On August 31st, 2009 International Submarine Engineering Ltd. marked its 35th anniversary, establishing itself as the longest standing contributor to subsea vehicle development.
From its Port Coquitlam, BC location, ISE is a world leader in the design and development of autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles. The company is also highly regarded within the industry as a systems integrator of robotic platforms, and this was recognized with the Joseph F. Engelberger Award for Technology Development in 2000.
While the primary focus has always been on marine vehicles (unmanned and manned), ISE also supplies manipulators, hydraulic components and tools for use with other robotic systems.
Dr. James McFarlane, President of ISE Ltd. remains at the helm of all of ISE operations. He started ISE in 1974, producing one of the first ROVs in the world. This vehicle was launched in April of 1975 and delivered in October of the same year. In 1976 ISE's first pipeline support vehicle worked in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland on on the observation of ballasting on the Piper Alpha pipeline.
Other firsts for ISE include the semi-submersible AUV DOLPHIN in 1981 developed for military applications; the first AUV survey ever done in 1982; followed by the longest AUV mission under the ice with THESEUS in 1998. At 1.27 meters in diameter and 10.7 meters in length, THESEUS is still the world’s largest AUV.
A Canadian owned and operated company, ISE has touched every part of the globe where there has been a need for subsea technology and equipment.
For Dr. McFarlane and staff, the expertise ISE has gathered along the way represents one of the industry's richest contributors of technical know-how. Collectively, ISE personnel have more than 300 years of experience in research, development and operation of subsea vehicles and associated equipment.
ISE has capitalized on its experience contributing to current market demand with the knowledge of what works and what does not. Today ISE has just completed two Arctic Explorer AUVs for Natural Resources Canada. These vehicles will gather geological mapping data which will become part of the scientific basis of Canada's filing of Arctic land claims under the provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 76.
ISE has won numerous awards for its achievements throughout its 35 years. Most recently, ISE received the Marine Technology Society Compass Industrial Award. Dr. McFarlane was also presented with the MTS Compass Distinguished Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Science and Engineering of Oceanography and Marine Technology.