2021 Sheldon Kinney Memorial Lecture - Worldwide Energy

Ms Caryn Hederman (top right), President of the US Friends of WMU, introduced the 2021 Sheldon Kinney Memorial Lecturer, Mrs Lois Zabrocky (top left), President and CEO of International Seaways, Inc.

The 2021 Sheldon Kinney Memorial Lecture was delivered on 19 October by Mrs Lois Zabrocky, President and CEO of International Seaways, Inc., on the topic of Worldwide Energy: Navigating Today, Innovating for Tomorrow. The lecture was attended in person by the World Maritime University (WMU) Malmö Class of 2022 with the WMU community -  including students in the China MSc programmes, distance learning students, alumni, and governing bodies - who were invited to join online.

In her welcome remarks, President Doumbia-Henry thanked the US Friends of WMU for their ongoing support including sponsoring the Sheldon Kinney Lecture Series with Mrs Zabrocky being the seventh Kinney Lecturer. President Doumbia-Henry highlighted the contribution of the US Friends with 50,000 USD at the close of 2020 to enhance WMU’s distance learning technical capacity, particularly due to the challenges faced by the pandemic.

Ms Caryn Hederman, President of the US Friends of WMU, joined by video link. She noted that RADM Sheldon Kinney, former Rector of WMU, was a person of high integrity who showed great courage in his leadership. She highlighted that RADM Kinney was a believer in lifelong learning, and therefore the Kinney Lectures are a fitting tribute to his legacy.

In her presentation, Mrs Zabrocky addressed how we consume energy, and what comprises the mix of energy today. She highlighted that the three key sectors driving energy demand are transport, buildings, and manufacturing. Less than 20 percent of today’s primary energy supply is solar, wind and bio energy while coal, oil and natural gas provide the rest. For the first time in over 130 years, in 2000 we consumed more renewable energy and coal, with world demand continuing to rise. Mrs Zabrocky maintained that investments are needed to develop economic and technologically capable storage for wind and solar power, including transport. 

Highlighting the challenges some sectors face regarding electric solutions, Mrs Zabrocky used the maritime industry as a case in point with ships assuming long voyages at sea. She highlighted hydrogen as potentially the main decarbonization alternative for sectors that are hard to electrify. She stressed that  highly available alternative solutions for transport and distribution of hydrogen need to be significantly improved.

In closing, Mrs Zabrocky emphasized the incredible anticipated growth in wind and solar, as well as bioenergy which is projected over the next 30 years. Addressing the students in particular, she said, “You are our hope for the future, and all of these areas are going to provide opportunities for investment for innovation. They will need to be put into practical use in our world as we move forward.”

The lecture concluded with a question and answer session that included input from both the onsite and online audiences, and was moderated by Professor Max Mejia, Director of the PhD Programme, and Head of the Maritime Law and Policy specialization (ad interim). 

About the Sheldon Kinney Lecture
RADM Sheldon Kinney was a distinguished US Navy veteran and former Rector (President) of the World Maritime University. In honor of the 20th anniversary of WMU and RADM Sheldon Kinney, the United States Friends of WMU established the Sheldon Kinney Lecture as a public lecture featuring internationally renowned guest experts in different areas of maritime transportation. The lectures took place annually from 2004 through 2008 and were relaunched in 2017. The Sheldon Kinney Lecture is funded by a small endowment from the US Friends of WMU and by WMU.

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