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FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Research, Facilities, Expertise Tapped By OceanBased Perpetual Energy

OceanBased Perpetual Energy CEO Nasser M.N. Alshemaimry visits FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Research Center

Could a submarine ride be in OceanBased Perpetual Energy Founder and President Nasser M.N.  Alshemaimry’s future?  He recently visited Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida, stopping to pose with a hulking decommissioned submersible vehicle on display there (pictured).

At one time a jet test pilot, fearless Alshemaimry is known as an “Indiana Jones” of sorts, who has no qualms about the prospect of a watery, dark trip 1,400 feet to the bottom of the legendary powerful Gulf Stream current to inspect the area where OceanBased equipment would be placed.

“It is my responsibility to our investors as #OceanBased CEO to take that risk and document our efforts with my own eyes,” he explained.

The research, facilities and expertise at the Harbor Branch have been instrumental to OceanBased as it embarks on its mission.

About FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, bordering the Atlantic Coast, is one of the nation’s premier oceanographic centers.

The FAU Harbor Branch research community comprises approximately 200 ocean scientists, staff and students, and drives innovation in:  marine science and engineering; conservation of coral reefs, studies of marine mammals and fisheries; marine drug discovery; estuarine and coastal ecology and observation; ocean dynamics and modeling; and aquaculture and marine science education.

The Harbor Branch engages with the community through the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center and the Ocean Science Lecture Series.  Their research and outreach programs translate marine science in order to provide solutions that improve economies and quality of life for coastal communities.

Ocean Engineering and Technology

FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Ocean Engineering and Technology Division is among its many research arms.

The drive to overcome the formidable technical challenges of ocean research was essential to the founding of Harbor Branch by J. Seward Johnson Sr. in 1971.  This spirit was embodied by Johnson’s friend, inventor Edwin A. Link, whose lifetime of innovation included the first flight simulator, the first diver lock-out submersible and the Johnson-Sea-Link submersibles.

Discoveries enabled by Link’s work, such as Florida’s deep water reefs and thousands of marine organisms used in FAU Harbor Branch drug discovery efforts, continue to shape understanding and appreciation of the oceans.

Inspired by Link’s legacy, the Harbor Branch develops technologies that enable us to discover, map, observe, quantify, sample, cultivate and conserve the ocean’s diverse organisms and habitats.  Laser-based sensor system research and industry partnerships with maritime robotics manufacturers are among the ways the Harbor Branch works to improve the coverage, quality and bandwidth of sensor data and imagery in undersea habitats.

It also has developed technologies that help protect Florida’s endangered manatees from injury and death by the water control and navigation infrastructure of our inland waterways.


  • Underwater laser imaging and free space optical communications
  • Active optical sensing within marine environments
  • At-sea testing of networks of sensors and robotic platforms
  • Surface and sub-surface hydrocarbon detection and characterization
  • Database management and data visualization
  • Advanced image and video processing


  • 13 meter laser test tank facility that can maintain a wide range of scattering suspension to represent turbid waters
  • 3-meter bio-photonics salt water test tank that can support live plankton and larvae
  • 5-meter salt water ballasting tank and glider calibration facility
  • Mechanical design and fully-equipped machine shop for prototype development
    4,500 psi (10,100 fsw) pressure testing tank, which can accommodate items up to 0.6 meters in diameter and 1.5 meters in length


Ocean Engineering & Technology team

Ocean Optics research program

Department of Ocean & Mechanical Engineering