people & companies MMS Oceanographer Receives Avent Medal Thomas E. Ahlfeld, Ph.D., a biological oceanographer with the Minerals Management Service (MMS), was recognized during the recent Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology Conference in Panama City, Panama, where he was presented with the Robert Avent Medal by the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (GIBS). The Avent medal recognizes individuals for their marine research, managerial and administrative skills, and experience. The medal, founded by the GIBS board of directors, honors the memory of Robert Avent, Ph.D., a biological oceanographer, who died in 2003. Dr. Avent's research contributions included cold coral ecology (Oculina reefs off the Florida coast) and a focus on conservation of deep water ecosystems in conjunction with oil and gas drilling and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico Region. He was also a dedicated member of MMS for 27 years. "Recognition by your peers is an especially high honor and I am proud to be the 2007 recipient of this medal," Dr. Ahlfeld said. "This award has special meaning to me. I knew Bob Avent as a fellow graduate student at Florida State University, a co-worker at MMS, and a friend." With more than 30 years of experience in marine environmental research and management, Dr. Ahlfeld's current research management focuses on benthic ecology, marine environmental monitoring, and the biological effects of offshore oil and natural gas development. Thomas E. Ahlfeld, Ph.D., a biological oceanographer with the Minerals Management Service (MMS) observes natural hydrocarbon seeps off the California coast with the MMS Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Ahlfeld recently received the Robert Avent Medal from the George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at the annual Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology Conference in Panama City, Panama. Bluefin's Appoints Bondaryk Bluefin announced the promotion of Dr. Joseph Bondaryk to Director of Engineering, responsible for managing all engineering-related work. "We are thrilled to have Joe in this new and influential role at Bluefin," said Dr. Brian Abraham, CEO of Bluefin. "He has continuously demonstrated a knack for completing projects on time and under budget. Joe is well respected as a leader to our other project managers and engineers." Dr. Bondaryk joined Bluefin in 2003 as Project Manager and was promoted to Director of Project Management. He has managed Mechanical, Electrical and Software www.seadiscovery.com Dr. Joe Bondaryk, Director of Engineering for Bluefin Robotics. aspects of 9-in., 12-in. and 21-in. diameter AUV development as well as onboard and towed array payload integration. Prior to joining Bluefin, Dr. Bondaryk was a Principal Engineer at Titan Corp., Aerospace Electronics Division. Prior to joining Titan, Dr. Bondaryk was a Scientist at the NATO SACLANT Undersea Research Center in the AntiSubmarine Warfare Group, where he developed multi-static sonar models and designed and tested active risk mitigation sonar for marine mammal avoidance. While at Engineering Technology Center, Dr. Bondaryk investigated high frequency acoustic imaging to detect degradation of embedded containments of nuclear power plants, developed localization of transient noise sources on submarines via array processing and designed a Laser Doppler Velocimeter-based test bed to measure vibrations on submarine piping systems. Dr. Bondaryk has investigated structural acoustic wave interactions on submarine hulls through Marine Technology Reporter 47
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