How to get Funding for Research: The WASP Project

Past event — 15 January 2020

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room EE Lecture 2

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Dr. Katharina Renken

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The Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) received its first larger project assignment from the European Union in summer 2019: WASP (Wind-Assisted Ship Propulsion).
While shipping companies and policy-makers see the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies as a potential way for greening the maritime transport sector and contributing to its emission reduction targets, wind-assisted ship propulsion is a promising tool, mainly, because of its impact on fuel consumption, and consequently emission, reduction. The European Regional Development Fund is funding a multi-million Euro project, involving 13 partners, related to the application of such technologies on ships operating in the North Sea Region. The project deals, among other technologies, with the installation of Flettner rotors, suction and rigid wings, the development of operational expertise and overcoming barriers (e.g. lack of capital) so as to achieve a market uptake of these technologies.

The Kühne Logistics University (KLU) with its Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) is one of the project’s key partners, leading the “Policy and viable business” work-package. The work-package’s focus is on the regulatory and business issues, whose resolution is important for a fast uptake of the WASP technologies. Based on its commitment to research aimed at enhancing sustainability, the KLU will contribute to the global dialogue on greening the maritime transport sector through its involvement in the WASP project.

Besides introducing the project and the work-package, Dr. Katharina Renken will demonstrate what needed to be done to acquire the project, which includes the project draft in the first application stage, the project proposal in the second application stage, budget constraints, timelines, etc.


Katharina Renken works as a Senior Researcher at Kühne Logistics University for the Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL) since 2018. Her expertise is in the maritime transport sector, especially in port businesses. She gained experience as a project engineer in a green field construction and management of a deep sea container port in Germany and as a researcher at a tier 1 ranked University in the US as well as at a German research facility. She received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Engineering and Management from Jade Hochschule Wilhelmshaven in Germany (today: Jade University of Applied Sciences). Thereafter she participated in a double degree program between Jade Hochschule and Texas Tech University in Texas to receive a Master of Engineering in Engineering and Management in Germany and additionally a Master of Engineering in General Engineering in Texas.
Katharina then worked at the JadeWeserPort, a deep sea container terminal, as a project engineer. Before the start of operation at the port, the design of processes and the port’s organization fell into her tasks. Finishing the emergency plan, implementing a software and instructing new personnel for the Port Office was also part of her activities, while executing responsibly as assistant department head. After the start of operation of the port, Katharina returned to Texas Tech University to aim for a PhD in Industrial Engineering. Her studies addressed emergency management in the US. Since her homecoming to Germany, Katharina worked in the maritime research field, having addressed different topics among which are Terminal Operation Systems, innovative port technologies, sustainable (green) port projects and the digitalization of the port environment (“Port 4.0”).


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Birgit Kappert

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