The Dynamic Positioning Committee recognizes major contributions to the Industry and to the advancement of Dynamic Positioning through various awards. The Committee has also been the recipient of various awards including the Offshore Technology Conference Distinguished Achievement Award in 2016 and the Marine Technology Society Outstanding Committee Award in 1998, 2010 and 2016.

The Dynamic Positioning Committee honors individuals for their achievements with the Lifetime Achievement Award or the Distinguished Achievement Award.


Nils Albert Jenssen

Nils Albert Jenssen retired at the end of 2016 following a distinguished career as one of the world’s leading engineering authorities on DP and vessel automation. He is internationally recognized for his depth of knowledge on all aspects of Dynamic Positioning, and for his contributions at numerous conferences and discussions.

After completing a doctorate in engineering/cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Technology in 1980, Nils Albert continued at the university where he was involved in development of modern dynamic positioning software and control theory, and where he supported the trials and commissioning of Kongsberg’s first DP system.

Joining Kongsberg in 1982 as the lead software development engineer in charge of integrating DP into new applications, operational areas and computer technologies. During his 34 years with Kongsberg he played a key role in the development of DP software and control systems. He was also the driving force behind the evolution of the highly successful Kongsberg systems.

Howard Shatto

Howard is the father of Dynamic Positioning. A Yale graduate with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, he spent
much of his over 60-year career with Shell Production and Drilling dealing with DP and developing other deepwater exploration and production capabilities. For the past 30 years he has consulted on DP and ROVs for oil companies and marine contractors. Over 1500 DP systems have been built worldwide using his initial concepts. He holds 35 U. S. patents and was directly involved in many firsts in the industry:

– First automatic DP system on Shell’s Eureka core drillship in 1960.
– First full-fledged DP oil exploration drillship, Sedco-445 in 1970.
– First ROVs for drilling support in1960.
– First calculation for maneuvering on anchors in 1976.

Since 1990 Howard has been a member of the Technical Advisory Panel for the multi-national Ocean Drilling Program for Earth Sciences. He is the founder and Chairman of the DP Committee of the Marine Technology Society, and a Fellow of the MTS. In 2000 he was inducted to the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards including the Offshore Technology Conference Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001 and the Blakely Smith Medal in 2007.

Howard has authored papers at OTC, SNAME, World Petroleum Congress and at DP Conferences, as well as writing a chapter on ROVs for the Ocean Engineering Handbook.

His passion for improving DP reliability has been instrumental in helping the DP industry achieve an enviable safety and dependability record.


Dynamic Positioning Committee’s Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals:

Jason Aspin

Jason Aspin Lifetime Achievement AwardJason Aspin is an innovator in the engineering, development, implementation and testing of marine power generation and distribution systems. His development and application of hybrid power to marine systems has lowered fuel consumption, reduced airborne pollution and increased efficiency aboard marine vessels. His inventions, which include the first DNV certified system to operate in DP3 closed bus configuration, have increased efficiency while addressing risk management. His latest innovations in continuous on-line testing are bringing into reality the industry’s common goal of continuous and independent performance validation of critical systems. His participation as both a leader and an ardent supporter of these initiatives has enabled equipment manufacturers, owners and industry regulators to advance efficiency, reduce emissions, and increase operational reliability, without compromising safety.

The success of the systems and technologies he has pioneered has led classification societies, vessel owners and manufacturers to follow suit, benefitting the entire industry. Jason spent his early career with the Canadian Coast Guard and as a Marine Superintendent on the Great Lakes for International Towing and Salvage. In 1996 he co-founded Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA) – now a leader in the engineering and manufacture of reliable power and propulsion systems – where he is responsible for technical management and team leadership in the execution and completion of all engineering projects.

Joshua Reynolds

joshreynoldsCaptain Joshua Reynolds is the Coast Guard’s Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection for Production and Drilling Units in the Gulf of Mexico. He was previously Chief of the Eighth District Prevention Division. He began his career in Navel Engineering as an engineer on the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba and a ship superintendent at the Coast Guard Yard. He became a Marine Safety Engineer in 1999, after receiving an MS degree in Electrical Power and Controls from Georgia Institute of Technology.

