New Chief Scientist for Community Engagement with Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems

The NOC has appointed a new Chief Scientist to lead on Science Community Engagement for National Marine Facilities – Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS), the NOC team which develops and operates autonomous systems in support of NERC’s Marine Facilities Programme.

The NOC is pleased to announce that Dr Matthew Palmer will take on this role, aimed at promoting and enabling enhanced collaboration between MARS engineers and the marine science community. Dr Palmer will work alongside Professor Russell Wynn (who continues in a dual role as NOC Associate Director and MARS Chief Scientist for Government, Industry and Public Engagement), and together they will support the effective transfer information and expertise from the MARS team to stakeholders across the wider science community, government, industry, and the general public.

Dr Palmer has extensive experience working with marine robots, having led on numerous scientific campaigns using ocean gliders, working on the development of new data analysis methods, and promoting the integration of new and emerging sensors on autonomous platforms to meet the demands of multi-disciplinary marine science. Dr Palmer has also been active in promoting increased community engagement of robotic technologies, helping organise national workshops and conferences, providing expertise on international panels, and currently leads on the AlterEco project that is testing marine robots capability to deliver science for research as well as marine monitoring and management purposes.

Dr Palmer says “I am delighted to take on this new and exciting role. Marine robots are fast becoming standard equipment across the marine science community, however, I am aware that many scientists and science managers remain unsure or unaware of the potential that current and near-future research and development into autonomous robotics and intelligence could offer their research. NOC is a recognised global leader in the development and operation of marine robotics, and I look forward to promoting our capabilities and helping facilitate new collaborations.”