Atlas Ocean Systems (EGT2)

Houston, TX

Team Photo for Atlas Ocean Systems

Date Accepted

Fri 29 May 2015

Team Info

Atlas Ocean Systems is led by Tad Theno.

Atlas Ocean Systems combines the skills of highly respected scientists, engineers, and materials experts. Our personnel bring a wealth of complementary knowledge and experience allowing each to contribute in a highly meaningful way to present our SQ5 energy system. As noted in our biographies, Atlas Ocean Systems benefits from the experience and skills of notable engineers with experience in wave energy and the required engineering for SQ5s unique configuration. We are unified by mutual respect and our desire to create a highly successful, efficient, WEC device with the potential for meaningful, positive global change. The SQ5 WEC system is just one of many projects of Atlas Ocean Systems and forms a valuable segment of our portfolio. Atlas Ocean Systems is funded in part by our parent company MKF Interests, and is actively seeking sufficient investment to bring the SQ5 system to full scale development and deployment in both the U.S. and internationally.

WEC Device Type

Point absorber with suspended oscillating ballast driving pneumatic bladder.

Team Quote

While the total flux of renewable energy available on Earth is staggering, the growth and sustainment of renewable energy to a scale sufficient to provide for our energy future is dependent on many factors. The transition from fossil fuels must be done in a manner that will have measurable, lasting benefits, and allows the fullest utilization of the available energy in a manner that addresses the ecological, economical, and aesthetic desires and needs of humans and the other creatures who share our planet. Deep water Wave Energy Conversion (DW-WEC) offers an opportunity to generate significant energy while having a minimal impact on fragile zones near coasts, bays, or deltas. DW-WEC, by being located , away from beaches, and coastal ecosystems also presents a small aesthetics footprint and does not harm tourism or fishing economies, maximizing the potential for positive public perception. The members of Atlas Ocean Systems are actively developing and pursing large scale systems that address many of the problems facing our civilization. The Wave Energy Prize provides a unique opportunity to compete with and learn from the best and brightest of our competitors and win notoriety and a helpful boost towards commercial success.

Team Bios

Tad W. Theno - Co Founder of MKF Interests, Mr. Theno has experience in advanced aerospace conceptual design and technology development. Mr. Theno’s experience includes advanced concepts at a small business aerospace firm where he assists subject matter experts to craft technical proposals efforts and where he has contributed a significant number of new, innovative technologies. At Northrop Grumman Aerospace Mr. Theno performed multi-disciplinary design activities on aircraft and reusable space systems including studies on the Altair Lunar Lander, AFRL Reusable Booster System, the LEMV airship, and multiple other programs and technology development efforts. At Rocketplane Kistler Mr. Theno conducted design studies on advanced concepts and proposal efforts including the winning COTS bid. Prior to Rocketplane, Mr. Theno created multiple successful space education programs, was acting Co-PI on multiple ISS and STS payloads and participated in Lunar and Martian studies and data reduction. Mr. Theno has studied and conceptualized new renewable energy systems and companies, bringing this enthusiasm to MKF and ultimately to MKF’s Atlas Ocean Systems.

Francis James Macdonald Farley FRS - is a British scientist, Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the Institute of Physics and an honorary fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

During WWII he designed and made the first X-band microwave radar with 100 ns pulse and a one degree beam which directed the 15” guns at Dover and identified shells splashing around the target. He invented clutter reference Doppler radar which could see vehicles on land and was used in Italy. As a senior lecturer in Auckland University he was a NZ delegate to the 1955 UN conference in Geneva on “Atomic energy for peaceful purposes”. During a year at Harwell in1955 he measured the neutron yield from plutonium fission as a function of the incident neutron epithermal energy. From 1957 at CERN he measured the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon in three successive experiments, inventing the muon storage ring. Accurate tests of special relativity at CERN. He participated in the follow up measurement at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Farley won the 1980 Hughes Medal of the Royal Society “for his ultra-precise measurements of the muon magnetic moment, a severe test of quantum electrodynamics and of the nature of the muon”. 1967-82 he was the academic head of the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham GB. He has been visiting professor at Yale, Reading University (of engineering), University of New South Wales (of theoretical physics) and currently at Southampton. Dr. Farley moved to Nice, France in 1986 to help the cancer hospital Centre Antoine Lacassagne install a 65 MeV cyclotron for proton therapy. He designed the beam transport which brings the beam to the patient. The system has operated unmodified for 23 years and has treated over 3000 patients for ocular melanoma with a cure rate of 95%.

Dr. Farley has worked on wave energy since 1976 and has filed 14 patents in this area. He has invented or co-invented various machines, notably the Triplate, the Buckling Resonant raft and the Anaconda (bulging rubber tube). In 2010 he organized a residential discussion meeting on wave energy for the UK Royal Society with the papers published at ( As well as having authored numerable papers over decades of valuable contributions to many areas of science and engineering. In 2012 he wrote a romantic novel, Catalysed Fusion, which illustrates life around the accelerators at CERN and in Geneva.

