Center for Ocean Engineering


Nicholas Makris

Professor Makris is an international leader in ocean science and engineering. After graduating from MIT with a SB in Physics and PhD in Ocean Engineering, he served at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC where he conducted research with many of the US Navy’s advanced undersea sensing tools, vessels, aircraft and facilities around the world before returning to MIT as a faculty member. He has published extensively on the physics of sensing and perception; wave propagation and scattering in random dispersive media; noise, scintillation and statistical estimation; undersea exploration; marine ecology; efficient and economical hurricane power quantification from underwater sound; and polar and icy satellite exploration. He served as Chief Scientist on numerous large international oceanographic expeditions around the world from the Nordic Seas to the Revillagigedo Islands of Central America. He has pioneered the use of ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing to instantaneously image and continuously monitor oceanic fish and marine mammal populations over continental shelf scales.  

Professor Makris has presented his sensing methods on Capitol Hill at the US House of Representatives in the context of fisheries and at the House of Lords of the UK Parliament in the context of nuclear nonproliferation. He has worked with Senator John Kerry and the Massachusetts State Government to help resolve the New England Fisheries Crisis. He served on NASA’s Science Definition Team for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, and is a Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Scholar of Oceanographic Sciences.