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XOCEAN Appoints New CTO, Shepard Smith

With the support of Enterprise Ireland, the international ocean data company, XOCEAN, has been actively expanding its leadership team. The company recently announced the appointment of Shepard Smith as Chief Technology Officer. Shepard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team with a background in hydrographic survey and new technology implementation, having served 28 years with the US Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In this role, Smith was deeply involved in advancing the state-of-the-art hydrography and nautical cartography.

XOCEAN uses Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) to provide turnkey data collection services to surveyors, companies, and government agencies. From mapping the seabed to environmental monitoring, XOCEAN’s platform offers a safe, economic and carbon-neutral solution to ocean data collection.

Smith brings a unique blend of expertise in hydrographic technology, marine operations, and senior leadership to XOCEAN. His 10 years of working at sea include tours in Alaska, the Pacific, and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and four years as the Commanding Officer and Chief Scientist of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson. In his final role with NOAA, he served as Director of the Office of Coast Survey, where he oversaw the US national programs in hydrography and nautical cartography. Smith also represented the United States at the International Hydrographic Organization and regional hydrographic commissions.

“We’re delighted to welcome Shep to the XOCEAN team and are excited about the level of technical expertise he will bring to the role. He’s already made his mark in the surveying world, developing ‘The Navigation Surface’ as part of his Master’s thesis, a database that holds bathymetric data sets at full resolution and is now widely used by hydrographic offices worldwide and I’m eager to see what he will accomplish for XOCEAN as he supports our vision of transforming ocean data collection and supporting the sustainable and economic growth of our oceans.” -XOCEAN CEO, James Ives.

“XOCEAN’s vision and ambition have appealed to me from the very beginning. Their USV technology has already caught the attention of the industry and the company’s aspirations are set to shake up seabed surveying further. It is critical that we harness the power of technology to support a low carbon maritime sector—and XOCEAN will be key to this sustainable future. I’m excited to be part of this innovative organization and to support the team in bringing their forward-thinking ideas to the market.” -Shepard Smith.

Smith will be responsible for propelling XOCEAN to its next phase of growth, including pushing forward with the development of XOCEAN’s technology roadmap, accelerating their technological development in order to push the boundaries of Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) technology, and driving the technical vision for the business.

XOCEAN uses its proprietary marine robotic technology to collect ocean data sustainably across a range of industries including Offshore Wind. Already a key player in the market, XOCEAN has successfully delivered over 100 projects, accumulating over 35,000 hours of operation and offsetting over 22,000 tonnes of CO2. With only 5% of the world’s oceans mapped, XOCEAN serves the growing demand for carbon-neutral data collection using in-house developed remotely operated uncrewed vessels.

Enterprise Ireland US Market Executive Joe Gorman noted: “Today’s announcement is a hugely exciting development for XOCEAN in the United States. Appointing an industry leader like Smith is a signal of the company’s intent in the market and will be crucial in increasing XOCEAN’s footprint in a rapidly developing offshore wind market on the East Coast.”

XOCEAN’s ambitious technology roadmap will look at integrating new capabilities into the USV, maximizing the efficiency of the platform, expanding further offshore, exploring, and mapping deeper waters, and pushing the boundaries of technology all for the benefit of their clients, the industry, and the environment.

To learn more about partnering with XOCEAN email or visit

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