Graham Hawkes, an ocean engineer/inventor. He has been responsible for the design of a significant percentage of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles that have advanced the industry worldwide. His body of work includes the manned Wasp and Mantis Atmospheric Diving Suits, the Deep Rover research submersibles, and the Deep Flight series of winged submersibles including the experimental DeepFlight One and the experimental full-ocean -depth DeepFlight Challenger. In addition, he developed the first production series of advanced winged submersibles DeepFlight Super Falcon for two and three seats and the advanced, easy to pilot Dragon series. Graham Hawkes is one of the most experienced submersible test pilots world-wide. He held the world record for the deepest solo ocean dive at 3,000-feet for more than 20 years which he achieved while test piloting his Deep Rover submersible.

Mr. Hawkes has successfully founded and managed several high technology companies, including, Precision Remotes, Inc., which pioneered advanced remote land-based light weapon systems for the military and Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT), now DeepFlight Inc. which pioneered undersea flight. He also created the Spider Optic vehicle a highly advanced, new genre of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). In the 1990’s, Graham Hawkes co-founded with Dr. Sylvia Earle, Deep Ocean Engineering, which manufactures a significant portion of ROVs now in use for military and civilian purposes worldwide. In the 1980’s, he designed and manufactured Sensory Manipulator Systems. In the late 1980’s he also founded Deep Sea Discoveries, a commercial marine archeology company that located over 350 shipwrecks.

Earlier in his career, Graham Hawkes co-founded Offshore Systems Engineering in England, where he designed and managed the manufacturing of the atmospheric diving systems (ADS), the Wasp, and the Mantis, where he refined the design of the ADS, the JIM suit, for operation in depths of 2,000 feet. Prior to that, he was an engineer at Plessey Underwater Weapons Unit in United Kingdom and an engineer at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

Graham Hawkes with Sub-Model 500×500

Graham Hawkes is widely considered to the leader in his field. He was named an Associate Laureate for the Rolex award for Enterprise, Design News nominated him for Engineer of the Year and awarded him Design News’ Special Achievement award. Hawkes was a finalist in the Discover awards for innovation, and in the year 2000 he received the Computerworld Smithsonian award in the science category that recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated vision and leadership as they use information technology to benefit society.

Hawkes founded his current company HAWX Open Ocean, LLC to design and build revolutionary, safe, affordable, and ecologically responsible technologies for both manned and unmanned vehicles with the goal of enabling undersea access to all. His latest invention is the Sea Rocket (Patent Pending) series of gravity powered vertical water column vehicles that collect data and video from the surface to the sea floor.

Driven by the need to make our ocean planet a better place for his grandkids, Hawkes designed the Sea Rocket to make exploring more than 70% (how much of the plant’s surface is covered by the ocean) of our ocean planet possible for everyone, especially kids. The Sea Rocket travels vertically from the surface of the water to the bottom and back up collecting data and taking video along the way. The Sea Rocket uses off the shelf data collection instruments, including action camera systems such as the GoPro, is easy to use and needs no power source, it is intelligently powered and guided by gravity. Drop the Sea Rocket with its light and camera off the side of a boat into ocean or a lake and it will collect data on its way down to the bottom where it then releases a biodegradable weight and then rises back up to the surface for data recovery. The Sea Rocket can carry any type of commercially available or DIY test equipment, such as a CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) precisely  down and back vertically in the water column. With a set of plans, the Sea Rocket can be made by anyone with access to basic power tools or if preferred, a turn-key kit or completely assembled ready to use Sea Rocket are also available.

Julie Silverman – Co-founder of Sea Rocket, Founder/Owner Summit2Shore Consulting LLC, STEM educator, project manager, educational outreach product developer, science museum and aquarium professional, and environmental activist. Silverman’s creative spark, enthusiasm, and passion for igniting environmental activism through hands-on exploration is infectious. 

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