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51st Marine Measurement Forum at THSUK

The 51st Marine Measurement Forum


The Marine Measurement Forum (MMF) travelled to the industrious Eastern Docks of Southampton, UK for the 51st meeting which was held onboard the preserved steamship S.S. Shieldhall on 5th December 2012.

This unique historic venue was selected by the event host The Hydrographic Society UK (THSUK) who provide a forum for those involved in maritime activities related to the Hydrographic industry. In her ‘hay-day’ the Shieldhall, built in 1954, regularly carried treated sewage along the River Clyde to deposit sites at sea, while at the same time hosting many parties on her decks. The Shieldhall left the Clyde in 1971 after 21 years of service and relocated to Southampton Waters where she continued to work until 1985 when services were stopped due to rising fuel prices. Today she is the largest working steamship in Northern Europe and is now preserved by volunteers to hold events such as MMF51.



Fifty-six delegates from a diverse range of industries joined THSUK for an interesting day of knowledge exchange, highlighting significant advances in the marine sector.

A total of 12 speakers delivered in-depth presentations covering a wide range of topics. The first session entitled Industry Update and Training, opened with Roger Scrivens of RS Aqua Ltd firstly presenting an annual review of UK marine scientific industries. Roger’s second presentation of the day was a light-hearted anecdotal account of tales from his 40 years in the marine measurement industry. This included tales of past Hydrographic Society meetings, the trials and tribulations of buoy deployment during Operation Iceberg and many more, bringing much nostalgia and laughter to all. Roger was followed by Chris Harper of IIC Technologies who gave a detailed report into the future training of the digital generation and how teaching methods are being adapted to suit different styles of learning.

After a coffee break the second session of the day entitled Hydrography, was opened by Dr Steve Taylor of Geomatix Ltd who presented an insight into the tidal prediction work carried out on the tidally constricted Sharpness Dock, Gloucester. Tom Broomfield from ABP Southampton followed with an overview of how a multibeam Sonar system is utilised within the Port of Southampton to maximise data collection and dredging efficiency. The benefits of using a multibeam system was further emphasised through the incorporation of numerous exciting images and charts which have been produced from data collected from around the port. The final presentation of this session was delivered by Malcolm Bowdidge of ABP Marine Environmental Research who described how various monitoring and surveying methods have been involved with mitigation, investigation and research projects along the South Coast of England.

The end of the second session signalled lunchtime on board the Shieldhall and delegates enjoyed an extensive buffet whilst being able to walk around the ship and network with others.

John Lewthwaite of IMAA Ltd opened the third session of the day entitled Equipment and Software, by speaking about the development of The On-Board Motion Sensor (TOMS) for operators of small crafts, such as the Royal Marines, who are exposed to whole-body vibrations. John was followed by Adil Ali from Seatronics Ltd who described how stains and flexing of large subsea structures can be monitored whilst they are lowered and positioned on the seafloor. Nick Lawrence from EdgeTech concluded this session by giving an account of recent developments in phase differencing bathymetric sonar systems, providing an interesting overview of interferometer benefits through data examples and analytical techniques.

After another refreshment and networking break the final session on Practical Experiences was opened by James Williams from Swathe Services Group, who presented an extensive and fascinating comparison of a GeoSwath Bathymetry System and a Sonic 2024 when mapping underwater archaeological sites in Plymouth Sound. Matt Linham of EMU Ltd followed, giving a detailed explanation into the benefits of long-term strategic monitoring campaigns which allow for effective adaption to coastal change. The final speaker of the day was Lisa Symes from Subsea Asset Location Technologies (SALT) Ltd, who stepped in at short notice to give an extremely interesting presentation on how their product, the SonarBell, works and its applications within the industry.

Along with several other delegates it was my first attendance to an MMF event. It was an experience which I thoroughly enjoyed and will certainly be among the MMF community for future events. The MMF has undoubtedly increased my own knowledge of new practices and developments and given everyone present, a chance to catch up with old contacts and make new ones within the marine industry.

