Conference MARENER 2017 coming soon!

Recently, we had the chance to have a little chat with Josefin Madjidian, Research Associate at the World Maritime University (WMU). Josefin was so kind to carve out a few minutes out of her busy schedule, filled with commitments to the Maritime Energy Management (MareEner) and Maritime Environmental Research (MER) research groups, and answer a couple of questions about the upcoming MARENER 2017 conference.

Karolina Lubiejewska:
Josefin, could you explain to us the concept behind the MARENER 2017 conference?

Josefin Madjidian:
The International Conference on Maritime Energy Management, MARENER 2017, will take place on 24-25 January at the World Maritime University (WMU) premises in Malmö, Sweden.
The event will bring together individuals from across the maritime spectrum including industry, administrators, standard setting bodies and regulators, energy industry professionals, educators, sustainable development and environmental specialists and government representatives to examine opportunities and challenges in the field of maritime energy management.
WMU launched a new master specialization in September 2016, Maritime Energy Management (MEM), to support the shipping industry’s drive to become more environmentally friendly. The specialization also helps to underpin the United Nations’ millennium development goals for sustainable use of the oceans (Goal 7), and is the first of its kind in the world. Staging a conference on the same topics as the specialization was warmly welcomed by the University.

More information can be found at

KL: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in organizing the conference?

JM: I am a research associate at the WMU and I have been in the organizing committee of the conference from the beginning. We have been working on it about a year already. We are a group of 9 to 10 people from the University.
As part of the organizing committee I have lately been much involved in creating the conference programme and reviewing papers, but I don’t have a specific role, we have been working together in the team.

KL: Is this the first time for the WMU organizing a conference? What were your prior experiences with such work?

JM: It is the first time that the WMU hosts a conference on this specific topic. However, the WMU regularly hosts international conferences, the latest being on shipping in the Arctic (ShipArc 2015) and prior to that, on Maritime Women: Global Leadership (MWGL 2014).
Following an academic conference the outcome is often presented in a Springer book series where authors presenting at the conference are invited to submit an academic paper that will be peer-reviewed and if accepted printed. Such peer-reviewed conference proceedings will be published with Springer for MARENER 2017, too.

KL: Why attend? What can we expect from the conference? What sorts of learning and networking opportunities could participants expect to find at your conference?

JM: There are six top reasons to attend MARENER2017.
To hear from prominent speakers in the maritime energy arena including nine high-level keynote speakers, amongst others the International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim and the Swedish Minister for Infrastructure.
To educate yourself through participation in discussion of cutting edge themes, connected to maritime energy management: regulatory framework, economics of energy efficiency, social and human dimension of energy management, energy-efficient ship design and operations, energy management in ports and shipyards, alternative fuels and marine renewable energy, and theoretical aspects of maritime energy management.
To position yourself as an expert in MEM area and share your own research findings with others (visibility aspect).
To advance your professional network and connect with key influencers and stakeholders.
To contribute to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To get inspired by the innovative solutions to MEM challenges of the 21st century.
As you can see, MARENER 2017 will provide a valuable platform to assess energy trends and to explore foundation theory, practice and applications. All forms of Maritime Energy Management are of interest and will be considered. During the two busy conference days we have made sure that there is enough time for networking and personal visibility with extended coffee breaks and lunch breaks.

KL: Could you tell us about the history of the Conference? How did it come into being, and how has it evolved over the year

JM: The idea for the topic of the conference came up in context of the Paris Agreement and the UN DGs and especially goal 7 (which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) in order to highlight the commitment of the shipping industry to reduce its environmental impacts.
The Organizing Committee of the conference has been very busy since day 1 following a decision to make the conference happen. We have been working for approximately 1 year! The Organizing Committee has been very active and devoted in spreading the word and making the conference a success.

KL: What does organizing the conference mean for the WMU?

JM: The WMU is an institution at the forefront of oceans, shipping and maritime research. The WMU hosts international conferences on topical issues of interest to the broader maritime and oceans community and is one of our contributions to capacity building and knowledge dissemination in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The conferences are an excellent opportunity for key stakeholders and influencers to come together and develop common solutions to challenges humankind faces in the 21st century and beyond.
Due to its unique links to governments and private industry, the WMU conferences are also a direct contribution to informed policy development at the highest level, thereby positioning WMU globally as the centre of excellence and the go-to place for research-oriented analysis and assessment of MEM-related issues.
Organizing an international conference of the magnitude of MARENER also means that the WMU is capable of providing a unique exchange platform for all interested parties.

KL: What guided your selection of speakers?

We believed that the keynote speakers should reflect all aspects of maritime energy management. Following that, we set up with themes that suited the overall conference topic of maritime energy management and opened a call for papers. All papers were reviewed.

KL: What is the main problem for maritime industry in your opinion? And what kind of problems and issues you would like to tackle during the conference?

JM: The extended energy management domain is becoming a top priority for the global maritime community. It is imperative that governments and decision makers around the world pay increased attention to “green maritime technologies”, including port management activities, with the aim to achieve an energy efficient and low carbon future for the industry.
From ships to ports, the maritime industry must effectively respond to increasingly stringent environmental rules and regulations.
In 2014, the European Commission set a 20% energy savings target by 2020 in relation to the projected use of energy. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that includes a bold set of Global Goals of which goal 7 aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
These initiatives demonstrate a significant global interest in renewable energy and alternative fuels, spurring momentum across the industry with a wide range of technical, operational and commercial measures focused on maritime energy management that have already been implemented or are under development.

KL: How do you see these conferences evolving? Do you plan on having this conference once a year going forward?

JM: No. However, the WMU is involved with all cutting-edge issues spanning the maritime, shipping and oceans sector. We will continue covering those topics and contributing to capacity development and knowledge dissemination in areas within our mandate.

KL: Thank you for your time. 

MARENER 2017 is an International Conference on Maritime Energy Management and will focus on renewable energy and alternative fuels, which now are creating an upward momentum across the industry with a wide range of technical, operational and commercial measures that have already been implemented or are under development.

MARENER 2017 will be held on 24 and 25 January 2017 in Malmo, Sweden and hosted by one of the Go LNG project partners, WMU (World Maritime University).

Registration and more information: WMU