Board of Directors

Dr. John Halkyard
Chairman of the board, Member and founder

Dr. John Halkyard, Chairman, is an Ocean Engineer and active in deep ocean projects involving mining and oil & gas since the late ’60s.  He was the Director of the Ocean Mining Laboratory for the Kennecott Manganese Nodule Consortium in the 1970s and led the successful mining system development effort.

From 1988 – 2000 he was Technical Director for the Deep Oil Technology, Inc., which successfully developed and commercialized a proprietary deep water oil and gas platform, the “Spar”. From 2000 – 2007 he served as the Vice President R&D and Chief Technical Adviser for Aker Maritime, Inc. which was acquired by Technip, the world’s largest energy engineering and project service company.

Dr. Halkyard holds an ScD degree in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Hans Smit
President, CEO and board member

Mr. Hans Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer, has 20 years of worldwide underwater mining and subsea engineering, operations, and management experience.

He was President of Neptune Minerals, Inc. from 2015 to 2017.He served as Managing Director of IHC MMP focused on providing services to the underwater mining industry worldwide. Prior to this, Mr. Smit was the Projects Director of Marine and Mineral Projects (Pty) Ltd a company specializing in providing the subsea diamond mining industry engineering and operation solutions.

He has designed, developed, implemented, and optimized numerous underwater mining systems, in particular, the crawler technology being used by De Beers Crawler for subsea diamond mining.

Mr. David S. Huber
board member

Mr. David S. Huber, SVP Business Development, 45 years of offshore oil & gas experience in the GOM and internationally, all with exploration and production companies.

Dave started his career as a subsea drilling engineer at Exxon and then moved onto the North Sea for 11 years with Hamilton Oil Company where he held the positions of Chief Engineer, Manager: Planning and Economics and finally Production Manager.  Dave went on to co-found two deepwater E&P companies in the GOM: Mariner Energy, which had a successful IPO on the NYSE and then bought by Apache Corporation for $4 billion, and Deep Gulf Energy, which was sold to Kosmos Energy for $1.25 billion.

He retired in 2017 as Sr. VP Operations and Projects. He serves on the board of Ocean Minerals and Neptune Minerals, both deepwater mining companies, Respinnovation a French medical device company and Subsea Infrastructure LLC, an offshore financing company.

Mr. David Keddington
board member

Before being named to his current position in 2018, Mr. Keddington served as Managing Director, Global Supply Chain.  Since joining Transocean in 2006, Mr. Keddington has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility in Corporate Planning, Marketing and Finance.

Mr. Keddington has worked for Transocean in several geographic locations across the world including Switzerland, Egypt, and Malaysia.

Mr. Keddington received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah and a Master in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Mr. Karl Winter
board member

Mr. Karl Winter has over 34 years of experience in deep-water subsea equipment and specialized projects focused on the offshore oil and gas industry.

Karl has managed and worked on numerous deep-water projects around the world.  He is the founder and CEO & President of the international offshore engineering company, Ocean Flow International.

He has also founded and owns several other equipment and capital companies. Education includes Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (Ocean Engineering) (Msc), Bachelor of Science (Engineering) (Bsc Honors), Diploma in Ocean Engineering, and a Diploma in Production Engineering.