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American Bureau of Shipping generously established the ABS Laboratory for Ocean Innovation and the ABS Ocean Engineering Department Head Chair. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Founded in 1862, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has continuously demonstrated its commitment to upholding the highest standards of safety and excellence as one of the world’s leading maritime classification organizations focused on advancing offshore and maritime innovation. ABS' mission revolves around serving its clients and the public, taking on the most crucial operational, technical and regulatory issues to support the industry in operating safely and responsibly.

Over the past few years, ABS and Texas A&M University have collaborated to develop a partnership that includes increased scholarship funding, ABS leaders being appointed to five advisory roles at the university, a landmark study into carbon capture and the global supply chain to be carried out between ABS and Texas A&M at Qatar, and the unveiling of a new development program for ABS leaders.  

Earlier this year, ABS and Texas A&M announced the expansion of this strategic relationship by partnering with the Texas A&M University Department of Ocean Engineering to establish the ABS Laboratory for Ocean Innovation and the ABS Ocean Engineering Department Head Chair.

The ABS Laboratory for Ocean Innovation will provide cutting-edge equipment, foster collaboration with industry professionals and offer state-of-the-art resources that will significantly enhance the education of all ocean engineering students. The resulting environment will nurture countless research opportunities and enable students to thrive, equipping them to shape the future of ocean engineering.

Students and subject matter specialists from both institutions will actively use the lab to manage and execute the significant body of research planned over the next several years. Located in Spring, Texas, ABS' headquarters conveniently lies between the university’s College Station and Galveston campuses, making this collaboration highly impactful for students at both locations.

Dr. Sharath Girimaji, the ocean engineering department head and the current holder of the newly established ABS Ocean Engineering Department Head Chair, expressed his honor in partnering with ABS, a global leader in the field.

“As a specialized ocean engineering department, it is our privilege to partner with a global leader like ABS,” said Dr. Girimaji. “The generous ABS endowment will impact the lives and careers of many students who will receive a world-class education and participate in cutting-edge research. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with ABS.”

In an industry facing new challenges and obstacles daily, innovating and developing new technologies, processes and ideas are critical for the sustainability of natural resources and environments. The collaboration between ocean engineering and ABS will bring both current and aspiring researchers and industry leaders together to work toward a common goal to benefit the world at large.

“The marine and offshore industries face profound, disruptive change brought about by the forces of decarbonization and digitalization,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and CEO. “We will need new skills, new technologies, new strategies, and, crucially, new thinking if we are to begin to meet the challenges ahead.”

Beyond establishing the laboratory fund, the ABS Ocean Engineering Department Head Chair will support Dr. Girimaji's research and teaching initiatives. The partnership between these two esteemed institutions marks a significant success for the industry. The research conducted, and the solutions discovered through this collaboration will pave the way for a brighter future.

Wiernicki highlighted the unique and powerful capability being created through the collaboration.

“Together, ABS and Texas A&M — both world leaders in their respective fields — are creating a unique and powerful new capability designed to make a significant contribution to a more sustainable industry,” Wiernicki said.

How to Give

Endowments supporting students in the college have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the College of Engineering and its departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact one of our development officers.