The MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering and the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program have announced a new track for graduate students: Ocean Systems Management (OSM).
The track will be offered in response to the high demand today in the ocean industry, particularly in the shipping industry, for highly skilled managers with strong technical background. The shipping industry is thriving: more than 70 percent of all U.S. trade by volume is conducted by ship, accounting for more than $3 trillion of economic activity annually. In the European Union, the percentage of goods carried by ships is even higher, while shipping between the United States and Europe with Asian counties is expected to double by 2025.
OSM graduates hold key positions in the industry worldwide, including some very successful ship owners. For several years, these alumni as well as key people in the shipping industry have expressed the need for a program to educate the next generation of leaders in this field.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering, which has collaborated with the Leaders for Global Operations since the program's inception 23 years ago, currently offers three tracks: Manufacturing Systems, Energy and Environmental Sustainability, and Biomechanics. The fourth track in Ocean Systems Management will start in fall 2012. Graduates of this track will earn an S. M. degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as an M.B.A. or an S. M. degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management, while also completing a six-month internship at an industry partner site.
"The LGO program is very excited about this new opportunity for students in this track, who can have an impact on both existing and future industry partners," said Don Rosenfield, LGO program director.
"We're very excited about the new track, because the shipping industry is very vibrant today and has a bright future—but there are also many challenges and opportunities ahead. The program is expected to produce leaders with the skills to take advantage of these opportunities," said Michael Triantafyllou, the William I. Koch Professor of Marine Technology, Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering and Associate Head for Ocean Engineering.
Academic requirements are a variant of the other tracks in Mechanical Engineering, with the addition of courses in naval architecture and propulsion systems.