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Samuel Gee about present and future of the Autonomous Ship Conference 2024

Date: 06 Jun 2024 Author: Raymond

MASSworld.news CEO Rhea Cabral talks to Samuel Gee, Conference Director at UKi Media & Events.

Samuel’s first career after university was in research but he has worked in technology based B2B media since the late 1980s covering electrical engineering, nuclear and hydro power technologies as well as within both the upstream and downstream technologies of hydrocarbon engineering. He has developed and operated events, managed regional expos and been publisher of a software application development magazine. Based mainly in the UK he spent time working for a Singapore-based events company producing events for South-East Asia. His role now as conference director at UKi Media & Events fits perfectly with his interests in technology where he has launched several conferences including the Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo & Conference co-located with Autonomous Ship Expo & Conference.

The 9th Autonomous Ship Conference is upon us soon, how does UKi Media & Events manage to maintain a high level of engagement and excitement for the event every year?

🎤 The mix we have of academic research, technology development, case studies and, crucially, discussion of legal liability and regulatory issues brings together quite an eclectic community. That mix leads to exciting conversations and exchanges of viewpoints which the attendees really appreciate.

What are your expectations from the 9th Autonomous Ship Conference?

🎤 I think we are set for another interesting conference. It has always had a nice atmosphere and focused on the practicalities of bringing MASS to fruition and I expect that to continue. Going forward I think we will need to focus a little more on regulatory issues. As the technology has matured quite quickly, regulation has been slower, this is now emerging as one of the central issues. We have a substantial session this year and will build on that in future conferences.

Which of the presentations this year would you advise as groundbreaking?

🎤 Two that immediately catch my eye are those by Tom Eysto¸ from Massterly (a Kongsberg Wilhelmsen joint venture) and the presentation from Nil Angli from the European Space Agency – ESA. Tom presents a five-year review of operations of the first commercial autonomous ship – Yara Birkeland (owned by Yara International). I think that will be very well received and will certainly be a source of eager discussion. Nil will be describing how the ESA intends to support autonomous shipping.

Could you please share the most fascinating moments from the previous conferences?

🎤 One of the reasons that I am looking forward so much to Tom Eysto¸’s presentation is that I found the original presentation which was a case study of the Yara Birkeland back in 2019. There was high interest in that presentation, and it will be very interesting to see what the operational experience and results have been.

As usual the Autonomous Ships Conference is a part of the Autonomous Ship Expo, which also shares RAI Amsterdam with the Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo . By when would you think Autonomous Ship Expo will grow enough to occupy all of RAI?

🎤 I am convinced that the Expo will grow but I am not expecting it to ever occupy the whole of the RAI Amsterdam . This is quite specialised as a topic. That is its real value to attendees. The people attending either as speakers or delegates or indeed as exhibitors and visitors are the movers and shakers of autonomous and remote ship technology and they are there to have serious discussion. These are the people you need to meet.