Simplex Technologies Supports UNH Ocean-Mapping Research Initiative
By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau
DURHAM, N.H. -- Simplex Technologies, the world's leading supplier of undersea fiber optic cable for telecommunications and oceanographic research, has signed a multi-year commitment totaling $175,000 to support the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (C-COM) at the University of New Hampshire. The gift was presented by Simplex president, William Jackson, who received a B.S. in business administration from UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics in 1975.
C-COM develops advanced technologies for the acquisition, interpretation, display and charting of the depths and the sub-floor characteristics of the ocean. The technology is used by oil and cable communication industries, marine research, and open ocean aquaculture. A joint enterprise of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and private support, the center is the first in the nation to provide an academic program in ocean mapping.
"We are happy to be a part of this exciting project with the University of New Hampshire," says Jackson. "Nowhere else in the country is there research on ocean mapping quite like this, and we are proud to be a part of it."
The new center is staffed by an international team of scientists headed by Larry Mayer, professor of ocean engineering and earth sciences. Mayer and NOAA's Captain Andy Armstrong also serve as co-directors of the associated Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH.
Roy Torbert, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, hails the initiative as a model for the future. "This center is made possible by contributions from all stakeholders -- the university itself, government agencies, philanthropic funds from friends, and corporate donations. It provides a promising educational opportunity for its students, trained personnel for government and industry, excellence in research, and vital expertise for the corporate sector."
Torbert also foresees a boost to the local and state economy. "Equipment and ships from around the world will be coming into Portsmouth to test new approaches to mapping the ocean bottom," he predicts. "The singular nature of the work being done here will be a magnet for cutting-edge research that, until now, has been conducted in other countries."
April 25, 2000