Blancpain is proud to announce the winners of the “2014 Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award”
The Historical Diving Society Hans Hass Award Committee in partnership with the Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain has the great pleasure to announce that Chinese Professor Cui Weicheng, Research Professor and Dean of the Hadal Science And Technology Center of the Shanghai Ocean University individually, and the Chinese State Oceanic Administration collectively, have won the 2014 Hans Hass Award.
Since 2003, The Hans Hass Award Committee awards an individual who, in the spirit of Professor Hass’ pioneer work in the fields of underwater Science, Technology, Arts and Literature, has excelled at an international level in any of those fields. The former recipients include renowned personalities from the subaquatic world such as Ernie Brooks II, Dr. Sylvia Earle, James Cameron and Laurent Ballesta.
While the Award recognizes the exceptional individual accomplishments of Professor Cui Weicheng, it also acknowledges the essential support of the State Oceanic Administration in the building of the Jiaolong submersible, without which the project could never have succeeded. In view of this, the Committee and Blancpain have, for the first time, decided to award a double prize.
In announcing the winners, Mr. Leslie Leaney and Mr. Krov Menuhin representatives of the Committee made reference to their exceptional level of vision, excellence and leadership in the marine field of deep ocean engineering demonstrated through the building of the Jiaolong submersible, as well as their long term view of the future of manned exploration of the deep sea. Professor Weicheng was project leader of integration and assembly of Jiaolong Submersible as well as being first deputy chief designer and deputy site commander-in-chief of undersea testing, diving to 7,015 meters into the Mariana’s Trench thus setting a new Chinese record.
During the public ceremony in Sanya, China, the winners received a framed cast bronze plaque, designed by ocean artist Wyland, showing an image of Hans Hass from his solo 1949 Red Sea Expedition. In addition, Blancpain was proud to offer them a Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe with an engraved case back specially customized for the “2014 Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award”.
Professor Hans Hass (23 January 1919 – 16 June 2013) was an Austrian biologist and diving pioneer. He is known mainly for being among the first scientists to popularize coral reefs, Manta rays and sharks and pioneer the development of underwater film and photography. Professor Hass led a number of expeditions to remote ocean locations, often recording the adventures with underwater cameras he had designed himself. His work has been documented in a variety of films along with more than thirty scientific books and catalogues. He has received a number of prestigious national and international prizes. He was influential in the development of the scuba rebreather which he used on expedition in 1942. He is also known for his commitment to protecting the environment. His studies formed the basis for research diving. He has served as a role model for generations of divers and researchers around the world, who find his work a continuing source of inspiration.
Hans Hass' most important innovations in diving technology:
1938 New leightweight UW-Photocamera for ROBOT 1940 Advance the field of underwater color photography and film by his color photos at Catalina Island, USA. 1941 Development of the new technique of swim diving for research, industry and sport. 1944 Construction of a Heliox-Rebreather (Prototype) 1949 New System for Deep sea-Film and Photography (called “Bathyopthalm”) 1949 Worldwide Patents for a new method of fishing by signals with special frequency (called “Elektro-Marina”) 1950 UW-Camera housing “Leica System Hans Hass” with electronic flash 1954 UW-Camera housing “Rolleimarin System Hans Hass”, also as Stereo-Camera 1956 New patented Design of fins (called “Superfish”) 1973 Construction of a UW-Habitat (Almeria/Spain) 1977 Construction of a small submersible together with the German firm BRUKER for deep sea-search, tourism and oil exploration. 1983 Development and Promotion of an innovative new decompression-Computer (called “Deco-Brain”)
The Historical Diving Society
The Historical Diving Society is an educational, non-profit whose mission statement is to preserve, study, compile archive and disseminate information relating to the history of man's underwater activities and to promote public awareness of and participation in underwater activities.