Bret Gilliam has had a 40-year career in professional diving, logging over 18,000 dives in military, commercial, scientific, filming and technical diving operations. He is one of the diving industry's most successful entrepreneurs with investments in publishing, training agencies (TDI/SDI), manufacturing, resorts, dive vessels, cruise ships and film production companies. The aggregate sale value of his multiple multi-national companies totaled over 80 million USD when he retired in 2005 at the age of 54.
Author of over nearly 1,000 published articles, his photos have graced over 100 magazine covers, and he is principal author or contributor to over 50 books and manuals. His writing and photography has been published worldwide. He also has worked as location director, cameraman and operations manager on scores of Hollywood movies, television series, documentaries (including National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the Cousteau series) and IMAX films.
He is a Fellow National of the elite Explorers Club and the world record holder as the deepest scuba diver on conventional scuba equipment as well as the recipient of numerous other international awards including being named a Legend of the Sea.
He continues a limited practice as a widely sought litigation consultant and expert witness for diving and maritime legal cases. After nearly 30 years living in the Caribbean and equatorial regions worldwide, he now lives in Maine where he divides his time between three homes and a motor yacht. He is still active in special film and publishing projects. Reviewers have met his latest book, a large hardbound coffee table style volume, Diving Pioneers & Innovators: An In-Depth Series of Interviews, with widespread enthusiasm internationally.
Andy Connor is a mechanical engineer by training and has a PhD in mechatronics. Currently he is a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology. He is also a technical diving instructor, explorer and writer. Dr. Connor is a typical lecturer; always seeking perfection. That's why he is one of those instructors who enjoy filling gaps through presenting distinctive specialties.
Andy's diving interests mostly relate to technical wreck penetration beyond the daylight zone. However, his big project at the moment is surveying old gold mines. He and his fellow divers have started indexing known locations against historical references, plus searching for other sites. They have got around 120 individual mine shafts at present - one is definitely flooded and would make for a very exciting dive. Of the 120 mines they know about, Andy thinks about 20 of them will be flooded and accessible - and essentially untouched since they closed. The mines all date from the early 1900s, and the last of them closed around 1949.
Steve Lewis has been diving for many years and has succcessfully logged more than 1,500 staged decompression dives, 850 mixed gas dives, and more than 500 cave dives. He has worked as a member of the TAP (Training Advisory Panel) for SDI, TDI and ERDI until 2005 when he became the Director of Product Development. He has also written several training manuals, dozens of magazine articles and has been a popular speaker on diving and dive safety for many years at shows and seminars across North America.
Steve is an active instructor trainer for TDI and a strong advocate for the application of sidemount configuration for ALL open circuit divers who venture into an overhead environment. In addition to running SM courses and clinics on a regular basis, also dives and teaches CCR and traditional backmount configurations. His latest book about technical diving is titled "The Six Skills and Other Discussions".
Alberto Mantovani is a serial entrepreneur with almost 25 years of expertise in the high tech industry with extensive background in product development, marketing, business development, sales and corporate governance. Alberto moved from Italy to California in 1997 to work for Rockwell/Conexant where he became Executive Director of Strategic Planning. In October 2002, Alberto started RFDomus, a fabless semiconductor company specialized in the design of ultra low power GPS components. In June 2006 RFDomus merged with the GPS business unit of CEVA to form Glonav while in the process raising ~16 million USD from Atlantic Bridge Ventures, and in January 2008 Glonav was acquired by NXP in a transaction valued 110 million USD.
Alberto left Glonav in April 2008 to start DiveNav to develop products and services for the diving industry. He is a certified SCUBA diving instructor and has been diving since 1999. In addition to SCUBA diving, Alberto likes motorcycles and strives to ride almost every day... one of the perks of living in Southern California.
Jorge Russo is a diver since 1986. Born in Peniche, which is a a small fishermen's town in Portugal, Jorge was always interested in history and archaeology. Because of its geographic location, the peninsula of Peniche has always been a natural trap for ships, and their stories were always present since he was a child.
Former president and founder of a local group of maritime archaeology, Jorge is now involved with XploraSub, a group of technical divers located in Lisbon, Portugal. Jorge is currently the team coordinator of the SS Dago project. XploraSub works on research projects related to cave and wreck diving and is presently researching several Portuguese cave systems in association with other teams. In 2011 two more wreck projects in Peniche, Portugal have started.
