Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Director honored with Marine Technology Society award

TRAVERSE CITY — Hans Van Sumeren, the Director of the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), has been honored with the 2020 Outstanding Service Award by the Marine Technology Society (MTS).

The award recognizes Van Sumeren’s outstanding accomplishments in fulfilling the objectives and missions of the Society. Highlights include:

  • Serving as chair of the MTS Great Lakes Section
  • Creating the Marine Technology student section within the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College
  • Partnering with MTS to create the first Marine Technology Camp in 2016 and continuing to host the camp every year since
  • Hosting the first TechSurge – Lakebed 2030 – to establish the parallels from the Seabed 2030 effort and promote the mapping of the Great Lakes as equal importance to the global mapping initiative
  • Serving as the guest editor for the most recent issue of the Marine Technology Society Journal devoted to LakeBed 2030

MTS will formally present the award to Van Sumeren on October 8 at its Global OCEANS 2020: Singapore – U.S. Gulf Coast conference.

“Marine technology has an impact upon virtually every aspect of our global society,” said MTS President Zdenka Willis. “This year’s awardees represent the ‘best of the best’ in our field and their efforts are helping to advance the goals of the marine technology community while inspiring all of us to meet some of the greatest scientific, educational, and political challenges of our time."

“Hans has been a true visionary in his work through the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute since its inception, including the creation of the first and only Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marine Technology in the country,” said Dr. Nick Nissley, president of NMC. “We are fortunate to have his leadership at our College, in our region and increasingly throughout the world.”

Van Sumeren will also help lead Great Lakes TechSurge LakeBed 2030’s virtual conference September 30 - October 2, 2020. The event will bring together science and research, policy, government, and industry professionals to focus on Great Lakes marine mapping and observation data, develop a strategy to catalog new and existing lakebed information for shared use and share the latest technology advancements with the Great Lakes community and advance business development in the region.

The Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College is strategically positioned to engage individuals and organizations, both locally and globally, in advancing skills, knowledge and understanding of the world’s dynamic water resources. Areas of expertise include marine technology and freshwater studies.

The Marine Technology Society promotes awareness, understanding, and the advancement and application of marine technology. Incorporated in 1963, the international society brings together businesses, institutions, professionals, academics, and students who are ocean engineers, technologists, policy makers, and educators.


Release date: August 27, 2020


Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director, NMC Public Relations, Marketing & Communications
(231) 995-1019


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