Gilles Bessero, the (outgoing) French Hydrographer has been honoured by the UK Hydrographic Office for his outstanding contribution to Hydrography by being named the recipient of the prestigious Alexander Dalrymple Award 2010.
The announcement was made by Mike Robinson, CEO of UKHO, at a reception for World Hydrography Day held at the British High Commissioner's residence in Singapore on Wednesday, 30 June, 2010. In attendance was Rear Admiral Ian Moncrieff CBE, UK National Hydrographer.
The award is a symbol of recognition for outstanding dedication and contribution to world hydrography and as such is an extremely prestigious award in this sector. It takes its name from Alexander Dalrymple who established the Hydrographic Office in 1795 and is regarded as a leading figure in the history of the development of hydrography.
L'Ingenieur General de l'Armement de 1ère Classe, Gilles Bessero, has worked tirelessly and successfully over many years in the service of the Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM), - the French Hydrographic Office - to deliver improvements for mariners' navigational safety at sea.
As Chair of the PRIMAR RENC Advisory Committee he has played a significant role in trying to forge closer co-operation between the Primar and IC-ENC RENCs; an important and currently ongoing process.
Ian Moncrieff said: "These achievements in working on behalf of all in the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), makes the Alexander Dalrymple Award a fitting recognition of our appreciation for his work and commitment over an extended period which has been to the benefit of the mariner and the marine environment."
Gilles is always looking to add value internationally and is imbued with a strong sense of public duty. He has brought his considerable intellect and specialist experience to provide insightful and practical comment and support into international fora with the aim of progress and improvement. Gilles was unanimously elected as Chairman of the IHO Strategic Plan Working Group (ISPWG) at the 17th IHO Conference in 2007.
Gilles considerable planning and analytical skills were deployed to focus the IHO Working Group successfully on delivering a five year practical plan that was able to integrate the views of its many participants. This was accepted readily at the Extraordinary Conference in 2009. In the same year he was elected as the first Chairman of the newly formed Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC), a role he currently holds, along with Chairmanship of the South West Pacific Regional Hydrographic Commission.
Gilles Bessero said: "I am deeply honoured to be invited to join the very distinguished company of the Alexander Dalrymple Award's recipients. I accept the proposal with great pleasure as well as with a respectful thought for our predecessors Captain Parry and Rear Admiral de Rossel who initiated officially, in 1828, the bilateral cooperation between the British and French HOs."