Brent Hudson and Brian Matthewman
Brent Hudson is a keen technical diver with over ten years experience in the field. Brent has been designing, building rebreather equipment for military, commercial and technical divers as the Technical Director of Narked at 90 Ltd. Over the years, Brent has conducted thousands of rebreather and technical dives and received the most prestigious awards for innovation in the industry as well as setting a world record.
Brian Matthewman has been diving for over 14 years, His true passion is wreck diving. He has discovered and indentified a number of wrecks off the North East coast (of the UK). Brian was the founding member of Silent Running Mixed Gas Dive Team and is the person responsible for organising the teams expedition wreck hunting weeks. He currently dives with a prototype Camillion generation 4 rebreather.
Michael Robert Powell
Michael Powell was born in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Michigan State University. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MS and a PhD in molecular biophysics (1969).
After graduation, he joined the Ocean Systems Division of Union Carbide. In 1975, he moved to the Institute of Applied Physiology and Medicine (IAPM) in Seattle working with Dr Merrill P. Spencer. He briefly worked for the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR) in Bonn from 1977 to 1980 and then returned to IAPM.
In 1989 he joined NASA at the Johnson Space Center in the Space and Life Sciences Directorate where he was the head of the Environmental Physiology and Biophysics group. His work was primarily directed towards the mitigation of decompression sickness in astronauts. He retired in 2005 and moved back to the Seattle area. He and his wife, Mary, have four children and ten grandchildren.
Matti is an engineer with a M.Sc. degree in technical physics and Ph.D. in spaceflight instrumentation, so diving science is close to his heart. He got trained as a minehunter diver in the Finnish Navy in 1995 using semi-closed rebreathers, and later pursued for recreational and then technical diving. In late 1990's he begun teaching technical diving in Finland, and currently he is a trimix instructor trainer with IANTD, in addition to being on their Board of Advisors.
Matti is interested in diving technology, experimental diving and cave diving. One of his fancy projects was to re-build an old Russian submarine escape SCUBA units. He is a passionate diving instructor who still finds it equally nice to teach open water diving class for beginners or trimix diving for more advanced divers.
Jorge A. Mahauad is a permanent resident in the Galapagos Islands. At this time he is developing the fields of advanced diving, rebreather trips and technical diver training there. Jorge manages the only advanced diving facility in the Galapagos Islands and offers consumables and support for divers requiring specialized equipment, procedures, logistics and support. He is PADI Master Instructor teaching up to Tec Trimix with the Tec Rec range; Jorge also teaches with TDI up to Extended Range in open circuit or with the Evolution & Inspiration closed circuit rebreathers.
Jorge obtained a pre graduate degree in communications in 2005, and post graduate degrees in Communications Direction and Business Direction in 2009. His objective is to coordinate, support and execute underwater exploration of sea mounts between -50 and -150 meters and underwater grottos and lava tubes in the archipelago.
Massimiliano Canossa is an IANTD Full Trimix, Tech Wreck and Cave Instructor since 1996. Massimiliano is the founder of the NMDT, an Italian group of wreck explorers. He has participated in many important diving expeditions, including the German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin and the cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff in Baltic Sea, in addition to the Szent Istvan expedition in Adriatic Sea. He is the owner of Nautica Mare and the distributor of Santi Drysuit and Light Monkey in Italy.
Massimiliano has written some important articles in various Italian magazines. He has also authored text in the Italian version of IANTD diving manuals, particularly for the mid and high level courses, like the Technical Diver and the Normoxic Trimix Diver courses.
Albrecht Salm (or simply Albi) is a PhD degree holder in physics and computer science. Diving since 1976, his first instructor course was with PADI in 1988. He is since a Master Scuba Diver Trainer (#33913) and a SSI Technical Extended Range Instructor (#12653). Albi is contributing to technical diving events in the D-A-CH room and for the GTUEM (Gesellschaft fuer Tauch- und Ueberdruckmedizin, which reads in English: Society for Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine).
In addition to teaching both technical and recreational diving, Albi is currently working as a consultant for the Sub Marine Consulting Group (www.SMC-de.com).
It didn't take long for Ag to become hooked on blowing bubbles - after her first underwater breath she thought "this is what I want to do with my life!!" Indeed since then diving has been at the very center of her existence. Initially fascinated with reefs and fish, it wasn't long until the focus shifted to wrecks.
