AUVSI MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Mark R. Patterson, Ph.D. Director, Autonomous Systems Laboratory, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
As director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL) at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Dr. Mark Patterson is an expert in designing and building free swimming autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). He has spent more than a decade designing and building AUVs for oceanic research, marine life observation, and counter-AUV operations for security applications.
Dr. Patterson serves as Technical Chair on AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2011 Program Committee. In this role, he is responsible for providing technical expertise across all of the unmanned systems domains. During the Technical Program development process earlier this year, Dr. Patterson was always available to provide an opinion or suggestion. He proved to be our most dedicated member by attending almost every program committee teleconference and dedicating time over the Christmas holiday to grade technical program proposals. Mark’s input regarding program panel sessions and general session speakers has been instrumental in ensuring every aspect of AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2011 program is informative and valuable for our attendees.
In addition to his work on this year’s program committee, Dr. Patterson is also an avid supporter of AUVSI Foundation’s maritime student competitions. For the third straight year Mark worked tirelessly on onsite logistics and served as local host for the International RoboBoat Competition conducted in Virginia Beach this June. His work included recruiting and coordinating volunteer labor, acquiring equipment locally that could be borrowed, saving the foundation significant expense, and playing a major role onsite with the daily operations of the competition. Dr. Patterson is a strong proponent for both the RoboBoat and Robosub competitions and the interest they instill in college students to pursue careers in engineering, science and robotics.
Mark’s dedication to the Program Committee, the RoboBoat competition, and to AUVSI has been unsurpassed in 2011.