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82U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) on Sept. 29th receives largest grant ever from Lloyd's Register Educational Trust ...

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Oct 4, 2007

      NLUS Sea Service News

      Merchant Marine Academy receives largest grant ever from Lloyd's Register Educational Trust ...

      The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (LRET) demonstrated its commitment to maritime training and safety at sea with a major donation to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) on Sept. 29.

      The LRET’s award of $375,000 represents the largest corporate grant ever received by the USMMA Alumni Foundation, as well as the first ever award in North America by the Trust.

      The grant will help underwrite both simulator training at the Academy for shipping liquified natural gas, and a distance learning graduate marine engineering program.

      The LRET, which is based in London, was established in 2004 to support advances in transportation, science, engineering and technology education, training, and research worldwide for the benefit of all. The Trust also funds work that enhances the safety of life and property at sea, on land, and in the air.

      Mr. Michael Franklin, the Director of the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, traveled to the Academy in Kings Point, NY on Sept. 29 to officially present the Trust’s award to Vice Adm. Joseph D. Stewart, Superintendent of the Academy.

      “We are very pleased for the opportunity to support the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in these important initiatives,” said Franklin. “This award shows that the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust is committed to supporting efforts to advance technology and to improve the quality and safety of the maritime industry worldwide.”

      “The Academy is thrilled to receive this generous donation from the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust,” said Vice Adm. Stewart. “This forward-thinking grant clearly supports the Academy’s longstanding goal of producing the best-trained merchant mariners possible.”

      The amount of $225,000 is earmarked for creating a Simulation Center for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Tanker Operations at the Academy. The LNG shipping industry, driven by the world’s growing demand for energy, is experiencing an unprecedented expansion. The LRET grant will be used to train USMMA midshipmen to fill the worldwide shortage of highly qualified personnel required to sail on LNG tankers and to operate LNG terminals.

      The USMMA is operated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton said, “The generous grant from Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust will work in tandem with the Maritime Administration’s LNG crewing initiative, which has secured berths for American mariners on ships bringing LNG to the United States.”

      “Licensed mariners require in-depth knowledge and understanding of LNG cargo and its safe transportation,” says Capt. George Sandberg, head of Simulation Training at the USMMA. “The LNG simulator, underwritten by the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust’s grant, with its superior graphics and cutting-edge technology, is the cornerstone for providing this vital and necessary training.”

      The remaining $150,000 from the LRET will be given over three years to support the Academy’s new Master of Marine Engineering (MMarE) Program. This computer-based, distance learning Master’s program is aimed at developing creative thinking among practicing marine engineers as they become involved in research and innovative design projects. The MMarE program has just entered its second year.

      According to Prof. Jose Femenia, head of the MMarE Program, “The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust’s commitment to supporting the Master of Marine Engineering Program will go a long way toward ensuring the success of this unique educational effort. The Trust is helping us expand beyond the boundaries of the Academy to offer advanced level graduate education on-line to marine engineering professionals employed anywhere in the world.”

      The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust is wholly funded by the Lloyd’s Register Group, the globally recognized independent organization working to help improve its clients’ safety, quality and environmental performance. Lloyd’s Register traces its beginnings to 18th century London when Edward Lloyd began publishing a sheet of shipping news of the day. In 1760, the Register Society was formed to print a listing of vessels that would give underwriters and merchants an idea of the condition of the vessel they insured and chartered.

      In 1834, the organization was reconstituted as Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping. In 1852, Lloyd’s Register opened its first overseas office, in Canada, and other offices followed around the world as the Lloyd’s Register name became internationally recognized.

      The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, dedicated in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, initially provided the surge of seagoing officers required by a nation embroiled in World War II. After the war, the Academy developed a four-year, college-level curriculum that now provides the Nation with well-educated and trained young men and women for careers at sea, in the transportation industry and in the U.S. Armed Forces.