Dr. James R. McFarlane, founder and president of International Submarine Engineering Ltd. has been awarded the IEEE Vancouver Section Centennial Award for a lifetime of contributions to underwater vehicles and robotics and the Canadian advanced technology sector. This is Dr. McFarlane's third IEEE Award, following a Technical Achievement Award in 1987 and Engineer of the Year in 1998. The award was presented to Dr. McFarlane by Charles Henley, the IEEE Centennial Awards Committee Chair on 23rd August 2011 at the celebration ceremony of IEEE Vancouver's 100th birthday.
Dr. McFarlane started ISE in 1974 and has been involved with the design, construction, and operation of manned, tethered and untethered remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and subsystems of these vehicles including manipulators and computer control systems. Since that time, dr. McFarlane has been a part of engineering teams that have built over 400 robotic manipulators and over 200 vehicles. In 2009, ISE was inducted into the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame and was also named as one of Canada's top 40 defence companies.
Dr. McFarlane is the author of many papers on submarines, manned submersibles, ROVs and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), including the world's first automobile refueling system for Shell. He has also made keynote presentations in Europe, India, Japan, China, Korea, USA and Canada. Two notable presentations include the inauguration of the India Chapter of IEEE, Oceanic Engineering Society at the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in 2008, and at the Institute of Industrial Science, at The University of Tokyo in 2010.
McFarlane has served on many committees for international meetings and has been honoured as guest speaker at many conferences around the globe. He has also received numerous awards including the Officer of the Order of Canada, BC Science Council Award for Industrial innovation, and the BC Science and Engineering Gold Medal.