Skip navigation

USM Honors Graduates of Uncrewed Maritime Systems Certification Program

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 10:30am | By: Van Arnold

Group photo of graduatesThe University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Ocean Science and Engineering (SOSE) honored graduates of its Tier 1 Uncrewed Maritime Systems (UMS) certification program during a special ceremony held April 22 at the University’s Marine Research Center in Gulfport, Miss.

The 2022 graduating class includes nine students who earned certification in the nation’s only academic course in uncrewed marine vessel operations. Since its debut in 2017, the program has produced 98 graduates.

This sixth graduating class underscores the effective cooperative partnership that exists between USM and the US Navy, which continues to grow and thrive. This year’s graduating class was noted as being highly interactive, which is a testament to both the students as well as the learning environment fostered by the instructors (Carl Szczechowski and Kevin Martin) from USM’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering.

“The background of the students from NAVOCEANO ranged from engineering to geology to hydrography to computer science, which speaks to the wide-ranging utility of UMS instrumentation for providing environmental information that contributes to Naval operational activities,” said Dr. Jerry Wiggert, Professor of Marine Science and SOSE Associate Director.

Wiggert explains that four courses at the 400 level comprise the Tier 1 load. The program was compressed into a five-week program from March 21 until April 22. Two instructors handled the lectures, organized presentations by guest speakers, and gave weekly exams for three of the courses. The fourth course was a laboratory course where students did hands-on work to enhance what they learned in the other courses. Students range from those with associate degrees to those with Master’s degrees.

USM continues to play a leading role in education and research for the nation’s maritime industry and “Blue Economy.” Moreover, the University remains an enduring partner institution in national defense. The UMS program serves as a primary catalyst to the University’s and Mississippi’s prominence in the burgeoning “Blue Economy.”

Through the UMS Certificate program, students learn foundational material in oceanography and ocean engineering principles related to uncrewed undersea and surface vehicles (UUVs and USVs), such as powered vehicles and gliders.

To learn more about the School of Ocean Science and Engineering at USM, call 228.214.9010 or visit: