The project had the support of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's Office, noted OSU President Ed Ray, who said the university will benefit from the process long before the first ship hits the water in 2019 or 2020.
"What is really unique about this project is that it will involve faculty from engineering and business, who will join their oceanography colleagues on the design and construction elements and provide unbelievable training opportunities for OSU undergraduate and graduate students interested in project management, marine technology and marine science," Ray pointed out.
The successful OSU proposal was submitted to the National Science Foundation by Clare Reimers, an oceanography professor, and Demian Bailey, the university's marine superintendent. As part of that submission, OSU proposed to be the operator of the first vessel. Additional operating institutions will be determined once the total number of vessels to be built is known.
The university now operates the R/V Oceanus, an older research vessel scheduled for retirement about the time the new research vessels will become available.
"The National Science Foundation hasn't authorized a multi-ship project since the 1970s," Bailey said, "and these are likely the only ships scheduled by NSF to be built during the next decade so this is a big deal. The endurance and size of the new ships will be similar to that of Oceanus and (former OSU vessel) Wecoma but they will be much more efficient and have far greater scientific capacity and flexibility."
Bailey said the new vessels will have advanced dynamic positioning that will help them sta
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Oregon State University