Business & Government

Bjorn Kjerfve Appointed President Of WMU/IMO

Björn Kjerfve has been appointed president of the World Maritime University, an affiliation of the International Maritime Organization.
By Carol Trono, Texas A&M College of Geosciences March 6, 2009

Björn Kjerfve, dean of the College of Geosciences and professor of Geography and Oceanography at Texas A&M University, has been appointed president of the World Maritime University (WMU), an affiliation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency. Kjerfve will begin his new post at WMU in Malmö, Sweden, after he steps down as dean on May 31.

The World Maritime University was founded by IMO in 1983 and is a global center for advanced education, training and research for scientists in the international maritime community. With more than 2,670 graduates from 157 countries and territories, the university furthers IMO’s objectives of encouraging and facilitating the highest practicable standards in maritime safety and security and the prevention and control of pollution of the marine environment.

Announcing Kjerfve’s appointment, IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said, “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Kjerfve on board and look forward to working with him as the university embarks on the next chapter of its history. Dr. Kjerfve’s long experience and expertise in ocean sciences and the delivery of high-quality tertiary education and research will add considerable value to the reputation that WMU has acquired as a globally-recognized centre of excellence in the maritime field.”

Kjerfve has served as dean of the College of Geosciences since 2004. Prior to joining Texas A&M, he was a tenured professor of marine and geological sciences at the University of South Carolina, where he also served as the director of the Marine Science Program. A native of Sweden and a coastal physical oceanographer, Kjerfve has also conducted research and taught intensive graduate coastal oceanography short-courses at a number of universities, including Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil; Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Göteborg’s University, Sweden; Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia; and the University of Sydney, Australia.

During his five-year tenure as dean, Kjerfve has maintained an active research program, published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, secured extramural funding and mentored Ph.D. students. As part of Dr. Kjerfve’s research, he has spent significant time in Brazil and other Latin American countries, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Most recently he initiated the development of a collaborative educational and research joint Ph.D. degree program in oceanography between Texas A&M and Ocean University of China in Qingdao. He has also overseen the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), operated since 1982 by Texas A&M as a member of the U.S. Implementing Organization and funded by the National Science Foundation, including oversight of the two-year $115 million refurbishment/renovation of the U.S. scientific ocean drill ship, “D/V JOIDES Resolution,” at a ship yard in Singapore.

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