ABS invests in ocean environment study

04 Apr 2012

ABS has combined with the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) in a $600,000 investment for the ABS Harsh Environment Technology Center and associated research programme.

The investment will fund research on how ship and offshore structures can be improved to work more effectively in volatile ocean conditions, such as the North Atlantic. The research programme will focus on themes such as dynamic positioning in ice; produced water management; ballast water management; corrosion protection of ships and platforms; and fire and explosion assessment.

“ABS collaborated with Memorial University of Newfoundland and RDC to establish the ABS Harsh Environment Technology Center,” states Todd Grove, senior vice president and chief technology officer of the US-based classification society. “ABS and Memorial University have developed a strong working relationship during the last few years while producing important research in this field. With this additional support we will build on our previous efforts and continue to assist the marine and offshore industry in tackling the challenges they face in harsh and arctic environments.”

“This partnership further demonstrates Newfoundland and Labrador as a recognised leader on the international stage when it comes to research and development of technologies for ships and offshore structures operating in harsh environments,” says Hon. Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the RDC. “Worldwide, there is an industry need for this type of research and development. Our geography, academic environment and strong economy make Newfoundland and Labrador the best place for international companies to learn about operating in cold ocean environments.”

“This investment is a significant development for our province as we continue to build research capacity in the ocean technology sector,” says Glenn Janes, CEO of the RDC. “Academic researchers at Memorial University will be able to work with international partners such as ABS to expand research that can develop solutions for companies operating in challenging marine conditions.”

ABS has a longstanding relationship with Memorial University. In 2009, a memorandum of understanding was signed to create the ABS Harsh Environment Technology Center on the St. John’s campus to support the development of technologies for ships and offshore structures operating in harsh environments. Today’s investment builds on the relationship with ABS and will strengthen Memorial University’s expertise in a strategic research area.

“Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering has the unique resources and expertise needed to address the challenges of ship and structure design for harsh offshore environments,” says Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial University president and vice chancellor. “Ultimately, the research stemming from this investment will help our students, faculty and industry partners make ocean-related industries safer and more productive.”

The research programme will be led by Dr Wei Qiu, associate professor and director of Memorial University’s Ocean Engineering Research Centre (OERC). “We look forward to continued collaboration with ABS and RDC,” says Dr Qiu. “This support will allow the OERC to expand its activities in improving ship and offshore structure design and safety operations in harsh ocean environments.”

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