The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2015


Society for Underwater Technology

SUT pledges further £50,000 funding for educational courses

The SUT has pledged further educational funding of up to £50,000 over the next 12 months in order to sustain a high level of skills across the global industry.


Around 276 beneficiaries globally have benefited from the Educational Support Fund (ESF) with awards totalling around £750,000. The funding relies entirely on donations from the support of the SUT’s individual and corporate members.


The ESF offers sponsorship awards to high-calibre undergraduate and postgraduate students, either starting or continuing a degree which embraces at least one relevant component area of subsea/offshore engineering, marine science or underwater technology.


Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s projects group manager, is a former beneficiary of the funding and believes he would not be where he is without the support of the ESF.


He said: “After leaving the military, I was uncertain about what my next step would be. The funding was invaluable to me advancing with offshore engineering at university. It proved the launch pad for my career, opened so many doors and I would recommend anyone with an interest in the industry to apply.


“I am a great supporter of using my own knowledge and experience in mentoring young people and the SUT is doing a fantastic job re-investing in the next generation.”

  • Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea projects group manager, is a former beneficiary of SUT funding

The grants are open to any student, irrespective of age or nationality, for study at any course in the world which is approved by the Society. The SUT also encourages entry into the industry at a younger age, with school lectures which are delivered from primary stage through to secondary level.


Stephen Hall, head of international and strategic partnerships at the National Oceanography Centre, UK, and chair of the SUT’s Education and Training Committee, said: “We are committed to maintaining high standards in underwater technology and marine science. To sustain the specialised skills needed for this sector, we need to maintain and increase the level of support that will attract the most talented students from around the world. These high-calibre students have a passion to learn and we need to help them realise their fullest potential.”


In addition to the ESF, the SUT delivers local funding support initiatives through its international branches. The Houston Branch plans to award ten students a share of around £20,000 (US$30,000) at its annual Scholarship Fundraising Dinner in November while the Perth Branch is building on its 50 student scholarships since 2007, with a further four in the pipeline this year.


Stephen Hall added: “The SUT continues to liaise with global academic institutions, with the first student chapter formed at Texas A&M University (USA) during the last year. Such liaison has led to a strong, younger generation emerging in the Society across our global branches which inspires new entrants and their development within our industry; an encouragement to us all for the future.


“We also encourage continuous development of skills through a range of training and awareness courses; our Subsea Awareness Course has gained a glowing reputation for its content and delivery around the world.”


For further information on the funding, visit:

Can a lobster be an archaeologist?
  • Illustration for the chapter How much rubbish do we throw into the Ocean?

The Society is getting set to launch a fun, informative, illustrated book for ten to 14 year olds aimed at growing interest in the wonders of underwater technology.


Can a Lobster be an Archaeologist – Quirky Questions and Fascinating Facts about the Underwater World will be launched in November with many past and present SUT members contributing to the content.


From exploring lost treasure to sea monsters, ocean rubbish and how to build your own ROV, the book is packed with factual and fun stories brought to life by quirky illustrations by artist Rachel Hathaway.


“We want to bring to life the excitement of the underwater world to encourage young people to get interested in the sector,” explained SUT publications officer Emily Boddy. “A group of ten to 14 year olds has peer reviewed the content and given insightful feedback, but we think adults will also be interested in reading about the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, giant whirlpools and underwater robots.”


The book has been funded by the SUT, and all proceeds will go towards its agenda of supporting educational development and facilitating learning and networking opportunities. The title of the book originates from a story about an 8000-year-old settlement near the Isle of Wight, rediscovered by a lobster digging to create a burrow which was then found by divers.





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