March 16, 2021 – Today, Seaspan Shipyards and the University of British Columbia (UBC) announced the establishment of a new faculty chair position at UBC. The chair, the third to be funded by Seaspan at UBC, both supports the priorities of the university and addresses the needs of the marine sector for technological innovation and highly qualified personnel. The chair will perform research and teach in emerging areas such as hybrid electrical propulsion, shipboard communication, cyber security, digital controls, underwater radiated noise and situational awareness. Seaspan will be investing $1M over five years.
Hybrid electrical propulsion offers particular benefits with regard to climate and environmental support, especially related to marine traffic in fragile ecosystems like Canada’s Arctic. With interest in green technology in the marine sector exploding internationally, developing Canadian expertise and applications opens the door to an important export market. UBC has earned a global reputation for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts — the university is currently ranked number one in the world in this area by Times Higher Education.
The potential areas of research for the new chair span several traditional disciplines such as naval architecture, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and materials engineering, and newer disciplines such as biomedical engineering and human factors sciences. As one of the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is well positioned to address these emerging areas of research and teaching, and is committed through their strategic plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century, to reduce the impacts of climate change, foster local and global collaboration, and provide broad and sustainable benefits to society. The search for a chairholder is underway.
The investment is part of Seaspan’s commitment under Canada’s value proposition program within the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Seaspan will be investing $1M (over five years starting in 2022) which UBC will match with a further $1M.