Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration nominations open

Honours an individual for their outstanding, sustained, international contribution to marine exploration

Author: Pat
6th April 2021

Captain Don Walsh of bathyscaphe Trieste fame

Nominations are now being accepted for the Captain Don Walsh Award for Ocean Exploration for 2021, which is the second year of the accolade.

awarded for an outstanding, sustained, international contribution

Awarded jointly by both the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) and Marine Technology Society (MTS), the Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding, sustained, international contribution to the development, application, or propagation of marine/underwater technology toward the advancement of ocean exploration.

The award is named in honour of Captain (Ret) Don Walsh, an accomplished American oceanographer, explorer, retired naval officer, and marine policy specialist. He and Jacques Piccard were aboard the bathyscaphe Trieste on January 23, 1960 when it made a record descent into the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest point of the world’s oceans.

Dr. Edie Widder, an MTS member, won the inaugural award in 2020.

The judging panel, comprised of the presidents and three members from each society, will reflect diversity in demographics, sector and discipline. In addition, Dr. Edie Widder, MacArthur Fellow, a deep-sea explorer, and conservationist known for her expertise in oceanographic research and technological innovation and her commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of marine ecosystem degradation, will join the judging panel.

“A pioneer, outstanding Naval officer, mentor and influencer is how I describe Don Walsh,” said Zdenka Willis, President of the MTS. “MTS is proud to join SUT in this award that recognises an individual who is pushing the limits of ocean exploration.”

“Don Walsh has been an inspirational role model for six decades; we are looking for a winner whose achievements will similarly inspire early career marine technologists, scientists and engineers,” said Judith Patten MBE, President of the SUT.

Nomination details for the award are online at, or closing date for nominations is 31 May 2021.

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