NOTE: A ceremony announcing the launching of the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2005, at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, 1200 Port Terminal Drive, Duluth, MN. The ceremony is open to the public.
Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI, U.S.A.....
The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) invite members of the community to join state and city dignitaries at a ceremony to announce the launching of the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI). The public is cordially invited.
At the ceremony the Great Lakes Region Director of the US Maritime Administration will formally present letters from Acting Maritime Administrator John Jamian designating the GLMRI as a National Maritime Enhancement Institute for the Great Lakes.
Under the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, select institutions throughout the U.S. have been designated as National Maritime Enhancement Institutes (NMEIs). The purpose of NMEIs is to create a research-oriented atmosphere that lends itself to providing effective input for addressing maritime issues. Mr. Jamian challenges the GLMRI to continue to expand its program and expertise in the pursuit of solutions to critical issues that are needed for our transportation systems to become more productive and environmentally friendly.
"Our objective is to improve our maritime transportation system for tomorrow," Jamian said. "Research and educational opportunities are particularly important to excite and inspire the youth of today to help advance marine transportation systems to achieve greater levels of efficiency, safety, security and environmental responsibility."
The institutes selected as NMEIs are capable of researching inter-disciplinary, intermodal problems, and have access to a broad spectrum of resources enabling them to address national concerns within their individual program areas.
The GLMRI joins the University of California at Berkley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Louisiana State University, Texas Transportation Institute, and Marshall University as NMEIs.
GLMRI is a joint project between UMD and established to pursue research efforts in marine transportation, logistics, economics, engineering, environmental planning and port management. Representatives James L. Oberstar (D-MN) and David R. Obey (D-WI) announced in December 2004 an initial $750,000 federal grant to fund startup of the institute, which will allow for this first-ever institute dedicated to the comprehensive study of Great Lakes maritime commerce.
"This funding will be very useful in furthering research about the unique characteristics of the Great Lakes maritime industry and trade through the region's waterways," said Oberstar. "With the expertise offered by the UMD and UWS Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, we can enhance the nation's maritime infrastructure," he said.
"I'm pleased that we have been able to secure funding for this initiative," Obey added. "Conducting a study of a Lake Superior cross-border marine transportation system with the ability to transport commerce and passengers safely and economically will lay the groundwork for future economic development for the Twin Ports and the region. The joint effort by UMD and UWS will also serve as a model for future university, industry and government partnerships."
In addition to bringing together the strengths of the transportation programs from both universities, the consortium will host relevant research affiliates from other Great Lakes universities to serve as project researchers. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is a research affiliate university of the GLMRI.
An advisory board of Great Lakes maritime and shipping experts is being established to provide input into the annual research agenda. Members of the board include: the Maritime Administration, US Coast Guard, the Lake Carriers Association, the Great Lakes Commission, American Association of Great Lakes Ports, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Research will be coordinated with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation responsible for promoting the development of a merchant marine sufficient to meet the needs of national defense and the domestic and foreign commerce of the United States.
Co-directors of GLMRI are Richard Stewart, Ph.D., from the UWS Transportation and Logistics Research Center, and James P. Riehl, Dean of the UMD College of Science and Engineering.
Dr. Stewart has extensive maritime experience as a master of vessels and an executive, professor and researcher in marine transportation for more than 30 years. Dr. Riehl was recently distinguished as a McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair award recipient recognizing his extraordinary scholarship achievements and his role as a leader and mentor throughout his career.