While with the Coast Guard, he has held a variety of Marine Safety Center and Headquarters assignments where he has instigated regulatory, policy and training improvements for offshore units. Captain Reynolds has been a strong advocate for Coastal State oversight of DP operations. His leadership and authorship directly resulted in the first Coastal State proposed rule and updated guidelines to the International Maritime Organization’s foundational document IMO MSC/Circ. 645 “Guidance for Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems.”

His recognition and promotion of the importance of safe DP operations by a Coastal State authority has also resulted in numerous improved classification rules and industry guidance for DP. His commitment to integrating DP operations into the industry’s safety culture and to promoting understanding and awareness of DP have contributed to safer and more efficient DP operations in the global offshore oil and gas industry.

Joe Hughes

Joe Hughes spent the first 19 years of his career offshore as a Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) and Captain on DP diving vessels. After coming ashore in 1991, he worked as a marine consultant, first with Global Maritime and subsequently with Poseidon Maritime, and GL Noble Denton, now DNV GL.

In 2012, he was appointed DNV GL’s Global Head of Practice for DP, responsible for coordinating and expanding the company’s global DP activities in Aberdeen, Bergen, Gdynia, Houston, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and the Far East, as well as opening up new geographical areas, including Brazil.

Throughout his 35-year career, Joe has championed the importance of maintaining the highest standards and competence in DP services and products. As a highly respected DP consultant, he has been a major contributor to the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) and to the development of the MTS Guidance documents. He currently represents the MTS DP Committee as advisor to the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority’s Technical Advisory Committee (OSVDPA TAC) as OSVDPA develops its DPO training and competency frameworks.

Aleks Karlsen

As DNV GL’s Principal Specialist for Dynamic Positioning Systems, Aleks Karlsen is one of the industry’s most active and passionate people when it comes to DP reliability, safety and the advancement of DP design verification.
Since joining DNV in 2001, Aleks has played a leadership role in the development, writing and updating of DNV rules and other DP standards. These include the rules for IMO-related DP notations and new DNV Rules for Dynamic Positioning Systems with Enhanced Reliability (DYNPOS-E and –ER) as well as DNV’s Recommended Practices for Performance of FMEA of Redundant Systems (RP-D102) that provided a much needed industry specific methodology for enhancing the quality of FMEA analysis, and which is now an industry standard. He developed the first rules and standards for certification of Hardware-In-the-Loop testing (HIL) that is increasingly being used for DP control system testing, as well as DNV rules for redundant propulsion and alternative propulsion. His contributions continue to impact and enhance the industry’s commitment to DP reliability, improved efficiency and emissions control.

With an MSc. Electrical Engineering degree, and a BSc. in cybernetics and offshore instrumentation, Aleks combines his academic knowledge and extensive experience with classed offshore vessels, with exceptional dedication and mastery of DP design.
Aleks Karlsen has been a frequent contributor to the Dynamic Positioning Conference, as a presenter and Session Chair, freely sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise with the DP Community.

Edward P.K. Bourgeau

edbourgeau_award2013Ed Bourgeau has made a remarkable impact on the offshore industry through his pioneering efforts to improve reliability of DP power plants. His patented design of protection against governor and voltage regulator failures has been a remarkable success and spurred many equipment manufacturers to produce their own designs. He also pioneered comprehensive protection and coordination studies that included control faults and other events that could disturb a power plant, including under-voltage and ground fault. He fostered development of transformer premag and of a thruster Variable Frequency Drive that could be simultaneously powered from multiple power plants. He was the first to perform live short circuit testing on a modern MODU Power System. He has campaigned vigorously for more realistic Factory Acceptance Tests and for advanced simulation and modeling capabilities. Many of these developments have been widely adopted and benefit the industry.

Ed received his engineering degree from Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1981 and joined Sedco, in engineering and operations. He joined Siemens Canada in 1992 as Marine Systems Business Unit Manager involved in system design, sales, installation and testing. He rejoined Sedco in 1999 as its Engineering Discipline Manager for power and controls. He is now Transocean’s Engineering Discipline Manager, Electrical. In the course of his work Ed has fostered a new vocabulary to guide the industry towards better designs, including terms such as “predictability”, “autonomous” and “fault tolerance”.
Ed has a passion for technical excellence and for sharing of knowledge. He has been a session chair for the DP Conference and has been a recipient of Transocean’s first Excellence Award.

