Howard Fireman picked to lead new ABS department

Howard FiremanJANUARY 31, 2013 — Classification society ABS has named Howard Fireman, Vice President, Operational and Environmental Performance to lead a new Operational and Environmental Performance department.

Mr. Fireman joins ABS from the Navy, where over the past 35 years he was recognized as a distinguished leader in the areas of ship design, hull form optimization, total ownership cost, systems engineering, design integration, research and development, and operational support. He also served as Chief Naval Architect and Director of Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering for the Navy.

"The shipping industry continues to deal with a weak and challenging market. Vessels and assets have to be designed and operated to achieve optimal performance throughout their entire life cycle," says ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "ABS recognizes that designers, builders, owners and operators in the marine and offshore industries face a challenging combination of increasing regulatory requirements and operational cost pressures. This department is a commitment to our clients that we will assist them in meeting these challenges."

ABS says the technical capabilities of the Operational and Environmental Performance team will be a significant resource to clients needing to assess the energy efficiency and fuel consumption of new and existing vessel designs. In addition to concentrating their unique experience on optimizing vessel performance, the team will support the ongoing efforts of the existing Environmental Solutions Group to address changing requirements for ballast water, biofouling and air emissions, as well as emerging issues surrounding LNG as fuel.

Other members of the team include Dr. Jan de Kat, ABS Director of Energy Efficiency, who is a leader in the disciplines of ship dynamics and stability, vessel safety and operational performance with significant experience in numerical and experimental methods to predict ship performance. Dr. de Kat spent 18 years at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) – one of the most prestigious model testing facilities – where he served as Head of R&D. Dr. de Kat also filled the role of Head of Innovation and Senior Technical Advisor for A.P. Moller-Maersk for six years.

Dr. Jakob Buus Petersen, Director of Vessel Performance, brings a wealth of experience in vessel performance, ship maneuvering, seakeeping and offshore operations to the team. Dr. Petersen previously served as Head of the Vessel Performance department within Maersk Maritime Technology, where he administered the Maersk Vessel Performance Management System for the company's fleet of containers, tankers and supply vessels.

ABS Senior Vice President Peter Tang-Jensen, a technical adviser on matters of vessel performance and optimization, also will be a key member of this team. Since joining ABS, he has held senior positions that include overseeing the technology development group and containership programs. A naval architect, Mr. Tang-Jensen has worked in ship design and construction for more than 30 years, including the role of Executive Vice President of Odense Steel Shipyard.

"ABS has brought together the top industry talent to take on ship performance issues," Mr. Wiernicki says. "Their collective leadership experience and technical capability are two solid reasons for the industry to continue to look to ABS to help develop solutions to its toughest and most complex challenges."

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