New Book Examines DNV's 150-year History

By Eric Haun
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Historic ship registers. (Photo courtesy DNV GL)

Det Norske Veritas (DNV) began in 1864 as a small Norwegian classification society, and in the 150 years since, has grown into one of the world’s largest enterprises of its kind with the formation of DNV GL in 2013.

As part of the group’s anniversary celebration, DNV GL launched a book entitled “Building Trust: the History of DNV 1864-2014,” telling the tale of the organization’s development throughout its 150-year history, drawing attention to the group’s sociological contributions through the years. The book, written by Norwegian historians Gard Paulsen, Håkon With Andersen, John Peter Collett and Iver Tangen Stensrud, is a result of a four-year research project in the department of historical studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

“Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Det Norske Veritas provides an opportunity both to understand and acknowledge our history better, and to use a deeper grasp of the past as knowledge and inspiration for our meeting with the future,” said Henrik O. Madsen, President & CEO of the DNV GL Group.

Since 1864, DNV has been a participant in a major social development in Norway through key roles as inspector, consultant and prime mover in the internationalization of Norwegian shipping. It later acquired a similar role in the evolution of Norway’s oil and offshore technology, and eventually in a number of other industries both nationally and internationally.

In a broader perspective, DNV has contributed to creating trust between players in shipping and industry, between suppliers and customers, and in technology and systems. By issuing certificates, conducting inspections, defining norms and setting standards in a number of areas, the society has facilitated trade and transport, made agreements possible between geographically separated parties, influenced marine insurance and financing, and regulated aspects of maritime technology.

However, DNV has contributed particularly to strengthening quality and safety in the shipping industry and subsequently in the far more demanding oil and offshore sector. The history of DNV is also the story of risk management as a specialty and a precondition for technological development in society.

The services represented by DNV can be understood as mechanisms in what could be called the almost invisible infrastructure of trust, both in Norway and internationally. These are mechanisms which have dealt over a long period with risk, threats and trust deficits in industries of great social significance, such as shipping and petroleum.

Little attention has been paid to trust and trust-building mechanisms as preconditions and essential infrastructure for an increasingly globalised society. In that respect, the history of DNV should make an important contribution to a necessary and exciting sociological discussion with both political and economic aspects. Building Trust contributes to an academic understanding of how these mechanisms have emerged, how they have evolved over time, what they have embraced, what authority they have operated with, and what forms of knowledge and relationships have been required for this.

The story of the Norwegian classification society established 150 years ago is therefore about something more than substantial diversification and internationalization. It also relates how a private enterprise such as DNV has secured and been awarded assignments which regulate basic social conditions.

In the final section of the book, a separate chapter is devoted to the immediate past and the merger with Germany’s Germanischer Lloyd. The book concludes with a broad overview of DNV’s history, which maps out developments from the first register of ships published by the society in 1865 to its many different assignments and services today. Then as now, the challenge was to strike a balance between providing trustworthy information to market players – primarily marine underwriters and charterers – and regulating conditions of great social importance and interest. The ways DNV achieved this balance has varied over time, but it has always possessed a great ability to change and adapt to alterations in markets, political regimes and technologies – an almost systematic pragmatism has long been a key characteristic of the society.

Building Trust is published in English by Norway’s Dinamo Forlag, and a total of 25,000 copies have been printed by TBB in Slovakia. In addition to being used as a gift, the book will be available through libraries and booksellers.

dnvgl.com

  • Building Trust: the History of DNV 1864-2014 (Photo courtesy DNV GL)

    Building Trust: the History of DNV 1864-2014 (Photo courtesy DNV GL)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Young Taken on PESA Advisory Board

Hoover Container Solutions’ chairman and CEO, Donald Young, has been nominated and elected to the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) Advisory Board for a three-year term.

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

News

Canadian Authorities seek to contain oil spill moving down river

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Classification Societies

IRClass First to Certify Indian Recycling Yards per EU Standard

IRClass is amongst the first organizations in the world to certify ship recycling yards according to EU standards as an ‘Independent Verifier’. IRClass Systems and Solutions Pvt.

KR Boosts Operational Efficiency with Boxship Conversion

The Korean Register has announced that it has successfully completed a feasibility study for the conversion of an 8,600 teu containership into a 10,000 teu vessel.

RINA Closes Edif Group Acquisition

RINA S.p.A, the holding company of the multinational testing, inspection, certification and consulting engineering group based in Genoa, Italy, has announced that

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1126 sec (9 req/sec)