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Geoff Cram

Principal Engineer





Department Affiliation

Electronic & Photonic Systems


B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Rutgers University, 1981

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 1987


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Inductive power mooring lines for OOI's shallow and deep profilers

McGinnis, T., G. Cram, and E. Boget, "Inductive power mooring lines for OOI's shallow and deep profilers," Sea Techol., 61, 14-18, 2020.

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1 Apr 2020

As oceanographers seek to deploy their field sensors for longer subsea campaigns, advances in mooring line construction and technology are enabling new approaches to moorings. No longer is the mooring line a passive element; instead, the development of the first inductive power mooring line by high-performance fiber-rope maker Pillystran allow it to function as an integral part of the oceanographic monitoring system.

Lessons learned from the United States ocean observatories initiative

Smith, L.M., and 16 others including G.S. Cram and M. Harrington, "Lessons learned from the United States ocean observatories initiative," Front. Mar. Sci., 5, 494, doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00494, 2019.

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4 Jan 2019

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is a United States National Science Foundation-funded major research facility that provides continuous observations of the ocean and seafloor from coastal and open ocean locations in the Atlantic and Pacific. Multiple cycles of OOI infrastructure deployment, recovery, and refurbishment have occurred since operations began in 2014. This heterogeneous ocean observing infrastructure with multidisciplinary sampling in important but challenging locations has provided new scientific and engineering insights into the operation of a sustained ocean observing system. This paper summarizes the challenges, successes, and failures experienced to date and shares recommendations on best practices that will be of benefit to the global ocean observing community.

Designing an offshore geophysical network in the Pacific Northwest for earthquake and tsunami early warning and hazard research

Wilcock, W.S.D., D.A. Schmidt, J.E. Vidale, M.J. Harrington, P. Bodin, G.S. Cram, J.R. Delaney, F.I. Gonzalez, D.S. Kelley, R.J. Leveque, D.A. Manalang, C. McGuire, E.C. Roland, M.W. Stoermer, J.W. Tilley, and C. Vogl, "Designing an offshore geophysical network in the Pacific Northwest for earthquake and tsunami early warning and hazard research," Proc., MTS/IEEE OCEANS Conference, 19-23 September, Monterey, CA, doi:10.1109/OCEANS.2016.7761291 (IEEE, 2016).

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1 Dec 2016

Every few hundred years, the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of the Pacific Northwest hosts devastating earthquakes, and there is a growing awareness of the need to be prepared for these events. An offshore cabled observatory extending the length of the Cascadia subduction zone would enhance the performance of the earthquake and tsunami early warning systems, would enable real time monitoring and predictions of the incoming tsunami, and would contribute substantially to scientific research aimed at mitigating the hazard. The University of Washington has recently initiated a study to develop a conceptual design for the U.S. portion of an offshore observatory for earthquake and tsunami early warning and research. This paper presents the motivation for this work and plans for the study.

In The News

New lab to give scientists underwater access

KIRO TV, Donna Gordon Blankinship

Scientists are eager for access to information from a quarter-billion dollar lab at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that they hope will teach them about climate change, earthquakes and even the origins of life on Earth and other planets.

19 May 2013

Getting ready for the world's largest underwater observatory

KUOW Radio, Ashley Ahearn

The Regional Cabled Observatory is a $239 million project funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal: to better understand and monitor the depths of the Pacific Ocean — from volcanic eruptions to deep-sea earthquakes that could lead to tsunamis.

17 Apr 2013

Preparing to install the world's largest underwater observatory

UW News and Information, Hannah Hickey

The National Science Foundation in 2009 launched the $239 million effort led by John Delaney, UW professor of oceanography, to create a cabled observatory that will bring power and Internet to the ocean floor. This new concept will use remote-controlled instruments and high-bandwidth video to create an enduring, real-time presence in the deep ocean.

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15 Apr 2013

Researchers in the UW's Applied Physics Laboratory were tasked by Delaney to build and test the equipment that will make up the observatory. Much of that equipment will be installed this summer. This is the biggest project the 70-year-old marine engineering institute has ever undertaken, said project lead Gary Harkins, a principal engineer with the lab.

"This concept of a real-time observatory will change what we do as ocean engineers, what we will learn how to do, and what ocean scientists can do with these systems now and in the future," Harkins said.

The cabled observatory, known as the Regional Scale Nodes project, is part of the national Ocean Observatories Initiative, an effort to integrate U.S. measurements of the ocean and seafloor. Other partners will build coastal and global observing networks, manage the data and conduct educational outreach. The Pacific Northwest observatory will span the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate off the Washington and Oregon coasts, the likely source of the next large regional earthquake.

More News Items


ROV-Operable Latch with Mechanical Termination for Nodes Connected with Underwater Telecommunications Cable

Record of Invention Number: 49110

Geoff Cram, Derek Martin, Steve Schwennsen, Kevin Williams


13 Nov 2020

Self-calibrating Seafloor Pressure Measurement System with Increased Operational Life and Improved Reliability

Record of Invention Number: 48583

Geoff Cram, Mike Harrington, Dana Manalang, James Tilley


22 Mar 2019

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center