The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) has awarded its highest technical honor, the David W. Taylor Medal for notable achievement in naval architecture or marine engineering, to Dr. Kirsi Tikka, currently President of the ABS Europe Division. The award was given at the society’s Annual Banquet during the SNAME Annual Meeting held in Providence Rhode Island.
Dr. Tikka has held a variety of executive positions within ABS over the last ten years including Vice President Technology, responsible for research and development at the class society, Vice President Global Technology and Business Development, Chief Engineer and, most recently, President of ABS’ European and African operations.
During her tenure with ABS she led the establishment of the ABS Harsh Environment Technology Center in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland, played a key role in the development of the Common Structural Rules for Tankers and Bulk Carriers and subsequently served as the driving force behind the Common Structural Rules Harmonization Project and established and led the ABS Environmental Solutions Group.
“Kirsi is an international leader in ship structure design and energy efficiency,” says ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “Her insight and guidance are valued throughout the industry because throughout her career she has consistently provided practical solutions for the challenges impacting the marine and offshore industries.”
Prior to joining ABS, Tikka served as a Professor of Naval Architecture at the Webb Institute in New York, where she carried out research on the structural strength of tankers. She also worked in several departments at Chevron Shipping and began her career with Wartsila Shipyards in her native Finland.
Tikka earned her PhD in Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering from the University of California (UC)-Berkley. She also holds a Master Degrees in Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering from UC-Berkley and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Technology, Helsinki.
“It is an honor to have been selected to join the distinguished group of David W. Taylor Medal recipients, particularly at a time when the skills of naval architects and marine engineers are once again in high demand,” Tikka said upon accepting the award. “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to study and work with many remarkable individuals and I hope that I am able to provide the same level of support to the younger generation of naval architects and marine engineers who are facing today’s challenges and opportunities.”
Tikka urged the present generation not to allow their view of the future to be restricted by the limitations introduced by current commercial practices, canal and port restrictions, production technologies and conventional materials. “It is my strong belief that if we are to meet future demands, we cannot get there with current technologies. We need to look beyond traditional naval architecture,” she said.
“This is the challenge particularly for the young generation of naval architects and marine engineers who need to look beyond the obvious,” Tikka said. Noting the inherent conservatism of the shipping industry, she cited the offshore industry as providing a template for the type of creative thinking that has pushed designers beyond traditional practices and accepted solutions. “The same kind of thinking is needed now for ships,” she counseled.
Tikka is the fourth ABS executive to receive a prestigious SNAME award within the past decade. Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville was awarded the organization’s Land Medal in 2009 recognizing his outstanding contributions to naval architecture and marine engineering. Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Donald Liu, received the David W. Taylor Medal in 2004, and Senior Vice President of Technology Peter Tang-Jensen, was recognized by SNAME for this same honor in 2010.
“These awards are a testament to the caliber of individuals at ABS who continue to lead the technological advancements across the industry and position ABS as Class of the Future,” says Wiernicki.
ABS, October 29, 2012