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UMS Town Hall: "Charting the Future: Navigating Uncrewed Maritime Systems Through Regulatory Waters"

OCEANS Gulf Coast '23

Sept 26, 2023

Join us at OCEANS 2023 Biloxi for a panel discussion around creating clear guidelines and best practices that promote the growth of the unmanned maritime sector while safeguarding its stakeholders and supporting sustainable development.

"Charting the Future: Navigating Uncrewed Maritime Systems Through Regulatory Waters"


This is the UMS panel Abstract:

The Uncrewed Maritime Systems (UMS) Committee at Oceans '23 Gulf Coast acknowledges the rapid advancement and operational use of uncrewed maritime systems, which have significantly expanded the U.S. maritime sector beyond its traditional boundaries. As these uncrewed maritime systems find new applications, the market experiences substantial growth. However, this expansion has also created a regulatory gap in admiralty law, affecting government entities, law enforcement, classification societies, and insurance carriers worldwide. To ensure safe, responsible, and efficient operation of uncrewed maritime systems domestically and in alignment with international initiatives, it is crucial to consolidate existing standards and best practices to overcome regulatory uncertainty. The UMS Committee brings together industry leaders and accomplished maritime experts [In a Town Hall] to harness their collective power in improving and defending the blue economy, protecting the environment, and enhancing national security. By addressing these challenges, we can create clear guidelines and best practices that promote the growth of the unmanned maritime sector while safeguarding its stakeholders and supporting sustainable development. 


Serving on the panel will be the following speakers:

Andy Ziegwied, a Chartered Marine Technologist (CMarTech) and New Blue Economy Specialist, as Director of Sales at Open Ocean Robotics he spearheads the democratization of uncrewed ocean data observations at scale. Andy’s journey has been defined by his adeptness in steering uncrewed ocean observation solutions over regulatory ambiguity and societal acceptance through leadership roles at Ocean Aero, Saildrone, and L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (formerly ASV Global). Prior to this, his impactful tenure as Vice President of Ocean Science and Systems Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology showcased his strategic acumen. His foundation extends from instrument manufacturer Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc. (now Seabird Scientific, Inc.) to oceanographic fieldwork and project management with Evans-Hamilton, Inc (now RPS, TetraTech). Andy holds a BS in Oceanography from the University of Washington, cementing his academic underpinning. His influence spans broader spheres as the Chair of the Marine Technology Society Uncrewed Maritime Systems Committee and a member of the AUVSI Cascade Chapter Board and Maritime Advocacy Committee. With this rich tapestry of experience and leadership, Andy is propelling Open Ocean Robotics towards new horizons in uncrewed ocean observation.


Allison N. Skopec is a New York-based attorney who is engaged in a broad range of international and domestic litigation, regulatory compliance, and transactional matters in the areas of maritime, environment, and technology. Ms. Skopec has secured favorable outcomes as well as successful regulatory guidance for clients in both state and federal court actions, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. Ms. Skopec attended Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, receiving a certificate of specialization in maritime law. She currently serves as the secretary and is a founding member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLAUS), Subcommittee on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) and frequently speaks and publishes on the topics of autonomy and its intersection with the maritime industry.


The Honorable Tim Gallaudet, PhD, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret) is the host of The American Blue Economy Podcast and the CEO of Ocean STL Consulting, where he serves as a strategic advisor for Lynker Technologies, Alseamar-Alcen,, Exail Technologies, Sofar Ocean, precursor SPC, Xona Space Systems, Exo-Space, and the Parnin Group. He is a member of the Ocean Studies Board in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Ocean Research Advisory Panel, and he serves on the Board of Directors for Force Blue, the Advisory Council for Project Recover, the Editorial Board for the Marine Technology Reporter Magazine, the Director’s Council for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Advisory Board for Ocean Futures at the World Wildlife Fund, the Advisory Board for Americans for Safe Aerospace, Harvard University’s Galileo Project , the American Security Project, and the Council for a Strong America’s Mission: Readiness Initiative. Gallaudet is a fellow at The Explorer’s Club, a distinguished graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award. He formerly served as the acting Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary of Commerce, acting and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Oceanographer of the Navy.  He has a bachelor’s degree from the U.S.  Naval Academy, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


CAPT Bill Mowitt is the Director of NOAA’s Uncrewed Systems (UxS) Operations Center, located in the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.  The UxS Operations Center supports Uncrewed Aircraft Systems and Uncrewed Marine Systems operators across NOAA, operates corporately-owned UxS systems on behalf of NOAA customers, and funds the development of UxS and their transition onto NOAA Missions. In his twenty years as a NOAA Corps officer prior to joining the UxS Operations Center, CAPT Mowitt served more than nine years at sea on NOAA Ships.  This took him to virtually all parts of the U.S. EEZ and included time as Commanding Officer of the NOAA Ships Henry B. Bigelow and Pisces.  He holds a USCG license as Master, 1600 tons and 2nd Mate, unlimited tonnage, both on oceans. On land, CAPT Mowitt has served as Deputy Director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration, on the staff of the NOAA Administrator, and as a Congressional Fellow with Senator Mark Begich of Alaska. He is a graduate of Williams College and holds Masters degrees in Marine Environmental Science from the University of Maryland and in Public Administration from American University, and has graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executive Fellows program.


Captain Richard Delpizzo, USNR (ret), (F) SNAME Rich Delpizzo has over 35 years’ experience working in ship design, construction and operations, technical review, regulatory requirements application, US Navy project management and defense acquisition. He has worked for the American Bureau of Shipping at its New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC offices. After serving as ABS Government Services Manager from 2010-2016, he became the ABS Director for International Government Services, serving navies, coast guards and other government agencies throughout the world. In 2019, the US Navy, US Army and Maritime Administration were added to his client portfolio.


In addition to chairing both the SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers) Ship’s Machinery Committee and Panel M-45 on Fuel Cells, he also serves as SNAME Representative to the US ISO Technical Advisory Group (TAG). He serves on the SNAME Council and was honored as a SNAME Fellow in 2017. He has served as the ASNE (American Society of Naval Engineers) Chair of Professional Development since 2015. and was awarded the ASNE Frank G. Law Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the Society in 2021. He served as Chairman of SNAME Chesapeake Section from 2022-2023.  After serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 28 years, he retired in 2012 at the rank of Captain. Rich is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

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