Top 10 technology leaders 2022
Maritime technology is showing a greater degree of maturity, with the result that leaders are building strategic partnerships within the tech space
Tech embraces new fuels, new digital capabilities, new engines and equipment and everything in-between. Larger businesses also have the challenge of recruiting and retaining new skills; this sector is evolving rapidly
01 / Søren Meyer, ZeroNorth
Søren Meyer was chief executive of Maersk Tankers’ digital business when he was appointed head of a spin-off with the ambition of leading the green transition in shipping.
He quickly signed up Cargill as a partner and acquired a ship performance analyst and a bunker market optimisation platform.
Copenhagen-based ZeroNorth, led by chief executive Mr Meyer, has become the go-to for optimisation technology.
Most recently, he has acquired Prosmar Bunkering, which will be operated as an independent standalone business.
Mr Meyer comments that cargo owners with an appetite for change have become key drivers of the industry’s green transition; major retailers are uniquely positioned to lead this transformation.
02 / Kimberly Mathisen, HUB Ocean
Chief executive Kimberly Mathisen joined HUB Ocean in 2022, bringing 25 years’ experience of digitalisation and technology, most recently as general manager in Norway for Microsoft.
She has a BSc in industrial engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ms Mathisen also has extensive board experience and has been named one of Norway’s top female executives in technology and one of the country’s most influential leaders.
HUB Ocean is an independent, non-profit foundation developing a data platform, applications and tools to pilot new approaches to ocean governance.
Ms Mathisen was appointed to the supervisory board of Bayer, the German life science company, in September 2022.
03 / Noah Silberschmidt, Silverstream Technologies
Fuel-agnostic air-lubrication technology has seen demand double in 2022, from about 50 ships to more than 110.
Silverstream is at the forefront of the innovation, with chief executive Noah Silberschmidt signing new business with cruiseship and ferry operators, plus gas carriers and ore carrier operators.
Strategic agreements have been signed with Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering, Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine in Qatar, and Dubai Drydocks, in anticipation of demand expanding to 500 ships within five years.
Silverstream was one of the founding members of the Global Industry Alliance, a public-private partnership linked to the International Maritime Organization, which has acknowledged air lubrication as an energy-efficiency technology.
04 / Roy Campe, CMB Tech
After studying aerospace engineering at Delft University of Technology, chief technology officer RoyCampe has taken responsibility for the technology division of the Belgian shipping group, which has expanded into hydrogen and ammonia fuels since the 2019 acquisition of Revolve Technologies.
With the introduction of the hydrogen-powered Hydrotug at the port of Ostend, CMB Tech is partnering with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in a greening programme that will play an important role in the transition to a climate-neutral port by 2050.
The hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel Hydrocat 48 has been in operation since May 2022, using clean fuels to reduce 80% of emissions.
05 / Uwe Lauber, MAN Energy Solutions
Chief executive Uwe Lauber has aligned MAN Energy Solutions with the Paris Agreement on climate change by leading a cultural transformation that calls for a 50% reduction in emissions from its engine-manufacturing facilities by 2050.
The company has unveiled a new MAN 49/60 DF engine, capable of running on liquefied natural gas, diesel and heavy fuel oil, as well as more sustainable fuels such as biofuel blends and synthetic natural gas.
It is a solid statement of intent from Mr Lauber, whose commitment to environmental, social and governance principles dissuaded parent Volkswagen from selling its maritime interest.
Mr Lauber has degrees in mechanical and business engineering, and a PhD in mechanical engineering.
06 / Shane McArdle, Kongsberg Digital
Shane McArdle was promoted from head of digital energy at Kongsberg Digital to its chief executive in September 2022 when Hege Skryseth left to join Equinor.
Kongsberg’s mission is to deploy advanced digitalisation in pursuit of cleaner, greener industries.
Educated to PhD level in chemical engineering at the University of Limerick, Ireland, Mr McArdle has been rising through the ranks at Kongsberg since 2011, taking responsibility for business development, commercial operations and production at Digital Energy Solutions.
Among 2022’s strategic partnerships, an agreement connects Alpha ORI Technologies with Kongsberg Digital’s vessel-to-cloud data infrastructure as an important step in emissions reduction.
07 / Ali Riaz, OrbitMI
US-based OrbitMI is a Software as a Service platform that sees its mission as unlocking the hidden value of data generated by the maritime sector to increase efficiency and sustainability, and thereby profitability.
A series of partnerships with Kongsberg Digital (on data analytics), SEDNA (to upgrade communications), Dataloy (for data integration), DTN (to enrich weather data) and Nautilus Labs (to provide standardised reporting structures) have all given OrbitMI new capabilities.
Chief executive Ali Riaz sees each partnership as breaking down silos, all of which have built inefficiencies into shipping.
OrbitMI was spun out of Stena Bulk, that has taken on a life of its own.
08 / Sameer Kalra, Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval’s acquisition of StormGeo marks a step-change for a business focused on physical equipment. Merging hardware with digital software involves merging skillsets, which too often leads to the creation of silos.
The inclusion in this list of Sameer Kalra, president of the marine division, comes after securing support from the Alfa Laval board. Further support has enabled the acquisition of Danish bunker procurement specialist BunkerMetric.
The marine division is now in a joint venture with Wallenius on a wind-propulsion initiative, OceanBird. Tech leaders ask the hard questions, Mr Kalra says: how quickly would Alfa Laval have been left behind if it had stayed with the market it knew?
09 / Håkan Agnevall, Wärtsilä
Tech leaders at this level must make hard choices that meet the expectations of shareholders while keeping clients engaged.
In August 2022, Wärtsilä Voyage signed a framework agreement to digitalise 21 ports run by UK operator ABP. It builds on the Navi-Port digital platform that enables just-in-time vessel arrivals.
In October, faced with a revenue shortfall caused by a pull-out from Russia, chief executive Håkan Agnevall merged Voyage with the Marine Power division.
The justification was the creation of an end-to-end digital solution that embraces propulsion, voyage optimisation, regulatory compliance and consolidation of skills. Although done through necessity, there is logic to this decision.
10 / Birgit Liodden, founder, The Ocean Opportunity Lab
A serial entrepreneur and member of many boards of directors, Birgit Liodden’s latest project offers a shared resource for ocean innovators in the marine, renewables and circular economy sectors. It also seeks to redefine business, rip up rulebooks and reinvest profits.
Ms Liodden has been a freethinker in Norwegian and now global environmental innovation. She is listed among young leaders, the top women in shipping, and Norway’s most powerful women.
The founder of The Ocean Opportunity Lab is described by colleagues as inspirational. A regular conference speaker, Ms Liodden is an active member of Maritime SheEO, and was also a founder and secretary-general of YoungShip International, with which she maintains close links.
The Top 10 technology leaders list is compiled by the Lloyd’s List editorial team and considers people and companies that are driving real digital change across the maritime industries