Dr. Björn KjerfvePresident, World Maritime University, Sweden
Dr Kjerfve has recently overseen the US$115 million renovation of a scientific drilling ship (JOIDES Resolution), which forms part of the multinational Integrated Ocean Drilling Program currently being implemented by Texas A&M University.
Welcoming his appointment, Mr Efthimios Mitropoulos, Chancellor of WMU and IMO Secretary General, said: “I am pleased to welcome Dr Kjerfve on board and look forward to working with him as the University embarks on the next chapter of its history. Dr Kjerfve’s long experience and expertise in ocean sciences and the delivery of high-quality tertiary education and research will add considerable value to the reputation that WMU has acquired as a globally-recognized centre of excellence in the maritime field.”
Dr Kjerfve has dual United States and Swedish nationality. Prior to joining WMU, he was Dean of the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University, and also a tenured professor of oceanography and geography. Texas A&M is ranked among the top 10 institutions in oceanography, atmospheric sciences and geography in the United States; all three of these programmes run in the College of Geosciences. Before joining Texas A&M University, Dr Kjerfve was a tenured professor of marine and geological sciences at the University of South Carolina, where he also served as the Director of the Marine Science Program. Dr Kjerfve also taught at the University of Sydney, Australia, from 1979-1980; at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, from 1988-1989; and Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden, in 1996.
Dr Kjerfve has maintained an active research presence, obtaining research grants, building large research programmes, publishing books and peer-reviewed journal articles, and mentoring PhD students. As part of his research, he has spent time in Brazil and other Latin American countries, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia (mostly Thailand and Malaysia), the Middle East (Dubai and Qatar), and has recently put together a collaborative educational and research programme and joint PhD degree between Texas A&M University and Ocean University of China in Qingdao.