QI software engineer named to Explorers Club 50

By Mika Ono

QI software engineer Vid Petrovic is one of the newest members of The Explorers Club 50, selected for the honor based on his work making virtual exploration of sites practical and useful.

Qualcomm Institute (QI) software engineer Vid Petrovic has been selected as one of 50 newest members of The Explorers Club 50, which, according to the 118-year-old awarding organization’s recent announcement, includes "50 people changing the world who the world needs to know about.”

Petrovic was selected for the honor based on his work making virtual exploration of remote sites practical and useful. His approach, part of QI’s Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative(CHEI), involves innovative use of computer graphics, scientific visualization, machine learning and geographic information systems.

These efforts have helped support projects and expeditions in difficult-to-access locations from underwater cave systems such as the Sac Actun in the Yucatan to remote reefs such as the Palmyra Atoll. The team’s digital platforms are evolved in close collaboration with divers, archaeologists, ecologists, and other scientists and experts.

“Virtual fieldwork now plays an essential, everyday role in these projects, allowing researchers to ex­plore remote sites at will,” Petrovic notes in The Explorers Club 50 2022 publication.

Founded in 1904 by a group of America’s leading explorers, The Explorers Club is a multi-disciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration, and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.

“The EC50 program amplifies explorers from around the globe and across a wide field of disciplines that push the boundaries of exploration,” said Richard Garriott, president of The Explorers Club in the organization’s announcement. “Naming these global exploration leaders to the EC50 shines a bright light on their extraordinary work and provides the recognition they so deserve.”

Located on the UC San Diego campus, the Qualcomm Institute (QI) harnesses technology to jumpstart innovation in areas including culture, the environment, energy and health. Named in recognition of gifts in excess of $26 million from wireless technology firm Qualcomm, QI is a not-for-profit institute facilitating collaborative, interdisciplinary research and creative endeavors; workforce training; and startup development. Alongside centers at UC Irvine and UC Riverside, QI is a member of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), one of four science and innovation consortiums launched by Governor Gray Davis in 2000.

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Mika Ono