September 30, 2019:US Shipbuilding and the complexities in keeping up with Technology

  • September 30, 2019
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • 210 Robeson Hall
  • Jim Morse, Fincantieri Marinette Marine
  • Faculty Host: Stefano Brizzolara

Abstract: US Naval Shipbuilding is facing many challenges right now — such as an increased demand for more ships, a higher level of integrated technology, a supply base weakened by a decrease in ship procurement during the 90s, and shipyard consolidation.  This presentation will start by talking about Fincantieri Marinette Marine and how this small shipyard located on the shores of the Great Lakes has been able to remain a viable US Navy Shipbuilder.  We will discuss briefly the history of the yard, the recent investments that have provided the shipyard the ability to compete against “The Big Six” for US Navy contracts.  The discussion will then delve into the complexities that shipyards are facing in working with the US Navy to ensure the ships delivered are outfitted with the most current technology, not only in hull, mechanical, and electrical systems, but also in systems that improve the quality of life of the US Sailor.  The US DOD strategy is to prioritize the speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades in their acquisition programs.  We will discuss a Systems Engineering approach in integrating complex systems and managing the impact of change that occurs through the life cycle of a shipbuilding program.  Specific examples will be used to detail the complexities faced in the Shipbuilding industry and the Government on a variety of US Navy ship types.

Bio: Jim Morse is the Director of Engineering at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) shipyard, located in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Mr. Morse has extensive experience in Naval Shipbuilding and Engineering Management. Prior to joining FMM, he held management positions in both the Industrial Engineering and the Systems Engineering Departments of Newport News Shipbuilding (Virginia). During this time, he received a U.S. Navy Letter of Appreciation for his work on Technology Insertion and Change Management on the CVN77 Aircraft Carrier Program. Before joining Newport News Shipbuilding, he was the Deputy Director of Engineering at ECS-Federal (Washington, DC), and a Manufacturing Area Manager at Bath Iron Works (Maine). Throughout his career, Mr. Morse has supported the marine industry with implementation of continuous improvement and product integration initiatives on major navy shipbuilding acquisition programs. 

Mr. Morse earned his A.S. in Marine Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy, B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern Maine, and his M.S. in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering from The George Washington University.  Mr. Morse is a board member on the Executive Committee for the National Shipbuilding Research Program, and a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers.

About Fincantieri


Fincantieri is the 4th largest shipbuilding group in the world, and has built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of maritime history. It is a leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry's sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega-yachts, ship repairs and conversions, systems and components production and after-sales services.  Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG).  This company, which serves commercial and government customers in the US, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards (Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Fincantieri ACE Marine) located in the Great Lakes.