Panelist: James L. Cairns
Ph.D., Owner, Abyssal Systems; Executive Director, Cairns Foundation, Inc.; Founder, inventor, Ocean Design, Inc.
Dr. Cairns is a physicist, oceanographer, and lifelong inventor with more than sixty issued and pending U.S. patents. His most successful inventions have been components for subsea fiber-optic and electrical communications networks. He licensed his early inventions, and later co-founded two significant companies. The first company sold to Lockheed Corporation in 1985, and the second, Daytona Beach based Ocean Design, Inc., sold in 2009 to Teledyne Instruments, Inc. In 2003 he started The Cairns Foundation, a charitable organization supporting and encouraging innovation by creative students. He has received several prestigious awards for his contributions to marine science and technology, including:
- The Marine Technology Society’s Compass Distinguished Achievement Award (2003)
- The Marine Technology Society’s Lockheed Martin Award for Excellence in Marine Science and Engineering (2005)
- Induction into The Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame for his pioneering work in subsea technology (2017)
His advances in subsea interconnect technology have allowed offshore systems to be constructed in profound ocean depths, greatly expanding the global area and capacity to work in that hostile environment.