Dynamic Surface and Subsurface Obstacle Avoidance Workshop: Transforming Autonomous Applications across the Maritime Value-Chain

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Time: 3:30-4:30 pm

Location: Virginia Beach Convention Center


Phillip Hoffman, NOAA, Office of Ocean Exploration & Research, Uncrewed Maritime Systems Research & Development Coordinator

Brett Phaneuf, Submergence Group / M Subs Ltd / Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Andy Ziegwied, Ocean Aero, Vice President of Ocean Data

David Pearson, Greensea, Senior Robotics Engineer


Colleen Hahn, Metron, Principal, Strategic Marketing and Business Development



The success of every autonomous vehicle application – both surface and subsurface, requires safe, reliable mission capabilities that can identify, plan, predict, and navigate, safely in an ever changing harsh ocean environment. Autonomous vehicles enable safe and effective operations for data acquisition, surveillance and inspection. By increasing coverage and acquisition frequency, greater value can be achieved through the acquired data, providing greater knowledge for applications within ocean research, commercial and defense markets. Today methods based on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, robust sensor data, are a few of those predictive technologies but the power to drive them, the sensor to perceive those obstacles are part of the answer. The experts here today, represent some of the leaders addressing these issues. Today the team will review a comprehensive overview of maritime collision avoidance techniques applicable to both maritime autonomous surface ships and autonomous uncrewed vehicles subsea.



Colleen Hahn, Metron, Principal, Strategic Marketing and Business Development

Colleen Hahn has over twenty years of experience in executive leadership, helping organizations create revenue-generating opportunities to accelerate their growth through technology commercialization and new market development. As principal, strategic marketing and business development for Metron Inc., Hahn supports the company’s overall corporate marketing strategy across defense, civilian and commercial markets. She has oversight of strategic market research, product pricing and development, marketing communications, advertising, and public relations. For the past twelve years, Hahn has spent significant time advancing autonomous and new technology innovations for sea, air, land, and space applications.

Hahn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairfield University and is currently completing her Master’s degree at Hollins University. In the past, she served on the Marine Technology Society, Manned Underwater Vehicle Committee, the AUVSI Ground Advocacy Committee, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council Executive Circle. Hahn currently resides in the greater Washington, DC area.



Phillip Hoffman – NOAA – Office of Ocean Exploration & Research, Uncrewed Maritime Systems Research & Development Coordinator

Philip is leading efforts to expand the use of UMS for deep ocean exploration at NOAA.  He also serves as the NOAA R&D lead under the Commercial Engagement Through Ocean Technologies (CENOTE) Act of 2018; coordinates joint R&D and operations with the U.S Navy and is NOAA’s R&D liaison to other federal agencies conducting UMS work, especially those activities taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. Philip sits in NOAA UMS Operations Center in Gulfport, MS. Prior federal service includes leading NOAA’s Cooperative Institutes Program, work in NOAA Fisheries and with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.


Brett Phaneuf – Submergence Group / M Subs Ltd / Mayflower Autonomous Ship

Brett Phaneuf is the founder and chief executive of Submergence Group LLC (USA) / M Subs Ltd (UK) and through his office in the United Kingdom overseas the design and production of manned and unmanned, underwater vehicle systems.  A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Phaneuf has recently turned his attention to machine learning and artificial intelligence; a new company (Marine Ai) has been spun out from M Subs Ltd with the goal of creating cognitive AI to enhance maritime capabilities by drawing on decades of experience in manned and unmanned marine vehicle design, manufacture and operations, coupled with vast experience in automation and autonomous systems software architecture, and computer vision expertise.  Brett is also one of three founding board members of ProMare, a non-profit (501c3) public charity founded in 2001 to promote marine exploration throughout the world.


Andy Ziegwied – Ocean Aero, Vice President of Ocean Data

Andy Ziegwied, VP Ocean Data, is a Chartered Marine Technologists and seasoned veteran in the field of global sales and business development. He comes to Ocean Aero from Saildrone and L3Harris Technologies, Inc (formerly ASV Global) where he delivered uncrewed scientific solutions. Previously, he served as vice president of ocean science and systems sales for MacArtney, Inc. His background includes application engineering with instrument manufacturer Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc. and oceanographic fieldwork and project management with Evans-Hamilton, Inc. He holds a BS in Oceanography from the University of Washington. Ziegwied is the chair of the Marine Technology Society Uncrewed Maritime Systems Committee and serves on the AUVSI Cascade Chapter Board and Maritime Advocacy Committee.


David Pearson – Greensea, Senior Robotics Engineer

David Pearson, CMarTech – David Pearson is a Chartered Marine Technologist with MTS.  As a shaper of marine robotics from the seafloor to the beach, David leads diverse technical teams to develop practical solutions with cutting-edge technology.  He is currently at Greensea Systems Inc where he leads technology initiatives for programs tasked with advancing AI and perception systems.  Before Greensea, he was the Principal Engineer at Terradepth, developing technology and innovations for the Terradepth AxV and subsea survey data collecting technologies.  David started his career as an Ocean Engineer at ASV, where he developed and field autonomous surface vehicles for Energy, Government, and Academia customers.  He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University.