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April 2nd to April 4th, 2024
Hilton University of Houston
Houston, TX

Archive for the ‘speaker’ Category

Matt Wartian PhD

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Dr. Matt Wartian serves as Burns & McDonnell’s Ports & Maritime National Business Development Manager. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy to grow Burns & McDonnell’s planning, design, construction, and consulting services to U.S. ports and terminals. He specializes in leading multidisciplinary teams to deliver innovative projects that improve port and terminal sustainability and resiliency. Matt has been providing consulting services to ports for more than fifteen years, on issues ranging from natural resource management to zero emissions goods movement. Since joining Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company in 2012, Matt has led energy management and electrification programs and projects for West Coast seaports, working with teams of planners and engineers to develop programs to increase port and terminal energy sustainability, efficiency, reliability, and resiliency for their operations. He currently serves as the project director of microgrid and electrification projects that incorporate solar-power and battery energy storage to provide renewable power to zero emissions cargo handling equipment to move goods from ships to destinations when both connected to and islanded from the utility grid. These projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase operational resiliency, helping to mitigate climate change impacts. When not working, you will find Matt training for and competing in Ironman triathlons, surfing, snowboarding, and traveling with his wife and two daughters.

David A. Walker

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

David Walker is a Vice President at ABS. He is responsible for helping ABS fulfill its not-for-profit mission to serve the public interest as well as the needs of our members and clients by promoting the security of life and property, and preserving the natural environment. Among other duties, he leads initiatives in supporting government agencies and industry coalitions on clean energy production and decarbonization of maritime operations, including leading the Gulf of Mexico Green Shipping Corridor on behalf of the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition.

Prior to this assignment, Mr. Walker was Chief Operating Officer for ABS Group and President/CEO of ABSG Consulting Inc., the wholly-owned professional services subsidiaries of ABS.

He holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in reliability and risk management for complex engineered systems, from the University of Tennessee. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School.

Dr. Alok Verma

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Dr. Alok K. Verma is Professor, Powell Chair Professor, and Head of the Department of Marine Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University-Galveston. Dr. Verma received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the renowned institution, Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur, MS in Engineering Mechanics, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University. Prof. Verma is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia, a certified manufacturing engineer, and has certifications in Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. He has organized several international conferences as General Chair, including ICAM-2006 and ICAM-1999, and serves as an associate editor for three International Journals. Dr. Verma’s scholarly publications include more than 100 journal articles and papers in conference proceedings and over 50 technical reports. He has served as a PI or Co-PI on several funded competitive grants exceeding $4.0 million from NSF, DOE, NSRP, etc. He is well-known internationally and has been invited to deliver keynote addresses and invited papers at more than 12 national and international conferences. Dr. Verma has received the Isadore T. Davis award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) for bringing industry and academia together, Regional Alumni Award for Excellence for contribution to Lean Manufacturing research, International Education Award at ODU, and Ben Sparks Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is active in ASME and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Verma has served the Hampton Roads community as a board member of several non-profit organizations like Norfolk Sister City Association, World Affairs Council, and Asian Indians of Hampton Roads. He was awarded the Diversity Champion Award by ODU and the Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) for his work with under-represented groups. Dr. Verma is married to Rashmi, and they have two children – Shalini, a dentist and Shivesh, a physician.

Graham Vanderschelden

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Graham is a project manager on the Air Quality and Sustainable Practices team at the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). He has been with the NWSA for 5 years and leads many decarbonization programs and initiatives including the NWSA’s Shore Power Program, the South Harbor Electrification Roadmap, the NWSA’s 2021-2025 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy Implementation Plan, and the Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory.

Graham has a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on atmospheric chemistry from Washington State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Washington State University.

Richard Tuebner

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Richard Teubner was a member of the United States Coast Guard for more than 24 years where he gained extensive national program leadership experience in regulatory development, port security, maritime transportation system management, environmental emergency responses, and compliance programs. He has served as the Vice President for Business Development at O’Brien’s Response Management a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, Inc; and at SEACOR Holdings with responsibilities that included cross divisional business development and special projects. He recently concluded serving as the Chief Operating Officer at SEACOR Island Lines, LLC in Port Everglades and CLEANCOR Energy Solutions LLC a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, Inc., and is Vice President of SEACOR AMH, LLC Container on Barge Service for the Inland River Services Division of SEACOR Holdings Inc.

