Shipbuilding Symposium Attracts Record Crowd

Friday, October 25, 2002
The annual Ship Production Symposium had as many as 600 attendees, many from the shipbuilding and repair industry, academia and government, gathered at Boston’s Westin Copley Place hotel for the September 25-26 event. As in previous years, the Symposium was cosponsored by the National Shipbuilding Research Program and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and the record attendance can be attributed in large part to SNAME holding their Annual Meeting concurrently with the Symposium.. Evidence of considerable interest in and support for the shipbuilding/repair industry and the NSRP collaboration was seen in not only the size of the crowd in attendance, but also in its composition. Chief Executive Officers of all the Nation’s largest shipyards were joined by top officials from the Defense Department, U. S. Navy, Maritime Administration and American Bureau of Shipping. In keynote addresses and during panel sessions, these highly placed industry executives and government officials repeatedly stressed the shipbuilding and ship repair industry’s importance to the Nation, and cited valuable advances in the industry that have been made possible through the government/industry collaboration enabled by NSRP. NSRP, which is sponsored by the Naval Sea Systems Command, is a collaboration of 11 U.S. shipyards working with government, industry, and academia to achieve the continuous product and process improvements necessary for the U.S. shipbuilding industry to become internationally competitive, directly resulting in more affordable Navy ships. Technology transfer, a key element of NSRP’s mission, figured prominently during the week’s events, as both the Ship Production Symposium and the SNAME technical track agendas provided for several technical presentations encompassing such topics as Environmental Technology, Facilities and Tooling, Systems Technology, Shipyard Production Processes, and various naval architecture/marine engineering technical areas. Among those attending were approximately 100 young men and women studying naval architecture, marine engineering and/or ocean engineering at one of the Nation’s public or private engineering institutions. In addition to a planned educational program, the students were afforded a unique opportunity to hear a panel comprising shipyard executives and representatives from academia and the Office of Naval Research discuss current status and future directions in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. During the session that followed, the students were able to further explore a career in the industry through informal conversation with personnel from industry, government and academia. The success of this year’s Ship Production Symposium sets a positive tone for the 2003 event, which will be held as part of the World Maritime Technology Conference, scheduled for next October in San Francisco.
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