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Dr. Mark


President & Director,

Woods Hole Oceanographic

Institution (WHOI)

A A Abbott

Greg Trauthwein

Helping to bring “these exquisite solutions” to scale

Dr. Mark Abbott is the tenth director In total there are six research depart- in vehicle autonomy spent two days at and president of Woods Hole Oceano- ments and more than 40 centers and WHOI’s Center for Marine Robotics at th graphic Institution (WHOI), and he labs, employing approximately 950 the 5 Annual Marine Robotics Entre- presides over what is arguably the most employees, including more than 500 preneurs Forum.

prestigious institutes on the planet for scientists, engineers, ship’s crew, and A common theme for the day was the the study of the world’s oceans. technicians. WHOI operates three ships, need to increase the volume and scale

Abbott has had a lifelong passion for the global class research vessel At- of ocean-speci? c technology solutions. all things environmental, stating when lantis; the ocean class research vessel “The challenge (we have) is how to he was a young boy. “It started when Neil Armstrong; and the coastal vessel bring these exquisite solutions to scale, my grandfather took me bird watching,” Tioga, small boats. It also have several to get the numbers in the thousands, or where he ? rst became interested in the underwater vehicles, from the human- the hundreds of thousands,” said Abbott. environment. Over time, he melded his occupied submersible Alvin; to ROVs, “We need to move from these hand- aptitude in math and interest in the en- AUVs, hybrids and towed vessels. made solutions to build out the size and vironment, becoming interested in ap- But the value proposition of WHOI scale” to increase the numbers and “to plying mathematics to ecological issues. far transcends the numbers, as WHOI build networks of smart devices.”

Founded in 1930 and located in the serves as a hub for technology, busi- While Abbott comes to work every picturesque Woods Hole, Massachu- ness and ? nance, a rallying point for day surrounded by cutting edge technol- setts, WHOI is an independent non- organizations of all sizes and individu- ogy, the greatest satisfaction he admits pro? t organiztion which gets its funding als to colloborate on next generation is seeing the enthusiasm each year of from government grants and contracts, solutions to some of the world’s most the new crop of students, scientists and foundation and private donations and pressing problems in and around its wa- engineers that are dedicated to helping industry contracts, and has an annual terways. This was on full display in July solve some of the world’s most pressing operating budget of $215 million 2019 when some of the brightest minds problems.

July/August 2019

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