The University of British Columbia announced it will receive a $2 million investment from Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) over the next seven years to support innovative teaching and research in the naval architecture and marine engineering programs at the UBC faculty of applied science. As a result, two new UBC chair positions will be created, one in naval architecture and one in marine systems engineering, both of which are expected to be recruited this summer.
“UBC is western North America’s only academic institution offering graduate programs in naval architecture and marine engineering,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper. “Seaspan’s investment supports our leadership in these areas and also advances B.C.’s shipbuilding and marine solutions.”
This multi-million dollar investment is a result of Seaspan’s Value Proposition obligations under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). As part of this agreement, Seaspan is committed to spending 0.5 per cent of each resulting NSPS contract to contribute to the development of a sustainable marine industry in Canada.
In October 2011, the Government of Canada formed a partnership with Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards to build future state-of-the-art Non-Combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy under the NSPS.
Construction on Seaspan’s first NSPS vessel – the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs) for the Canadian Coast Guard - began on June 19, 2015. Work on the second and third OFSVs will commence in 2016.
“Seaspan is developing and growing a shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence in British Columbia, and helping drive Canada’s marine industrial base in the process,” said Brian Carter, president of Seaspan Shipyards. “Innovation and leadership are critical components of our vision of changing the course of shipbuilding history on the west coast. We are thrilled to partner with UBC and take one giant step closer to realizing this goal by creating rewarding new careers and investing in a brighter future for thousands of British Columbians and their families.”
The Seaspan Shipyards Chairs will be an integral part of the new master of engineering leadership in naval architecture and marine engineering program, which UBC launched early this year. The one-year program combines graduate engineering courses at the faculty of applied science with business courses at the UBC Sauder School of Business.
“With a 60:40 ratio of technical studies to leadership education, master of engineering leadership graduates will be primed for careers overseeing shipbuilding operations, procurement, and ship design,” said Marc Parlange, dean of the UBC faculty of applied science.
The school also offers a more technically focused master of engineering in naval architecture and marine engineering, as well as a naval architecture specialization within its bachelor of applied science in mechanical engineering program.