SUNY Maritime names inaugural ABS chairmen

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — The State University of New York Maritime College is pleased to announce that Dr. Richard Burke and Dr. Christopher Clott have been selected as its inaugural ABS chairmen. 

Made possible through the generous financial support of ABS (formerly the American Bureau of Shipping), which provided an endowment of $3 million, the positions will allow SUNY Maritime to remain “first and foremost” in the fields of maritime education and training. 

“The search committee was impressed by the depth and breadth of the applicant pool, and believes the selection of Drs. Burke and Clott provides tremendous opportunity for growth in our programs,” said Timothy G. Lynch, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“The incumbents bring an impressive blend of academic and industry experience that will allow for applied research, intellectual pursuits and high-profile research that incorporates theoretical and real-world applications. We are excited to add them to our world-class faculty and excited about what the future holds,” Lynch added.

Burke and Clott will assume their new roles in time for the fall term. Each incumbent will teach a pair of courses each semester, sharing their wisdom and expertise with students while also engaging in significant and high-profile research activities. 

Burke is the inaugural ABS chairman of Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. A 1972 SUNY Maritime College honors graduate in naval architecture, Burke served as chairman of the Department of Engineering and most recently as a presidential fellow to the State University of New York’s Research Foundation. Burke also holds a research appointment at Stony Brook University.

“I am grateful to Maritime College and ABS for this opportunity,” said Burke. “This will give us the opportunity to expand research into ship design features and methodologies that will enhance environmental sustainability, survivability, and salvageability of vessels. Our students will have the opportunity to participate in research with very practical consequences."

Clott brings years of industry and academic experience to the position as inaugural ABS chairman of Marine Transportation and Logistics. Most recently, Clott was the dean of the College of Business and Health Sciences at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., located near the largest intermodal port in North America. Previously, he served on the faculty of St. Xavier University (Chicago) and the California Maritime Academy, where he used his expertise in supply chain management to overhaul the program in international business and logistics. 

With extensive industry contacts and an enviable record of publications, Clott hopes to invigorate the programs in global business and transportation and in international transportation management by ensuring they remain relevant and focused on the dynamic maritime industry. He plans to focus on port and intermodal infrastructure issues, including last mile, congestion and public private partnerships for infrastructure funding. His current research focuses on port development and intermodalism. 

“Freight transport is a complex industry, especially as supply chains lengthen across countries, seas and continents,” Clott said. “Rapidly growing world trade and pursuit of economies of scale have led to the introduction of megavessels with 12 to 19,000 TEU capacity, straining the infrastructure of major maritime gateways and putting pressure on intermodal connections to the hinterland. The effective management of a supply chain to and from major inland ports has become a key factor in differentiating product and service offerings and gaining accessibility to global customers for competitive advantage."

By Professional Mariner Staff