XOCEAN, the international ocean data company, are announcing the appointment of Shepard (Shep) Smith as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the latest expansion of their leadership team. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to XOCEAN with his background in hydrographic survey and new technology implementation, having served 28 years as a commissioned officer with the US Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). At NOAA, Smith rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and was closely involved in advancing state-of-the-art hydrography and nautical cartography.
His 10 years of working at sea included tours in Alaska, the Pacific, and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and four years as the Commanding Officer and Chief Scientist of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson. In his final role with NOAA, he served as Director of the Office of Coast Survey, where he oversaw the US national programs in hydrography and nautical cartography. Smith also represented the United States at the International Hydrographic Organisation and regional hydrographic commissions.
CEO James Ives commented “We’re delighted to welcome Shep to the XOCEAN team. Throughout Shep’s career, he has continually pushed the boundaries of ocean technology, and we’re really excited to have him leading the next phase of our technical journey. Above all, we share the same vision of transforming ocean data through technology with the purpose of supporting the sustainable growth of the ocean economy.”
“XOCEAN’s vision and ambition has appealed to me from the very beginning.” said Smith of his appointment. “Their USV technology has already caught the attention of the industry and the company’s aspirations are set to shake up seabed surveying further. It is critical that we harness the power of technology to support a low carbon maritime sector—XOCEAN will be key to this sustainable future. I’m excited to be part of this innovative organisation and to support the team in bringing their forward-thinking ideas to the market.”
Smith will be responsible for propelling XOCEAN to its next phase of growth: developing XOCEAN’s technology roadmap, advancing the boundaries of Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) tech, and driving the technical vision for the business.
XOCEAN uses its proprietary marine robotic technology to collect ocean data sustainably across a range of industries, including offshore wind. XOCEAN has successfully delivered over 100 projects, accumulating over 35,000 hours of operation and offsetting over 45,000 tonnes of CO2. XOCEAN serves the growing demand for carbon-neutral data collection, using satellite controlled uncrewed vessels developed in-house. The company is headquartered in Ireland, with offices in the UK, Canada, Norway and most recently the US.
XOCEAN’s ambitious technology roadmap will integrate new capabilities into the USV, maximising the efficiency of the platform, and mapping deeper waters. The company’s mission is to push the boundaries of technology for the benefit of their clients, the industry, and the environment.