Dr. Steven Cargill

2012_cargillSteven Cargill has a unique depth of knowledge of DP power systems that he has applied to improving their reliability. He has done this through his passion for perfecting the quality of Failure Modes and Effects Analyses toward allowing delivery of incident free operations. He has a talent for translating his profound knowledge into understandable terms for non- specialists. And an ability to empathize with differing views of stakeholders, which he is able to assimilate into pragmatic and implementable solutions. He is an active coach and mentor for industry personnel regardless of company affiliations.

Steven graduated with an Honors Degree in Power Engineering, followed by a Ph.D. from Robert Gordon University. He worked with Poseidon Maritime on ways to improve reliability of DP power plants. This included work on power management systems, modeling of electrical systems, High Voltage grounding systems and FMEAs. Today as Noble Denton’s Dynamic Positioning Technical Authority he is responsible for setting and maintaining technical standards for DP FMEA and FMECA work. Steven has been a key contributor to development of the MTS Guidance Documents for Operations, Design, and People, and has contributed to various IMCA documents.

Suman Muddusetti

muddusettiSuman Muddusetti began his career at sea working up the ranks and obtaining a Master Class I Certificate of Competency. He became Captain of Sonat Offshore’s DP Drill Ship Discoverer Seven Seas in 1989. In 1996, he was invited to join Falcon Drilling as Master on the Peregrine I. Following the company’s merger with Reading and Bates, he assisted in the management of marine operations for the company’s fleet of eleven DP drilling units. In 2001 he joined Global Maritime US as Director of Business Development and Principal Consultant, DP Projects.

He accepted a position with Shell International Exploration and Production in Houston in 2003. After the company experienced a significant DP incident with consequences, he set about establishing a Shell Standard for managing DP Operations. It was quickly adopted globally by the Shell Group and others, resulting in a significant reduction in DP incidents.

Building on this success, and with collaboration from a small group of experts, he then embarked on the development of the Guidelines for DP Operation on behalf of the MTS DP Committee. (Available on the DP Committee website). The new standard has been adopted by many DP users and published by Det Norske Veritas as a recommended practice (RP). Suman is now working again for the MTS DP Committee, developing Guidelines for DP Vessel Design Philosophy, which will be introduced at the 2011 Conference.

Doug F. Phillips

phillips1Doug Phillips has dedicated his career to improving the design and reliability of DP control systems, providing consulting services on installation, commissioning, testing, suitability, auditing, acceptance, performance trials and incident investigation of several hundred DP vessels worldwide.

After graduating with an honors degree in Computer and Control Systems Engineering, Doug began his career in 1974 with GEC Electrical Projects (now Converteam), subsequently working as Project and Design Engineer on numerous Dynamic Positioning control systems. Joining Global Maritime in 1994, he consulted on a range of DP safety and training issues, including Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Acceptance and Annual Trials, and training. He subsequently spent three years with Nautronix, rejoining Global Maritime in 2000 as Director of Dynamic Positioning and Vessel Control Projects. He was promoted to Vice President in 2005.

Since 2007, Doug has worked as an independent consultant providing DP and Vessel Control Systems assistance and training to oil companies, vessel owners and control system suppliers.

A key contributor to the DP Conference, Doug has authored or co-authored sixteen papers presented at the Conference. He has chaired numerous sessions and acted as the Conference’s Technical Chair in 2008.

Lew Weingarth

Lew Weingarth has made a positive impact on all areas of Dynamic Positioning during his 30-year career – from controls to acoustics to satellites, and from power plants to thrusters – with a particular focus on both solving and preventing problems, and developing the industry’s future DP operators.

Lew earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, specializing in control systems, from the University of Missouri – Rolla before launching into his training with Sedco and his life as a world traveler. He soon moved to the Sedco/BP 471 (now JOIDES Resolution) contracted to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program for science drilling. He then worked on many other world-class rigs, including the Glomar Explorer, the Jack Ryan, the C.R. Luigs and the Eirik Raude.

Since joining Transocean in 2004 as corporate DP Superintendent, Lew has been deeply involved in training and has become the company’s primary source for review and advice on SIMOPS. He is the recognized DP Technology “champion” across Transocean’s global fleet.