Becky Hampshire
Hydrographic Surveyor, Associated British Ports (Southampton)

Presentations and Pictures

All 12 presentations form the 51st MMF are available to download at the THS website.

Below are some pictures from the event:




MMF 50 Pictures & Presentations

MMF 50 Pictures & Presentations


This is a selection of the presentations from MMF 50.

Presenter Presentation
Charles & Matt Quartley Life As A Manufacturer – The Past, The Present & The Future
Charlotte Marcinko Measuring a Glowing Ocean
Daniel Esser From handicraft to High-tech – A Sea of Sensors
Gwyn Griffiths From Crayons to Gliders: Images of sound scattering in the oceans
Ralph Rayner The Global Ocean Observing System – Past, Present and Future
Roger Scrivens A half century of Marine Measurement Forums
Stephen Hall Towards more autonomy and data sharing – how international marine spatial planning, monitoring and regulation will require sensors, platforms and intelligent integration
Versha Carter Ocean Technology Events – Where did it all begin?



Below are some images from MMF 50:




50th Marine Measurement Forum

50th Marine Measurement Forum – A resounding success


The 50th Marine Measurement Forum (MMF50) was held in the Princess Royal Gallery at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth on 12 June 2012. It was hosted by the MMF Steering Group and, to celebrate the 50th milestone, took a slightly different approach to the usual MMF format.

MMF50 provided an opportunity to reminisce about the history of measuring in the marine environment, to overview the techniques and equipment used today and ponder what might be in the pipeline for the future. The twelve presentations were given from different perspectives, emphasising the diverse nature of the marine measurement community. It was fitting that Colin Waters (ex HR Wallingford) and his wife Una, were guests of honour for the event as Colin was instrumental in ensuring the continuance of the MMF series during the 80s and 90s.

The MMF opened with Roger Scrivens, RS Aqua Ltd and a member of the MMF Steering Group, reviewing the history of the MMF series which dates back, as far as can be determined, to 1983. The ‘Bob Cuffe Legacy’ was discussed. Bob, sadly no longer with us, was the founder of the MMF series and introduced the “no formalities, no high prices, no rules” creed by which the series had operated. Also much missed is Bob Barton who, as editorial contributor to the IOS journal, penned a somewhat sharp piece in the May 2002 edition arguing strongly against the ‘commercialisation’ of the MMF as attributed to MMF32. Whether Bob’s words influenced things or not is unclear but the two day format never re-appeared! A copy of the article was displayed at the meeting along with other items of memorabilia.


Roger’s MMF review was followed by Versha Carter, Intelligent Exhibitions Ltd, who used her personal knowledge and experience of the Oceanology International and Ocean Business events to present a rather fascinating look back at how the ocean/offshore/marine exhibition scene developed in the 1970s and how influential David Stott was in the process. Dr Duncan Redford from the National Museum of the Royal Navy then gave a presentation on 1900-1914 Royal Navy ship naming policy and the first session was closed by Stephen Hall, NOC Southampton who predicted the need for more autonomy and data sharing to satisfy regulatory requirements.

After a networking coffee break, Richard Johnson from ITOPF opened the second session with an informative presentation on oil spills. Key points were that the rising number of tankers plying their trade did not equate to a rise in oil spills, just the opposite in fact, and that despite technological advances, simple man power is still the most efficient mop-up tool. Richard was followed by Simon Partridge, Sonardyne International, who discussed the history of underwater acoustics. He reported that, in the early 1800s, the speed of sound underwater had already been determined and, astoundingly, was only 3m/s in error versus today’s accepted values. He also audibly demonstrated the rate at which data can now be transmitted acoustically through the water column. Prof Gwyn Griffiths, NOCS, then looked back at his personal mission in the late 1980s to open eyes to the extent of potential data available from emerging ADCP technology. He showed a 1986 data plot hand coloured to demonstrate the wealth of information hiding within the sound scattering data images. Father and son team, Charles and Matt Quartley, Valeport Ltd, wrapped up the second session with a “how it was” and “how it might be” look at the ocean equipment manufacturing industry.

A first class lunch was accompanied by much networking, visits to the museum’s wonderful galleries, sightings of various historic naval ships and viewing of the historical equipment, photos and articles brought by attendees.