Captivated not just by their sheer beauty but also by their stories and history, she went from being a keen and avid wreck diver to a wannabe maritime archaeologist and did a Graduate Diploma in Maritime Archaeology at Flinders University. Her desire to pursue untouched and pristine wrecks meant going ever deeper and having to play with more gear and gases to do so.
Afterwards it is the caves, both wet and dry, that have her enthralled and she is most passionate about the exploration of never before seen passage. Ag spent a year living and diving in Florida's cave country, where she got her first taste of laying line. It is a phenomenal feeling to reach a place that no other human has ever seen before and she was hooked. She feels privileged to have seen the far reaches of some of the most beautiful caves in the world in Australia, the US and the Bahamas.
Agnes died in Tank cave in Australia on February 27th, 2011.
Chris Jewell is UK based exploratory caver and cave diver. He has been a member of the CDG (Cave Diving Group) since 2006, is a PADI OWSI and DSAT Tech diver.
Chris dives in a wide range of caves using different techniques. Everything from side mounting in small low visibility caves to long rebreather dives. He has been on numerous caving expeditions in 2009 and 2010 led a cave diving expedition to Cueva Culiembro in Spain.
Chris enjoys writing about caving and cave diving as well as giving lectures and presentations on his exploit. Recently he has started to make short films about his adventures, taking his video camera where no one has taken one before and filming live exploration.
Peter Buzzacott learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, in 1992 while serving in the Australian Army. Over the next few years he dove the wrecks of Scapa Flow, Thailand, Turkey and Wales before becoming an instructor in South Africa in 1997. He opened a dive business in Western Australia in 1999 and earned PADI Master Instructor, DSAT and TDI instructor ratings, issuing more than 500 diving certifications.
Buzzacott completed a BA (Training) in 2003 and a Master of Public Health Degree in 2005 (researching recreational diving injuries). In 2007 he won a five-month internship at DAN and the Duke University Centre for Hyperbaric and Environmental Medicine where he took part in couple of medical experiments for NASA and the US Navy. In 2010 Buzzacott dived Lake Titicaca with the Bolivian Navy and in 2011 he was awarded a PhD for research into risk factors associated with diving morbidity and mortality.
These days Buzzacott dives almost exclusively inland, mainly in caves, and is engaged in diving research at the School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health at the University of Western Australia. In recent years he's dived in six US states, Tasmania, Greece, Poland, the Rowley Shoals, and Sweden.
Cristian Pittaro was born in 1974 in Argentina. He learned to dive in 1993. Over the next few years he dove in many locations including Florida, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
Cristian is a founding member of the Dominican Republic Speleological Society (DRSS), a society that strongly believes that cave diving and exploration go hand in hand with science and research.
Pittaro is an avid technical/cave diver and explorer. With over 10 years experience as a cave and trimix diver under his belt, he is currently engaged in an ambitious yet interesting mission: exploring and surveying new caves in the Dominican Republic. His mission has already started in 2009 and is expected to continue for years to come.
Joseph Emmanuel has been a technical diving instructor for more than 14 years and was a member of two teams of extreme deep/cave divers. Over a decade these two teams conducted a series of exploratory dive trips to Boesmansgat cave in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. These expeditions culminated in 4 Guinness Book of Records being awarded to Nuno Gomes and Verna Van Schaik for the Deepest men and women cave diving as well as a Guinness Record for the deepest ever open water dive by Nuno Gomes to 300+meters in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Joseph, now 40 something, lives in Perth, Western Australia with his family and still enjoys diving as much as work and family commitments will allow. His other interests include, cycling, running and playing guitar from time to time and very occasionally, building and maintaining the odd website or two.
Rick has been an avid diver all of his adult life. He became certified in 1977, at the age of 17. Rick incorporats on-going dive-training as an important element of his approach to diving. AS Underwater Technology Diploma holder, FIT Diploma holder, experienced in offshore commercial diving and hyperbaric recompression treatments, and recreational diving and advanced OC technical diving, Rick co-founded Techfills two years ago in support of the south Florida technical diving community. Rick is also a business partner in Nautical Structures Industries, a Florida-based manufacturer of high-end marine deck equipment.
Rick has been into technical diving since 2005. He is IANTD and GUE certified. He is also an associate member at UHMS (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society) and a member at Miami Wreck Exploration Project.