His work experience includes operational oversight of a container shipping line, program/project management with a major engineering company; and extensive support of the national operations of numerous transportation related businesses in his consulting practice. Rich has developed or managed the development of a significant number of program level operations that have included master planning, preparedness, feasibility assessment, exercise and simulation, training, regional risk management, security improvement, and trade and operational resiliency and redundancy assurance for a variety of major public/private sector business operations.

Joel Thigpen

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Mr. Thigpen currently serves as General Manager, Marine New Build Sales, leading the US Sales team in capturing new build opportunities with vessel owners, ship design companies, and shipyards. Joel joined Wärtsilä in June 2015 as the US Sales Manager for Oil & Gas, and later was named General Manager of Segment Sales – Offshore Drilling, where he focused his attention on leading the industry transformation towards a Smart Offshore Ecosystem.

Just prior to taking on his current role, Joel served as the General Manager of Wärtsilä’s Global New Build Sales Program, leading global multi-functional teams on complex strategic new build projects in various marine applications. Including his time at Wärtsilä, Joel has served for over fifteen years in various Sales and Business Development capacities, focused on the global offshore Oil & Gas market, which have included expat assignments in Aberdeen Scotland and Dubai, while working for National Oilwell Varco.

Prior to his time in the oilfield, Mr. Thigpen served as a personnel officer in the United States Air Force.

Mr. Thigpen earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences with a concentration in Management from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Joshua Singer

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Joshua has 21 years of experience dedicated to the, planning, design and inspection of marine structures. Joshua specializes in the planning, development, and design of ports to support the offshore wind industry. He currently leads M&N’s efforts in this area and acts as project director and manager for these projects along the East, West and Gulf coasts of the U.S as well as in Europe. Based on this work he has an industry leading understanding of the required OSW port criteria and how to implement efficient and cost-effective retrofit or new design installations. Clients in this area include OSW developers, OSW component OEMs, Port Authorities, and private landowners. Joshua leads a dedicated team of OSW port planners and engineers that work exclusively on OSW ports.

Christine Schlenker

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Christine Schlenker is the Vice President of the Greater Houston Port Bureau. Christine manages research, process improvement projects, strategic planning, and business development initiatives. She earned Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Houston and in Analytics from Texas A&M University.

Clark Robertson

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Clark Robertson is the Chief Operating Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, where he oversees Operations, Maintenance, Safety, Harbormaster’s Office, Rail Operations, Engineering, Channel Development, Port Security and Emergency Management. Clark joined the Port of Corpus Christi in November 2018.

Prior to joining the Port, Clark served in a variety of executive commercial and operations roles at CSX, most recently as Vice President of Chemicals – where he led a $2 billion business line – as well as Vice President of Business Development and E-Business. Previous to CSX, Clark served in senior roles for commercial real estate development and investment firms including ProLogis, Cherokee Investment Partners, the Broe Group and Trammell Crow Company.

Clark holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a major in Finance, from the University of Nebraska, and a Master’s degree in Intermodal Transportation Management from the University of Denver.

Steve Ribuffo

Posted on: August 16th, 2023 by Brian No Comments

Steve Ribuffo is the Director of the Port of Alaska, an Enterprise Department of the Municipality of Anchorage. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business operations of the Port; interacting as needed with tenants, the U.S. Coast Guard, the military and any new business prospects interested in operating out of the Port. He has been with the Port since August 2007, when he came aboard as Deputy Port Director. Mr. Ribuffo has been Port Director since June 2014.

Steve retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel, having served 30 years on active duty. A native New Yorker, he graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He also has an MBA from Golden Gate University, and a Master of Science in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology; and is an Accredited Maritime Port Executive.

Steve is a member of the Board of Directors of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation Investors’ Council. He is Chairman of the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives’ Board of Advisors and serves on their Education & Standards Committee, is the Regional Representative for Alaska on the Association of Pacific Ports’ Executive Committee; and is a University of Alaska – Anchorage Adjunct Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.