Wednesday, August 28, 2013

$50,000 Gift from Hornbeck Offshore Leads Upgrades to Ship Design Computer Lab

Hornbeck GiftCarl Annessa (center), Hornbeck Offshore executive vice president and chief operating officer, presents a check for $50,000 to
Lothar Birk (left), chair of the UNO School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Norm Whitley, dean of the
UNO College of Engineering, in the ship design computer lab.

Donations from the shipbuilding and maritime industry, led by a $50,000 gift from Hornbeck Offshore Services, will enable the University of New Orleans School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering to upgrade its ship design computer lab.

"The contributions to upgrade our ship design computer laboratory show the high regard in which our program is held, and the importance of this program for the regional and U.S. marine industry," said Lothar Birk, associate professor and chair of the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. "Our ship design computer laboratory provides our students with state-of-the-art tools and helps them to prepare for successful careers in the marine industry. UNO enjoys an excellent relationship with the industry, and we appreciate the continued support."

In addition to the $50,000 donation from Hornbeck Offshore Services, the project also received $5,000 from Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla.; $2,500 from Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La.; and $500 from Elliot Bay Design Group, which has offices in Seattle, Wash. and New Orleans.

UNO's computer-aided ship design laboratory features cutting-edge hardware and naval architecture-specific software. The lab is reserved for naval architecture and marine engineering students who are given access to the typical set of tools that are used in the naval architecture industry around the world.

"Attracting the best students to the fields of naval architecture and marine engineering is critical to the future viability of the maritime industry," said Carl Annessa, Hornbeck Offshore executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Hornbeck Offshore depends upon UNO's School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering as the primary source of naval architects and project managers for our innovative ship design, conversion and construction programs. Hornbeck Offshore believes strongly in the future of the U.S. maritime industry and we feel this donation will facilitate the development of future leaders in the industry."

Hornbeck Offshore Services, based in Covington, La., is a leading provider of technologically advanced offshore supply vessels serving the offshore oil and gas industry.

UNO's School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering is the only one of its kind in the Gulf Coast region and one of the few in the nation. Established in 1980 at the request of the local shipbuilding industry, the program has produced well-educated graduates while supporting the field through basic and applied research.