Christopher WiernickiChristopher J. Wiernicki, chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping, will receive an honorary doctorate degree and be a speaker when the State University of New York Maritime College holds its spring commencement May 6.

“Over the years, ABS has been a valued friend to the college in its support of our students and faculty,” said SUNY Maritime president Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis in announcing Wiernicki’s selection. “It’s an honor to have Chris Wiernicki at commencement this spring as a way of acknowledging all ABS has done, and continues to do, to help maritime education.”

Chris Wiernicki has been CEO of the classification society since 2007 and its chairman since 2011. The society supports two endowed faculty positions at SUNY Maritime, representing the largest single gift in the college’s more than 140-year history. ABS supports dozens of student scholarships and original research every year, and counts several SUNY Maritime graduates among its career employees.

Before becoming the chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping, Wiernicki held a variety of positions within the organization, including president, chief operating officer and chief technology officer of various ABS divisions at different times in his career. He has served as the chief operating officer of the ABS Group of Companies, ABS Europe and ABS Group Consulting. He has served as the chief technology officer and executive vice president of ABS Inc.

Before joining ABS, Wiernicki worked at the David Taylor Naval Research Center, now known as the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and then Designers and Planners Inc, a naval architecture firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University, a master’s in structural engineering from George Washington University and a master’s in ocean engineering from MIT, and is a graduate of the Harvard School of Business advanced management program.

Approximately 300 students will graduate from SUNY Maritime this spring. Commencement begins at 11 a.m. Friday, May 6, in St. Mary’s Pentagon in Fort Schuyler, N.Y., in the Throgg’s Neck section of Bronx.