderful article in the September 2015 version of the Beacon entitled "Colonel Norman D Miller, 1926–2015", which was co-authored by Jim Collins and Brad Boyd.