Dr Ralph Rayner, BMT Group, opened the final session with a past, present and future review of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and was followed by Dr Kevin Black, Partrac Ltd, who looked at the enormous increase in data availability being derived from acoustic Doppler technology.  Charlotte Marcinko, NOCS, demonstrated that the future of ocean research is in good hands as she brought the little researched field of bioluminescence to light. She illustrated eloquently how this  research field in one where there is plenty of scope for future growth. Her presentation attracted interest from many attendees, with lots of questions being posed regarding the nature of bioluminescence and future research possibilities. The day’s concluding presentation came from Daniel Esser, Contros (Germany) who reviewed the burgeoning dissolved gas measuring sector with examples of how the technology has advanced.

The standard format for MMF meetings will re-appear for MMF51. News regarding that will be published here on the MMF website, in International Ocean Systems journal and via OceanBuzz newsletter.



49th Marine Measurement Forum at Partrac

49th Marine Measurement Forum at Partrac


The 49th Marine Measurement Forum was held in the Glasgow Science Centre on the 9th November 2011.

Hosted by Partrac Group, the event brought together the scientific measurement community to explore and share new technologies, project experiences, equipment evolutions and survey processes. Over seventy delegates attended from across the UK and further afield and from a diverse range of companies including offshore wind and marine renewables organisations, environmental and engineering consultancies, ports and harbours, government and research agencies, equipment manufacturers and survey companies.

Dr Kevin Black (Partrac Group) opened the forum and introduced the morning speakers. Stephen Auld from CodaOctpous Products was the first speaker of the day and gave an interesting account of using high definition 4D sonar with augmented reality for real time positioning in the Rotterdam Port extension. Stephen was followed by Dr Richard Bates from the Department of Earth Sciences and Scottish Ocean’s Institute who discussed attaining oceanic measurements in Greenland to inform global climate models. Dr Keith Jackson from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) ended the first session by explaining the difficulty in collecting data in tidal systems and introducing a low cost drifter buoy system which could acquire such information.

Networking BreakAfter a refreshment and networking break, Dr Clemens Engelke from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) presented information about SEPA’s in situ monitoring network in the Scottish coastal waters. John Murray from the Society for Maritime Industries followed by discussing the Annual Review of UK Marine Scientific Industries 2011 and AMSI business survey results taken at Ocean Business 2011. John’s presentation gave a mainly positive account of the marine, science and technology sector in the UK. Andy Smith from Saderet gave an educational report of the evolution of ADCP technology and presented on the benefits and advancements of the newly released Sentinel V ADCP. David Goldsmith from RS Aqua closed the second session by discussing the research and industry collaboration SOOGUARD.

After an enjoyable lunch overlooking the Clyde, Paul Taylor from Intertek METOC opened the third session with a presentation entitled, ‘Garbage in – Garbage out: Improving model outputs by improving model inputs’ and gave numerous interesting examples of previous project experiences. This was followed by Jim Elliott from SAMS who gave an engaging talk about capturing and mapping underwater sound in tidal stream sites. Roger Morris from Bright Angel Coastal Consultants spoke about post-construction monitoring and Ian Crowther from WFS Technologies discussed wireless mooring line monitoring.

Q&A In Session 3Dr Peter Hayes from Marine Scotland opened the final session by discussing the diversity of interest and accessibility to Marine Science data. Duncan Matthew of the National Oceanography Centre followed by presenting on the evolution of TOBI (Towed Ocean Bottom Instrument) for the modern era of deep ocean surveying – TOBI 2. Jonathan Taylor from HR Wallingford was the penultimate speaker and gave an enlightening report on the marine survey process with an emphasis on what can go wrong and how to prevent it. The final presentation was from Gunda Wieczorek, SEPA, who presented on hydrographic measurements of a tidal cycle upstream of the Glasgow tidal weir. For those delegates who did not have to leave early to travel home Partrac hosted a drinks reception at the Glasgow Science Centre which provided a final opportunity for delegates to meet, network and unwind.