ABS donation to Texas A&M University for Ocean Engineering Chair and new Innovation lab


ABS and Texas A&M University (TAMU) are expanding their unique global strategic relationship with a $2.5m donation to endow the Ocean Engineering Department Chair and fund a new ABS Laboratory for Ocean Innovation.

The investment creates a maritime research powerhouse, uniting ABS’ extensive marine and offshore experience, with TAMU’s world class academic research capability to tackle the most pressing challenges the industry faces today and train the next generation of talent.
Dr. Sharath Girimaji will hold the new ABS Ocean Engineering Department Chair and will oversee eight initial research streams in the new 1,200-square-foot ABS Laboratory for Ocean Innovation in a multi-year plan.

“The marine and offshore industries face profound, disruptive change brought about by the forces of decarbonisation and digitalisation,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President 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.

“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.”

“As a specialised ocean engineering department, it is our privilege to partner with a global leader like ABS,” said Dr Sharath Girimaji, Department Head, Ocean Engineering, Texas A&M University. “The team of TAMU faculty and ABS subject matter experts will serve as the intellectual leaders in the important fields of maritime and offshore safety, clean energy transition and blue economy.

“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.”

The Laboratory for Ocean Innovation will include a conferencing area with state-of-the-art communication equipment for presentations, lectures and training, research collaboration and project work areas, computing space and offices for TAMU and ABS staff. 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.

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

The ABS headquarters in Spring, Texas, is situated in the middle of both TAMU Ocean Engineering locations – about 80 miles from College Station and the same to the Galveston campus.