FERRIES 2021: Bringing the Norwegian experience to U.S. ferry operators

Written by Heather Ervin
Bruce Strupp on Electric Ferries

Marine Log‘s FERRIES 2021 conference is scheduled to kickoff in just over a month for the first in-person ferry event in over 18 months.

The event will take place November 9-10 on the New York Harbor waterfront in Jersey City, N.J., in partnership with the Passenger Vessel Association. As its theme says, “The ferry industry is poised to rebound in 2022.”

This year, the program includes a presentation on marine electrification for ferries by ABB Marine & Port’s Bruce Strupp.

To date, ferry operators in Norway have led the way regarding adoption of reduced and zero-emission marine electrification propulsion system technologies. These technologies have demonstrated improvements in ferry operational safety, operational efficiency, and environmental sustainability. ABB has partnered with many ferry operators globally to help them realize the benefits of marine electrification.

You will learn the following from this presentation:

  • The benefits and disadvantages of onboard electrical distribution technologies, and which hybrid/zero emission and electrical distribution technologies work best in different ferry types and applications;
  • Info on ferry applications that use energy storage systems and what cable management systems are available today;
  • How a ferry operator can get electricity from the utility to the cable management system; and
  • How a capable systems integrator can help ferry operators de-risk the design, construction and operation of hybrid and zero-emission ferries.

Meet Bruce Strupp

Strupp is responsible for working with maritime owners, operators, shipyards and naval architects to develop, propose and deliver complete propulsion systems that reduce vessel emissions, improve vessel operational efficiency and improve vessel, operator and passenger safety in the North American ferry market.

He has over 25 years of combined global maritime industry experience and has worked in many different roles including: Sales, Propulsion System & Engine Product Development, Business Development, Strategy Development, Project Management, Ship Operations, Product Support, Six Sigma and Service Engineering.

Prior to joining ABB, he worked at Caterpillar Inc. for 21 years. Strupp is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in marine systems engineering. He previousy held a Third Assistant Engineer’s License, unlimited tonnage steam and diesel, and has served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.


The venue, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking ferry traffic on the Hudson River, is a quick ferry ride from New York City.

Marine Log has partnered with the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) to plan what will be the industry’s first live event in 18 months.

In addition to two days of in-person discussions and dynamic Q&A sessions, the event will feature ample opportunities for networking.

Over the next several years, the ferry industry is expected to experience rapid growth and innovation. The collaboration between Marine Log and the PVA enables both organizations to share resources and industry knowledge in support of the ferry industry at this critical juncture.

As ever, a focus of the program will be on lessons learned from hard-earned, real-life experience. In addition, the program will explore new ways to meet economic and environmental targets through advances in technology, innovative approaches to operating a vessel, and the latest trends in ferry design.


A highlight of this year’s event will be an in-person tour of the first of the three new Ollis Class ferries being delivered to New York Harbor this fall for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. The ferries—designed by Elliott Bay Design Group in Seattle, Wash.—were built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton, Fla., shipyard.

Conference attendees will get a guided tour of the vessel’s pilothouse, engineroom, and its passenger spaces.

NYCDOT will also allow guests to explore its full mission pilothouse simulator. Designed as a close reproduction of the Ollis Class pilothouse, the simulator features the same Furuno radars and Transas ECS units as the ferries.

A Q&A session will conclude the tour on the saloon deck of the ferry prior to returning to the hotel for the remainder of the conference.

Currently, the growing list of event sponsors includes Cummins (platinum sponsor); UES Seating (tour sponsor); Hornblower (lunch sponsor); Glosten, ABB, and Siemens Energy (gold sponsors); NCP Coatings, MTU – A Rolls-Royce Solution, BMT, Elkon, EMS Marcon, Beier Integrated Systems, RocketRez, The Shearer Group, and Thrustmaster (silver sponsors); and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Elliott Bay Design Group, Derecktor, Karl Senner, Rigidized Metals, All American Marine, R.A. Mitchell, and BAE Systems (bronze sponsors).

Registration for the event is now open

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at [email protected]

Categories: Environment, Ferries, Inland and Coastal, News, Technology Tags: , , ,