GLDD Partners With Texas A&M For Dredging And Coastal Studies Lab
Houston-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD) has partnered with Texas A&M University to renovate the school’s dredging and coastal studies lab, which is part of the Department of Ocean Engineering. Now, following a $500,000 donation from GLDD, the facility will be formally called the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Laboratory for Dredging and Coastal Studies.
With GLDD operating the largest dredge fleet in the United States and conducting extensive work in the Gulf Coast region each year, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has long had a robust relationship with Texas A&M. The company’s 2021 relocation to Houston only enhanced that connection.
“We have had a long-term relationship with Texas A&M, particularly with the ocean engineering department,” GLDD CEO Lasse Petterson said. “By establishing the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Laboratory for Dredging and Coastal Studies, we hope to grow the relationship for further research and introduction of the dredging and coastal industry to students.”
Petterson, a native of Norway, lived in Houston for more than 20 years prior to joining GLDD in 2017 and said he was already familiar with the type of students that graduate from Texas A&M’s ocean engineering department.
“We hire a lot of Texas A&M engineers and are very familiar with the school,” he said. “When we moved our corporate headquarters to Houston from Illinois two years ago, we noted more active participation with Texas A&M as one of the benefits of being based in Houston.”
Besides the lab donation, Great Lakes leaders have been involved in the Department of Ocean Engineering’s industry advisory council, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s advisory board and the school’s annual dredging short course.
“We intend for our donation to be just part of the future relationship as we expect active engagement with researchers, students and professors at both ocean engineering campuses in College Station and Galveston, and the Maritime Academy in Galveston,” Petterson said.
The relationship is mutually beneficial, with students enjoying enhanced training as GLDD works to stay competitive and innovative on the world market.
“The ocean engineering department is very pleased to partner with Great Lakes in seeking novel solutions for a variety of coastal issues including dredging, offshore wind and marshland/wetland resiliency,” said Sharath Girimaji, ocean engineering department head. “Together, Great Lakes and Texas A&M can elevate the ocean and coastal engineering professions to new heights.”