Colloquium: April 3, 2012

Where The Cloud Meets the Ocean

Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics

TUESDAY: April 3, 2012 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium.
(video) within the Langley firewall only


This presentation will discuss how seven megatrends are converging to change the way ocean operations and data collection is done across the globe. Historically, ocean operations and data collection has primarily been accomplished with expensive ships, buoys, and satellite systems. Today, Liquid Robotics has combined a unique wave energy propulsion system, robotics, micro and nano sensors, cloud computing, wireless communications, GPS, and smart phone computing technology to meet the increasing need to gather resources from harsh offshore environments and provide maritime security. This presentation will discuss the technology that allows robots to operate independently for years at sea by harvesting all their energy from the environment, the technology that supports these new robotic platforms, examples of how the technology is applied, the changing business models that are converging in this new market, and the future of marine robotic systems.


Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid RoboticsBill Vass is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Robotics Incorporated, a Data as a Service and marine robotics company serving a wide range of customers in the energy, shipping, environmental, intelligence, communications, scientific, fisheries, and defense markets.

Liquid Robotics has developed an entirely new type of unmanned autonomous robotic marine vehicle that supports a wide range of applications. With the unique ability to directly convert wave energy into thrust, these vehicles can operate persistently for years in areas that cover the majority of the Earth’s oceans, which changes the economics of ocean monitoring, data collection and communications.

Mr. Vass brings more than 30 years of commercial and U.S. government Information Technology executive leadership experience to Liquid Robotics.

Previously, Mr. Vass was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Microsystems Federal. He was responsible for delivering over $1.4B of revenue and operating the complete Sun Microsystem Federal Subsidiary including Technical Solution Product Development, Business Development, PR, Marketing, Sales, Partner management, and Service Delivery.

Before Sun Federal, Mr. Vass served as Chief Information Officer of Sun Microsystems, as well as Sun’s Chief Information Security Officer.

Prior to Sun, Mr. Vass had a lengthy commercial and public service career. Mr. Vass worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of the CIO and was responsible for all acquisition and development, research and development, and consolidated software development and commercial off-the-shelf integration standards for over 6,800 IT systems with a $35.5B budget, as well as the Pentagon’s IT environment, managing networks, servers and applications across the defense networks.

Mr. Vass was the technical lead for the entire Department of Defense Y2K program, and represented the DoD to the U.S. Congress, the White House, and other nations. Prior to joining the Office of the CIO, Mr. Vass was CTO and technical lead for the U.S. Army personnel systems worldwide.

Before his work in the DoD, Mr. Vass developed large scale IT engineering and business systems solutions for the oil and gas industry, defense systems integrators, and ocean engineering.