Shanghai: Founded in 1860 in London to “advance the art and science of ship design” today the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) is very much a global organisation, which is why Maritime CEO meets up with its CEO, Trevor Blakely, in Shanghai. Blakely, who has headed up RINA for more than 15 years, is determined to keep internationalising his association.
“Next year we want to do more of the same,” he says, explaining: “Internationalism through membership, events and publications.”
RINA boasts 10,000 members from 97 countries. Its events are increasingly outside its UK home. Just yesterday, Blakely was involved in an event in Shanghai, and today he’s exhibiting at Marintec China, Asia’s largest shipping show.
In terms of what the association offers its members, Blakely, who was an engineer with the Royal Navy prior to joining RINA, lists the professional qualification it provides as very important. The qualification is internationally recognised and Blakely feels that increasingly senior management from non-European counties are keen to show off their employees’ qualifications. “Letters after your name used to be quite a UK thing, but this is changing,” says the man whose business card almost needs widening given the 24 letters that follow his surname.
RINA also provides unique information to both members and non-members alike via its assorted publications.
With shipping’s future in the balance as heads of state meet in Paris this week to thrash out environmental goals, Blakely reckons that the shipping industry is actually “quite an environmentally friendly industry”. Its problem, as ever, is a failure to be more proactive.
“It is a sad reflection on the maritime industry that it does not act until it is forced to,” Blakely warns.