Afonso André Pallaoro

Afonso André Pallaoro has dedicated much of his professional career to improving the safety and reliability of Dynamic Positioning operations in Brazil. It was with great persistence and determination that he managed to produce remarkable reductions in blackouts, incidents and disconnects through the activities of the Petrobras Dynamic Positioning Safety Program (DPPS).

The use of trials to find and eliminate potential single point failures has significantly reduced such failures while the number of DP rigs under contract by Petrobras increased to 20. His strong commitment to the policy to use DP rather than anchored vessels has eliminated this source of damage to ocean floor facilities.

Nils Albert Jenssen

jenssen_2007As one of the world’s leading engineering authorities on DP and vessel automation, Nils Albert Jenssen has played a key role in the development of DP software and control systems for almost thirty years. He has also been the driving force behind the evolution of the highly successful Kongsberg systems.

A fter completing a doctorate in engineering/cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Technology in 1980, Nils Albert continued at the university where he was involved in development of modern dynamic positioning software and control theory, and where he supported the trials and commissioning of Kongsberg’s first DP system.

Joining Kongsberg in 1982 as the lead software development engineer in charge of integrating DP into new applications, operational areas and computer technologies, Nils Albert become a Product Manager in 1992. He is currently Vice President, Business Development, where he continues to play a critical role in Kongsberg’s DP and vessel control product development.

Today he is internationally recognized for his depth of knowledge on all aspects of Dynamic Positioning, and for his contributions at numerous conferences and discussions.

Chris Jenman

jenman_shatto_2006Few men have done more to improve safety and reliability in the use of Dynamic Positioning technology than Chris Jenman. Since founding Global Maritime in 1979, Chris has dedicated much of his career to dynamic positioning, with emphasis on FMEA (failure mode and effect analysis) and full scale trials of marine systems.

He established the DP Vessel Owners Association (DPVOA) in 1990, later to become IMCA – International Marine Contractors Association, acting as a technical advisor and then committee member from 1995-2004. He has run station keeping seminars in seven different countries over a ten-year period, and studied, investigated and analyzed hundreds of DP incidents from 1980 onwards. As a recognized world authority, Chris has acted as an expert witness at marine courts of inquiry and high court proceedings on four continents. He has written extensively on Dynamic Positioning and published numerous articles.

In a consultant capacity, Chris has covered all aspects of DP, providing design assistance, vessel evaluations, risk analysis, performance evaluations and sea trials for clients and manufacturers throughout the world.

Chuck Richards

chuck_awardDuring his 30-year career with CA Richards & Associates, Chuck has represented a wide range of some of the most high tech systems in our marine industry: DP Systems, Acoustic and GPS Systems, Scanning Sonars, ROVs, Underwater Television and Underwater Cable. Currently he represents Kongsberg and Nexans Norway to name a few.

A founding member of the DP Committee, he has been the tireless Vice Chairman for the Conference since its inception in 1996. Active on numerous committees and an MTS Fellow, Chuck is Student Sections Chairman and Barbecue Chair for MTS Houston, Chair of the ROV Committee’s scholarship program, and a past board member of ADC. He served as Vice Chair of the MTS ’91 International Conference, and is a founding member of the Marine Archaeology Committee. He received the ROV Committee’s Chairman’s Award in 1998 and was the recipient of the Association of Diving Contractors’ Award of Excellence in 1991.

Equally active in the community, Chuck is a two-gallon plus blood donor, and has raised over $20,000 to fight multiple sclerosis through his annual bicycle ride from Houston to Austin.

Pete Fougere

pete_howardPete’s extensive experience with Dynamic Positioning includes DP and power system design and specification, commissioning and testing, problem-solving, training and knowledge-sharing.

Originally from Massachusetts, Pete joined GETSCO, a division of GEC, after graduated from Wentworth College of Technology in Boston. His responsibilities installing, commissioning and troubleshooting large electric machinery, including power and controls for marine and drilling, prepared him for his next position as Power and Controls Engineering Discipline Manager for Neddrill. At Neddrill he encountered his first DP challenges, when he was exposed to the Neddrill 2 drillship.

