As of January 1st Bas Buchner is president of the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). He’s taken over the helm from Arne Hubregtse, who stood down to become general director of the heavy lift shipping company Biglift. Buchner: “Under my predecessors George Remery and Arne Hubregtse MARIN has evolved into an entrepreneurial organization at the heart of the Dutch and international maritime market and the biggest of its kind. We’re going to keep pursuing that course: enthusiastically extending the boundaries of our expertise and know-how so that we’re able to offer our clients timely solutions in a fast-changing maritime market. In that market it’s all about innovations geared to boosting efficiency, safety and sustainability.”
Buchner emphasizes the importance of an open dialogue and cooperation with clients and partners in that process, particularly because the problems to be faced in the future are highly complex. Buchner: “Take, for example, the issue of reducing vessels‟ fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The entire issue is too complex to resolve alone. You have to cooperate, whereby an additional openness is required: you have to enjoy sharing your know-how and expertise with others. Keeping your know-how to yourself will get you nowhere.”
Buchner himself has a great deal of experience in this type of cooperation. As manager of MARIN‟s Offshore department he has set up a string of international „Joint Industry Projects‟ in the oil and gas industry over the last ten years – projects in which MARIN, together with other specialists, resolved a shared problem faced by a bigger group of companies. Buchner: “It‟s very stimulating to see how, thanks to MARIN‟s independent status in the industry, we could get competing companies together around the table. That generated know-how and expertise that has made those offshore operations both safer and more efficient.”
Buchner also feels it is important to deploy MARIN‟s maritime know-how to resolve the challenges facing society today, such as renewable energy production at sea. Two years ago he set up the cross-MARIN Renewable Energy Team (RENT), in which MARIN‟s expertise is used to make energy generation at sea from wind, wave and tidal power more reliable and economically viable. “To achieve that, it‟s essential to harness the maritime expertise of the shipbuilding and offshore sectors,” Buchner points out. “Together with shipyards, engineering consultants, suppliers and energy specialists we‟re currently looking at whether the maritime industry can develop this into a new market.” And not only in the Netherlands: the US administration recently opted to test the systems for its first large-scale floating wind farm (off the coast of Maine) in the dedicated basins of Holland‟s MARIN.
Dr. Bas Buchner (44) studied ships‟ engineering in Delft and began his career at MARIN in 1991 as project manager. In 2000 he was appointed head of the Offshore Department. Alongside his work for Dutch and international clients as project manager and department manager, he also remained active in the technical field. In addition to his normal work he obtained a PhD, researching the problem of „green water‟: water that washes on ships‟ decks in heavy seas and which can damage their superstructures. He later used his research for the development of a wave energy concept wherein „green water‟ is transformed from a problem into a possibility for generating energy from the sea waves.