Hydro 2012 - Taking Care of the Sea


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Organised and hosted by Hydrographic Society Benelux (HSB), on behalf of the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS), Hydro12 took place in the magnificent surroundings of the 1958 trans-Atlantic passenger liner SS Rotterdam, now permanently moored in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from 13-15th November 2012.

Hydro 12 brought together over 350 together hydrographic specialists from approximately 25 countries for a conference featuring more than 40 papers, a dozen poster presentations and a 45-stand exhibition. The packed programme included an opening address from IHO President Robert Ward and four keynote speakers. Delegates had the option to participate in a number of equipment demonstrations hosted by manufacturers including Teledyne Odom Hydrographic, MDL, Kongsberg, Reson and to visit several survey vessels based in a specially created dock next to the SS Rotterdam. There were plenty of opportunities to network and catch up with fellow professionals during the coffee and lunch breaks, Ice-Breaker Party, Conference Dinner and a Farewell Party featuring the Biggles Big Band, which all took place in various stylish locations throughout the SS Rotterdam.

Below, David Parker reports on his 'Hydro12 cruise'.Organised and hosted by Hydrographic Society Benelux (HSB), on behalf of the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS), Hydro12 took place in the magnificent surroundings of the 1958 trans-Atlantic passenger liner SS Rotterdam, now permanently moored in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from 13-15th November.

Hydro 12 brought together over 350 together hydrographic specialists from approximately 25 countries for a conference featuring more than 40 papers, a dozen poster presentations and a 45-stand exhibition. The packed programme included an opening address from IHO President Robert Ward and four keynote speakers. Delegates had the option to participate in a number of equipment demonstrations hosted by manufacturers including Teledyne Odom Hydrographic, MDL, Kongsberg, Reson and to visit several survey vessels based in a specially created dock next to the SS Rotterdam. There were plenty of opportunities to network and catch up with fellow professionals during the coffee and lunch breaks, Ice-Breaker Party, Conference Dinner and a Farewell Party featuring the Biggles Big Band, which all took place in various stylish locations throughout the SS Rotterdam.

Below, David Parker (THS UK) reports on his 'Hydro12 cruise'. 


!n November the Hydrographic Society Benelux invited hydrographers and associated professionals of the world to join them on the SS Rotterdam for a 3-day cruise through some of the current hot topics in the industry. This was the first time an IFHS Hydro Conference had been hosted onboard a ship - although admittedly the beautiful vessel was permanently attached to Rotterdam Harbour and being operated as a hotel and conference centre - not that it stopped many of us claiming our offshore allowance for the week!

The first day saw papers covering marine planning, data management and data processing techniques. More than one presenter covered the usefulness of multibeam water column data and how the some of the leading software packages are able to process and visualise it. Sam Harper from the UKHO gave a really useful and interesting update on the work of the IHO Data Quality Working Group, and how mariners may wish to see product uncertainty represented in the future. Sam's talk was followed by an open forum IHO session to obtain input from Hydro delegates, and more that 30 attended and provided a range of thoughts and perspectives on the representation of data quality, making it a valuable exercise for all concerned. The evening presented an opportunity to further build contacts and renew friendships in the ship's bar, all aided with ample lubrication from some excellent Belgian beers (you only try Heineken once). The THS UK Chairman to be found entertaining the crowd with some of the many songs he couldn't play on the piano!

Wednesday started with an excellent Keynote Address from Steve Shipman MBE, entitled '40 years back and forth'. Steve has recently retired after spending his entire working life as a hydrographer, latterly at the IHB, and was able to provide an informed review of some of the changes in both technology and institutions over that period. He finished with a brave attempt to anticipate where hydrography may be in a further forty years. A second imaginative Keynote Address from Mark Heine of Fugro later that day also invited us to consider future technologies, and the way we may interact with them. Day two was rounded off by an excellent Conference Dinner.

By Thursday land was fast approaching over the horizon, and the final paper sessions covered topics including geophysics, hydrodynamics and the ever important hydrographic training. It was good to see great investment being made in the hydrographers of the future, both by Universities such as ENSTA and Plymouth, but also within the commercial sector with both IIC and Fugro playing an active and important role. Before we disembarked delegates were treated to a closing ceremony punctuated by a big band playing some great music. Prizes were awarded for best student/under-30 paper, then best paper submitted by a 'grown-up'. This part clearly did not quite run to plan, but well done to Travis Mason for not attempting to jump overboard half way through!

On behalf of all the delegates I thank HSB, and particularly the Organising Committee, for running a really successful Hydro conference and exhibition, and for having the foresight (and perhaps courage) to host it in such a spectacular and original venue.

Download the presentations from Hydro12

Download the papers