In 1984 he moved into DP big time, joined Transocean, where his responsibilities have included supervising numerous DP upgrades and new builds. Today, as Transocean’s Senior Engineering Manager – Control Systems, he is responsible for the continuous improvement of the reliability of DP and in sharing of DP knowledge. In 2000 he received Transocean’s Excellence Award for recognition of his commitment to the company’s core values.

Pete is a founding member of the MTS DP Committee. He was the DP Conference Program Chair from 1997 through 2000, is the founder and Chair of MTS DP Test Guidelines Subcommittee, and is the Current Chair of the Marine Subcommittee of IMCA Americas.

Dietmar Dietar

dietmarDietmar Deter was honored at the DP Conference lunch on September 16, 2003.

A native of Germany, educated at the Technical Universities of Munich and Berlin in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering with continuing education at University of Texas and MIT, Deter early became expert in propulsion systems.

He started with TRW Plueger in Hamburg and soon moved to the Baylor Company division of Sedco in Houston. As their Chief Marine Engineer he was deeply into development, design and manufacture of propulsion systems for 39 offshore drilling units.

Early among these was his pioneering work with NSMB in the Netherlands on thrusters for the world’s first Dynamically Positioned oil exploration drillship, the Sedco 445 Another world’s first for him was the DP semisubmersible, Sedco 710.

After five years again with Pleuger as Manager of their Western Hemisphere office, he formed his own consulting company NAUTEX, INC. in 1985. Since then he has plied his trade as a world-class expert in propulsion systems on a wide range of construction and drilling vessels, including the US Navy’s studies for their Mobile Offshore Base.

Dillard S. Hammett

It takes foresight, persistence and determination to become a pioneer of new ideas, converting new technology into reality and then continually modifying and improving on what one already has. It takes a man like Dillard Hammett.

With a career that has spanned almost half a century, Hammett is one of the original pioneers in the development of deepwater technology, and particularly the development and application of dynamic positioning.

His many industry “firsts” include the design and development of the world’s first dynamically positioned drilling rig, Sedco 445; the first dynamically positioned semi-submersible, Sedco 709; the first Floating Production Facility; and the use of DP for ocean floor scientific coring. His strong belief in DP applications for deepwater exploration and production helped establish Sedco’s vessels as one of the world’s premier drilling fleets.

Blakely Smith Medal (SNAME)
The Blakely Smith Medal for “Outstanding Accomplishment in Ocean Engineering” has been awarded to two DP Committee members:

Dietmar Deter - Blakely Smith Medal for 2009
Howard Shatto – Blakely Smith Medal for 2007  

Howard Shatto awarded Blakely Smith Medal for 2007

howard_shatto_07Howard L. Shatto, Yale University graduate, long time MTS member, and chair of the DP Committee, has added the 2007 Blakely Smith Medal for outstanding accomplishments in ocean engineering to his already lengthy list of industry awards.

Howard continues his over 61-year career – 41 years with Shell and hence as a consultant – which has been highlighted with many firsts and 35 patents. In 1960, Mr. Shatto lead a small team who designed the industry’s first subsea well heads for drilling and production to use ROVs. He conceived the world’s first automatic DP controls for Shell’s core drillship Eurkea, and in 1970-73 was responsible for developing the DP system for the Sedco 445, the world’s first DP oil exploration drillship equipped with a riser. This ability to maintain position over wells drilled in deep water without the use of mooring has contributed greatly to the industry’s ability to drill successfully in deeper water. Today some 1500 DP systems have been built worldwide using his initial concepts.

In 1983, Howard was responsible for upgrading the “Discover Seven Seas” DP system from 6,000 feet to 7,500 water depths and rougher seas. This was the first use of the more secure and highly accurate long base line acoustic position sensing for DP input. With his participation in the first use of Failure Modes and Effect Analysis for DP systems in 1983, and his first use of satellite position sensoring in 1986, the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) for that system was improved six-fold. He also replaced the submarine used for drilling support on the DSS with a work class ROV, establishing the role of the ROV for deepwater intervention operations.

Since retiring from Shell in 1987, he has consulted for all the major oil companies, as well as many of their drilling and construction contractors. He has worked on design, evaluation and sea trials for some 30 world-class DP vessels, and has assisted the U.S. Navy with the design of its proposed Mobile Offshore Base.