ABS Restructures Engineering Organization

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Effective 1 May, ABS will introduce changes to its global engineering organization designed to improve service delivery to clients and reinforce technical capabilities. The new organizational structure is similar to the approach the society has used to administer its global survey services in recent years and is intended to provide better administration of its ship and offshore engineering services, more technical support to the engineering staff conducting plan reviews and promote greater technical consistency.

The key component of this new organizational structure is the creation of Assistant Chief Engineer (ACE) positions within each operating Division, reporting directly to the ABS Chief Engineer Robert Giuffra in the corporate headquarters in Houston. The Assistant Chief Engineers will be responsible for technical engineering standards and interpretations in each division, technical monitoring of the engineering work undertaken, investigating client feedback, and providing guidance to the Divisional Vice Presidents of Engineering on technical issues that arise.

Appointed to these new positions are Robert Spencer in the Europe Division, based in London, Roy Bleiberg in the Americas Division, based in Houston, and Wei Bao (Bill) Shi in the Pacific Division, based in Singapore.

“By creating the Assistant Chief Engineer position to focus on the technical aspects of the engineering function, it will allow the Divisional Vice Presidents of Engineering to spend more time on improving operational efficiencies, managing workflow and enhancing client service,” said ABS President and COO Chris Wiernicki in announcing the new organizational structure.  

“As ABS continues to grow – our classed fleet now exceeds 147m gross tons and our orderbook remains above 70m gross tons – and as the number of less experienced shipyards has also grown, it has become evident that we need to evolve our organizational and administrative structure so that we can continue to provide the highest possible standards of service to our clients,” he added.

The existing Vice President of Engineering positions remain. However, with Robert Spencer, currently Vice President of Engineering within the European Division moving into the Assistant Chief Engineer position, Dimitrios Kostaras has been named ABS Vice President of Engineering for Europe. The position will also be relocated from London to the large ABS office in Piraeus.

“This appointment and relocation reflects the wider geographical spread of ABS engineering activities within Europe and of the particular importance of Greece, and Greek shipowners as a focus of the current ABS newbuilding orderbook,” said Wiernicki.

Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.

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