Hydroid president and co-founder Christopher von Alt has been named the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society. Von Alt received the honour at the international OCEANS '11 MTS/IEEE conference in Kona, Hawaii.
The Distinguished Technical Achievement Award is given to honour an outstanding technical contribution to oceanic engineering. Von Alt was presented the award for his distinguished series of scientific contributions, most notably his leading role in the design and development of the Remote Environmental Measuring UnitS (REMUS) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
Von Alt received a BS degree in Electrical Science from the University of New York at Stony Brook in 1978 and a MS degree in Ocean Engineering from M.I.T in 1984. He has spent more than twenty years developing, fielding and operating towed, tethered and autonomous underwater vehicle systems and seafloor observatories that function in water depths ranging from 10-6,000 metres.
In 2001, Von Alt co-founded Hydroid to manufacture and support REMUS technology he helped develop at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). His knowledge of intricate AUV technology has been integral to the products' development and widespread international adoption.
Von Alt has been an integral engineer and investigator for various programmes for both the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), helping to create technology that enabled Naval and academic research. Notable achievements among his military endeavors include perfecting REMUS' capabilities in naval mine detection and Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal systems.