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ODU Conference to Draw Maritime Researchers From Around the World

wktalley-wayne-talleyWayne Talley

In a time of seismic change in the maritime, ports and shipping industries worldwide, academic, government and industry leaders will gather in Norfolk for "Maritime Economics in a Post-Expansion Panama Canal Era," a conference hosted by Old Dominion University.

The International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) Conference 2014 will be held at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside Hotel July 15-18. Co-hosted by ODU, Canada's Dalhousie University and Texas A&M University at Galveston, the event features speakers from the Panama Canal Authority and Suez Canal Authority, as well as top executives from the Port of Virginia, Port of New Orleans and Port of Los Angeles.

Wayne Talley, Frederick W. Beazley professor of economics and director of ODU's Maritime Institute, said the timing of the conference - as work is being completed on the Panama Canal expansion - means that panels and research will focus on the very real issues faced by everyone in the maritime industry.

"The $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the biggest changes ever faced by the maritime industry. IAME is one of the leading organizations sharing information and scholarship on the impact of such a dramatic shift," Talley said.

The wider, deeper channels and locks are aimed at serving more massive vessels known as Post-Panamax ships. Over the next decade they should almost double the cargo the canal moves between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which will have a dramatic impact on the maritime industry.

IAME is an international forum for the exchange of research and information among those interested in maritime and maritime-related issues. IAME conferences, in particular, provide opportunities for building and strengthening relationships between research and industry communities. Participants will be attending this conference from Greece, Australia, Canada, Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Taiwan, Belgium and Singapore.

ODU's expertise in port research stretches back decades, in part because of the university's location near a major, deepwater port, but also because of the work of ODU faculty researchers.

At a recent IAME annual meeting in Santiago, Chile, worldwide university rankings for port research over the past 30 years were presented. ODU was ranked eighth in the world in these prestigious rankings, second only to the University of Washington in the Western Hemisphere.

"This is a very significant recognition," Talley said. "It is an incredible honor for Old Dominion University and the local maritime community to host the world's leading researchers in maritime issues, and have the opportunity to showcase the scholarly maritime research that is being done at ODU."

Other local participants include the Port of Virginia, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Maritime Association. For more information about IAME Conference 2014, see: http://www.iame2014.org/.