Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI -- Congressman David L. Obey (WI-7) announced on December 12, 2005, that the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI), a joint effort of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Minnesota Duluth, will receive $2 million in federal funding. This is the second year of funding for the GLMRI collaboration, which now totals $2.75 million. Congressman James L. Oberstar (MN-8) secured the original authorization for the initiative, and Congressman Obey secured the funding in the recently passed transportation appropriations bill.
The Institute?s goal is to help maintain and promote maritime transportation on the Great Lakes. Initial research will focus on the economics and development of the Great Lakes marine transportation system, the economics of port development in the Great Lakes, security issues, inter-modal transportation opportunities and marine transportation and port environmental issues. In addition to the two local universities, GLMRI has established research affiliations with the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan, the University of Wisconsin Madison?s Midwest Regional University Transportation Center, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the University of Toledo, and Michigan Technological University in Houghton.
In June 2005, the U.S. Maritime Administration designated the GLMRI as a National Maritime Enhancement Institute for the Great Lakes. Under the Secretary of Transportation, select institutions throughout the United States have been designated as National Maritime Enhancement Institutes (NMEIs). The purpose of the NMEIs is to create a research-oriented atmosphere that lends itself to providing effective input for addressing maritime issues.
An advisory board, composed of Great Lakes maritime and shipping experts, has been established to provide input into the annual research agenda. Members of the board include the Maritime Administration, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, U.S. Coast Guard, the Lake Carriers Association, the Great Lakes Commission, American Association of Great Lakes Port Authorities, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The co-directors of GLMRI are Dr. Richard Stewart, from UW-Superior's Transportation and Logistics Research Center, and Dr. James P. Riehl, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at UMD. 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.