Maxim de Jong, Project Manager / Senior Research Engineer at TRLA, is a specialist in the design, engineering and manufacture of ultra-high performance flexible-deployable structures. He has directed all Thin Red Line programs including the Bigelow Genesis inflatable spacecraft pressure hulls. His current NASA program efforts focus on habitation, planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), and radiation shielding. Prior to the last dozen years dedicated primarily to space exploration projects, Mr. de Jong’s design, testing, and field integration of critical use/inclement environment aviation, tactical and ground support soft goods reaches back to 1985 with activities in fifteen countries and application of extensive personal background in extreme condition survivability.

Brian Aiken, Senior Aerospace Engineer at TRLA, has over forty years’ flight hardware development experience—largely at TRW in the military satellite arena. He provides invaluable insight into space environments and spacecraft systems engineering. Before joining TRLA in 2006, Mr. Aiken was Chief Engineer and Program Manager for the Bigelow Aerospace inflatable space habitat project from 2000 to 2006, leading to successful launch and deployment of Genesis I and II. Mr. Aiken has supported NASA’s Chandra X-ray, EOS-Terra, and Compton Gamma Ray Observatories, as well as the TOMS satellite for which he received NASA’s Special Recognition Award. Mr. Aiken provides support for all of TRLA’s current R&D programs.

Gary A. Lantz - Co Founder of MKF Interests, Mr. Lantz is an experienced Systems Engineer and Program Manager, Proposal Developer, and recognized for his leadership and extensive computer skills. Mr. Lantz has had a positive lasting impact at multiple aerospace companies. Mr. Lantz’s experience include a leading role in the development of the Cessna Citation Mustang, Systems Engineer and Integration Manager at Rocketplane Kistler, Safety and Mission Assurance on the Constellation Program and the Orbital Sciences CYGNUS/Taurus II launch vehicle at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Systems Engineer on the Altair Lunar Lander at Northrop Grumman, and Capture Manager at Paragon SDC where his efforts lead to significant work for Paragon on the Inspiration Mars program, StratEx record breaking stratospheric sky dive, and helped maintain an R&D and engineering services proposal win rate of over 50%. Mr. Lantz is an active member of the community. He is a Boy Scout leader, and is on the board of directors for the Foundation for International Space Education (FISE), and organization that brings students from all over the world to Houston to participate in a fast-paced aerospace education experience.


MKF Interests, LLC, the parent company of Atlas Ocean Systems, is a Houston area company in technology development, engineering, networking, commercialization, proposal management, program management, and systems engineering. MKF is developing and commercializing new and innovative technologies primarily in aerospace, renewable energy, and sustainability including water systems, recycling, up-cycling, and sustainable agriculture. MKFs operational model is to establish, nurture, grow, commercialization, and achieve self-sufficient stand-up of expertly managed companies to achieve our goals of positively affecting the U.S. economy, sustainability, national security, ecosystems, and our quality of life.

​Learn more about Atlas Ocean Systems at their website:

  • Atlas Ocean Systems refines system and works on business plan

    Posted on Wed 10 Feb 2016

    January was an exciting month. We completed our 1:20th build plan and submitted it to the DoE. This activity was very educational and involved as we strove to create a 1:20th system that would demonstrate key concepts and generate data that will help finalize the control laws and design of the full scale commercial system. We planned for the multiple engineering challenges that the scale presents to allow our ballasting and bag systems to be fully controllable as they will be in full scale as well as accurate measurement and testing of the pneumatic systems. We also met with welding and machining shops to understand the construction methodology that will best suit the 1:20th needs. We are very pleased that the 1:20th turns out to be large enough to validate our pneumatic flexible systems using the same construction methodology as the full scale. This provides us with a surprise opportunity for early risk reduction!

    In parallel we continued to run analysis to help refine the necessary spread of ballast and bag control authority in support of the 1:20th design. We have run nearly 20,000 individual cases to generate our response functions!

    The remainder of our time has been dedicated to investor relations and business planning. We were privileged to present at multiple investment group meetings and have had extremely positive feedback. Along the way we have gained a handful of extremely valuable advisers that are helping us understand all that we need to do to be a successful investment candidate. We have had very good discussions with Naval Architects, testing facilities, turbine manufacturers, and ship yards. We continue to work to assembly the full scale development team and financing.

    As always our best wishes to all the competitors, March 1st is fast approaching!

DISCLAIMER: The team information provided on this page is provided solely by Atlas Ocean Systems. The Wave Energy Prize is not responsible for its accuracy, legality, decency of material or intellectual-property compliance.

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EERE. Wave Energy Prize. U.S. Department of Energy. Jun, 2017, 19:04 EST. Available at: Accessed Jun, 2017.

EERE. "Wave Energy Prize." U.S. Department of Energy, June. 2017. Web. June. 2017.

EERE. "Wave Energy Prize,", U.S. Department of Energy, (accessed Jun, 2017).

EERE. Wave Energy Prize [Internet].; 2017 June, 19:04 EST [cited 2017 June]. Available from:

@ONLINE{U.S. Department of Energy:2017:Online, author = {EERE}, title = {Wave Energy Prize [email protected]}}, year = {2017}, url = {}, note = [Online; accessed Jun-2017] }