Successful Hydro17: Connecting 4D future

28 November 2017

Attended by over 300 delegates and approximately 40 exhibiting companies from Europe and beyond, the 25th conference and exhibition of the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies took place on-board the permanently-moored cruise liner SS Rotterdam over three days in mid-November.

Organised by the Hydrographic Society Benelux, Hydro17 sought to reinforce the internal connections within the hydrographic community and also to enhance engagement with other associated professions and fields. A conference programme featuring over 40 papers and four keynote speakers, arranged over ten themed sessions, was opened by the Chief Hydrographer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Capt Marc van der Donck.

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The two keynote speakers on the first day were Prof Peter Westbroek, who introduced delegates to the concept of the Gaia and how it keeps the Earth 'fit for life', and Dr Mathias Jonas (pictured right), the new Secretary-General of the Monaco-based International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). Keynotes on the second day were presented by Fugro's Rob Luijnenburg, who outlined his vision for the future of ocean survey, and the science journalist and author, Alok Jha, who discussed some of the extraordinary, and often rather surprising, properties of water. Meanwhile, out in the port of Rotterdam, three survey vessels and an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) offered on-water equipment demonstrations.

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During the gala dinner, the prestigious IFHS Student Award 2017 was presented to William Dann (pictured right) who recently graduated from Plymouth University with a BSc Ocean Exploration. This accolade recognised his first-class academic paper on bathymetric data derived from free-source satellite imagery. In addition, Reenu Toodesh, a PhD student at Delft University of Technology, received the prize for the Best Student Presentation at Hydro17.

Proceedings concluded with the announcement that Hydro18 will be held in Sydney, Australia under the auspices of the Australasian Hydrographic Society from 30th October - 2nd November 2018.

Many presentations from Hydro17 can be downloaded at


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