ABS Endows Chair in Ocean Engineering at University of California (USA)

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ABS, the leading provider of classification services to the global maritime industry, has established the American Bureau of Shipping Endowed Chair in Ocean Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Professor Ronald W. Yeung has received the inaugural appointment to this chair for a five-year term, effective 1 July 2012 through 30 June 2017.

ABS has had a longstanding commitment to education. “We believe that encouraging students in engineering is crucial to the future of the industry,” says ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “We are convinced the caliber of people in leadership roles at universities like UC Berkeley is one of the keys to ensuring these institutions continue to produce the quality engineers who will develop technologies that will determine the future of the industry.”

Professor Yeung’s involvement at UC Berkeley is evidence that he takes leadership roles like this one seriously. For more than two decades, he has served as the faculty advisor of the university’s student section (Cal-SNAME) for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME). Technical papers of eight of his advisees have won the national SNAME Graduate Paper Honor Prize. Three other papers by his students have won American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Awards as well. A dedicated educator, Yeung has mentored more than 100 graduate students and researchers, many of whom are actively involved in the marine field worldwide.

“Professor Yeung is an outstanding member of the College and Berkeley campus community, and we are thrilled to share this wonderful news,” says Professor David Dornfeld, Mechanical Engineering Chair at the University of California at Berkeley.

Yeung is enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by the rapidly changing offshore environment. “The public recognizes that many issues of energy, environment and climate are related to the oceans. Planet Earth is actually Planet Ocean. We are in a time when many new developments are happening offshore, particularly in ocean renewable, transportation and deepsea” he says. “ABS, with its strong leadership tradition, is in the driver’s seat to see that things are done with the best technical tools available.” Yeung’s recent research subjects include “Green ship by design,” “rolling-motion fluid physics” and “renewable energy from waves and wind.” In his role as ABS Chair, Yeung will mentor and work with the students who will meet the challenges of this changing landscape head on. “So often,” Yeung remarks, “it is our students, properly trained, who will make a better world.”

Professor Yeung received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1973 and taught at MIT’s Ocean Engineering department from 1973 to 1982. Prior to his doctoral studies, he staffed as a naval architect at Litton Ship Systems in Culver City, California, and was involved in the design of several classes of naval vessels. He joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley in 1982 and has been a Distinguished Professor of Hydromechanics and Ocean Engineering since 1996. He was elected as a Fellow of SNAME in 1998 and in 2004 was awarded the SNAME Kenneth Davidson Medal in recognition of his outstanding scientific accomplishments in ship research.

Among Professor Yeung’s major awards are three Best-Paper Awards from ASME-Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (OMAE) Conferences from 1991 to 2009; Fulbright-Hays Senior Scholar of the Australian-American Education Foundation in 1981; Distinguished US Scientist of the von Humboldt Foundation of Germany in 1988 and 1998; and the prestigious 2002-2003 Georg Weinblum Lectureship sponsored by the Schiffbaugesellschaft of Germany and the US Naval Studies Board. In 2008, he received The International Researcher Award from the Brazilian Society of Marine Engineers (SOBENA). Professor Yeung was conferred an Honorary Professorship at Harbin Engineering University, China, in 2010. At OMAE 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a special international Symposium on Offshore and Ship Hydrodynamics will be held in his honor.

ABS has established various scholarships for studies at technical universities in China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, the UK and the US and has supported additional educational undertakings, including research projects at a number of leading international maritime universities.

Subsea World News Staff , July 17, 2012;  Image: ABS