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Otago Hydrographers meet at Multibeam Echosounder Course

Friday 7 December 2018 11:37am

MBC076 Class Townsville Nov 2018
76th MBES Course attendees in the AIMS SeaSim research aquarium

Five past and present Otago staff and students attended the 76th Multibeam Echosounder (MBES) Course held in Townsville, Australia this November.

Professor Sean Fitzsimons (Geography) and Emily Tidey (Surveying), both lecturers and researchers at Otago were joined by three School of Surveying alumni for a great week of training and networking. The University of Otago now owns an R2 Sonic 2026, and attendance on this course will ensure we use our tool for teaching and research effectively.

Jennifer Brindle (class of 2008), Bradley Cooper (class of 2010) and Jeremy McCaffrey (class of 2015) are all practising hydrographers. Jennifer works for Precision Hydrographic Services (PHS) out of Adelaide, and is the fourth female to gain the AHSCP Level 1 Hydrographic Surveyor accreditation - the highest recognition in the profession. Bradley worked offshore for 7 years with Fugro (including being involved in the planning and execution of the MH370 search), he has just moved back to NZ to work for Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) in Wellington and will be involved in updating the hydrographic survey specifications for charting in NZ. Jeremy joined the course from a job in Tonga where his company iXblue is currently undertaking a charting survey using a conventional vessel alongside a state-of-the-art autonomous surface vessel. The School of Surveying is always interested in hearing about the diverse journeys our students take after studying with us, and proud of our involvement in their exciting careers.

Otago at MBC076 2018
Otago attendees in Townsville (L-R: Sean Fitzsimons, Jennifer Brindle, Emily Tidey, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy McCaffrey)

The multibeam course was the 76th offered and was hosted by the Australian Maritime Institute (AIMS) at their stunning Cape Ferguson headquarters. The course is a “… six-day, 36-lecture course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical background in marine swath survey technology and techniques for hydrographic surveys, continental shelf boundary delimitation, offshore engineering, harbour dredging, fisheries habitat, route survey and scientific research, and provides overviews of:

  • The technology and problems associated with shallow water multibeam surveys
  • Processing and visualization techniques designed to address the complexities of swath mapping
  • Constraints on using swath bathymetry to produce highest quality data.

From Hydrometrica

The course was run by members of the Ocean Mapping Group (University of New Brunswick), Centre of Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Centre (University of New Hampshire) and The University of Southern Mississippi, with support from Acoustic Imaging, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Australian Government.

More information about each of the companies our students now work at can be found at:

iXblue Australia

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Precision Hydrographic Services (PHS)

Read an AIMS article about the course: Multibeam technology helping Australian scientists understand the seafloor