Michel Gauthier, our chairman of the IOA Core Group, will retire from IFREMER in July 1998. After graduating in France, Michel was awarded a US Fullbright fellowship to study at the IIT-Illinois Institute of Technology In Chicago. He obtained his Master in 1958 in Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering. Curiously at the same period another IOA fellow, Paul Yuen, was also studying at IIT. But both missed the first opportunity they were offered to meet and had to wait the 1990's and IOA birth to do so. Michel was an officer in the French Navy before joining the European Atomic Energy Community EURATOM in 1960. He left the Nuclear Energy business for the Space's in 1964 and worked for 6 years at the French Space Research Agency-CNES.
His great move back to the Oceans happened in 1970 when he joint CNEXO, an Agency-among the first in the world-fully devoted to the Exploitation of the Resources of the Sea. Michel has been involved-more or less-in OTEC since that time and he was the head of the Tahiti 5MW OTEC project (1982-1986)
More generally with CNEXO and IFREMER, Michel has contributed to the development of Marine Research and Technology activities in France and also in Europe. From 1987 to 1989 he served the European Commission as a consultant to establish the first European R&D programme for MAST-Marine Science and Technology.
Michel met with IOA at the early beginning of the association, almost at the same date he moved to New Caledonia where he worked for three years promoting the development of the EEZ resources of this South Pacific French Territory. Back to Old Europe and European affairs since 1994, Michel is presently working for the European development of the GOOS-Global Ocean Observing System-an international Program of the UN-IOC-WWO.
After retiring, Michel Gauthier intends to settle a consultant business. His professional experience in international co-operative R&D projects might be of some interest for non-European Companies and Agencies which are searching for partnership within the European Union. The IOA Secretariat wishes "Bonne chance "to Michel and would be happy to help contacting him after he leaves IFERMER office in July 1998.