Ensign Laura Beck from Tucson, Arizona, (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Major, Class 2017) has been awarded a Fulbright Award in Norway to pursue a two-year International Master of Science degree in Marine Technology with a specialization in Marine Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. As the NTNU is a research leader in the field of green maritime transport, Ensign Beck will conduct research to develop a hybrid propulsion solution that will increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in ships. She proposes to design a hybrid of a diesel engine and a high-capacity battery system charged by renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. This alternative will reduce emissions in ships that operate especially in coastal areas.
Ensign Beck is the second CGA graduate who has been granted a Fulbright Award to Norway. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Ensign Beck is currently an Apprentice Marine Inspector at Sector New Orleans. She conducts foreign vessel examinations to ensure compliance with safety and security regulations. With the advanced qualification of Tank Vessel Examiner, Ensign Beck verifies pollution prevention and safety systems on vessels carrying hazardous cargo. In this position Ensign Beck is on the front line of ensuring the safety and security of U.S. waterways and as well as the prevention of pollution incidents.
After graduation from NTNU, Ensign Beck plans to assume the duties of a Marine Safety Engineer in the USCG, where she will be responsible for enforcing environmental and safety standards for both domestic and international vessels operating in domestic waters. Later in her USCG career, Ensign Beck plans to be selected for a position within the USCG Office of Design and Engineering Standards where she will be responsible for the development of regulations for sustainable technologies for all US vessels. After retirement from the USCG, Ensign Beck plans to continue working in the government on energy policy through the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Management Program, or the National Science Foundation. Her goal is also to attend law school and concentrate on governmental regulations concerning the environment and address a broader range of human concerns in relation to the environment and climate change issues.