Monday, Nov. 14

Enabling the networked blue economy: collaboration, connectivity, and the acceleration of innovation
Nicholas Rotker
Chief Blue Tech Strategist, Underwater Acoustic Systems, MITRE

Nick Rotker is MITRE's Chief BlueTech Strategist and leads the Underwater and Acoustic Systems department within MITRE Labs, one of the nation’s largest non-profit laboratories with a public interest mission to advance U.S. science and technology leadership. Rotker leads MITRE’s R&D and federal agency work programs in BlueTech including underwater testing, rapid prototyping, SONAR, signal processing, algorithm development, acoustic sensing, distributed sensing systems, acoustic communications, unmanned underwater vehicles, and maritime autonomy. By facilitating maritime innovation-related collaboration across government, industry, and academic stakeholders, Rotker has helped identify early stage discoveries to help solve some of our nation’s hardest undersea challenges. Nick is actively involved in regional and national maritime organizations where he lends his subject matter expertise and provides connections and mentorship to early-state entrepreneurs. He is also currently the chair of the New England Chapter for the Marine Technology Society, the leading international community of ocean scientists and engineers, practitioners, policy makers, and educators. Prior to MITRE, Nick worked as an Acoustic Research Scientist at Scientific Solutions, Inc. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Why does my acoustic modem perform so poorly today?
Mandar Chitre
Professor, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Mandar Chitre is currently the Head of the Acoustic Research Laboratory (ARL) at the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) in Singapore. He is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering.

Mandar’s research interests include underwater acoustic communications & networking, ocean acoustics, signal processing & machine learning, and collaborative underwater robotics. He was awarded the Distinguished Technical Achievement Award by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society in 2020 for his work on underwater communications & networking.

Apart from his academic interests, Mandar has a strong passion for computing & software development, and considers theoretical physics a hobby. He also enjoys photography, scuba diving, cold places, seriously hot chilies, good wine, strange beers, and a game of contract bridge.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

Design, simulation and optimization of multimodal underwater networks
Michele Zorzi
Professor, University of Padova, Italy

Michele Zorzi received his Laurea and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Padova, Italy, in 1990 and 1994, respectively. During the academic year 1992-1993 he was on leave at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). In 1993 he joined the faculty of the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. After spending three years with the Center for Wireless Communications at UCSD, in 1998 he joined the School of Engineering of the University of Ferrara, Italy, where he became a professor in 2000. Since November 2003 he has been on the faculty of the Information Engineering Department at the University of Padova. His present research interests include performance evaluation in mobile communications systems, WSN and Internet of Things, cognitive communications and networking, 5G mmWave cellular systems, vehicular networks, and underwater communications and networks.

Dr. Zorzi received several awards from the IEEE Communications Society, including the Best Tutorial Paper Award in 2008 and 2019, the Education Award in 2016, the Stephen O. Rice Best Paper Award in 2018, and the Joseph LoCicero Award for Exemplary Service to Publications in 2020. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Wireless Communications magazine from 2003 to 2005, the IEEE Transactions on Communications from 2008 to 2011, and the IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking from 2014 to 2018. He has served the IEEE Communications Society as a Member-at-Large of the Board of Governors from 2009 to 2011 and from 2021 to 2023, as the Director of Education from 2014 to 2015, and as the Director of Journals from 2020 to 2021. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.