Martin Klein, engineer-inventor-entrepreneur, is considered the “Father of Side Scan Sonar,” a legend in ocean exploration. An MIT 1962 graduate, he is the founder and former president of Klein Associates (now Klein Marine Systems).
In 1967 Klein introduced the first commercial dual-channel side scan system at a convention of the Marine Technology Society. That same year, Klein’s mentor Dr. Harold “Doc” Edgerton brought the new sonar to help Alex Mckee find Mary Rose, sunk in 1545. Klein brought the system to Bodrum, Turkey, and helped marine archaeologist George Bass find a 2,000-year-old ship. These pioneering projects were the first use of technology to find ancient shipwrecks. This system became an extraordinary success and revolutionized ocean exploration and survey.
In January 1968, in the basement of his rented cottage, Klein founded Klein Associates (now Klein Marine Systems). Klein's sonars have been used to help find many famous shipwrecks including Titanic, Atocha, Lusitania, Edinburgh, DeBraak, Breadalbane, Hamilton and Scourge, Lake George Radeau, HMS Erebus and countless others.
He has participated in numerous ocean expeditions including helping to map the English Channel for what became the “Chunnel” between the UK and France. He also helped find the last remaining WWII Wellington bomber in Loch Ness.
A fellow of the Explorers Club and the Marine Technology Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Klein is a Life Member of the IEEE. He received the 1992 Compass Industrial Award and the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award at the London Oceanology International Conference. He was chosen as the 2011 Boston Sea Rovers’ Diver of the Year. Other awards are on the website www.martinklein.com.
He has a long history of serving on the advisory board of the MIT Sea Grant Program and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Collections Committee of the MIT Museum, a judge and mentor for the MATE ROV Competition and a judge at the Massachusetts State Science Fair. He has many publications and patents and remains active in many technical organizations.