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Pulitzer-Nominated Naval and Maritime Historian to Speak at Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME – On Thursday, November 3, 2022, Dr. Larrie D. Ferreiro, Professor of History and Engineering at George Mason University, will be presenting “The Search for Speed Under Power, 1800 until Today” at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME, sponsored by the Harold Alfond School of Engineering. This keynote address will headline the New England Chapter of the 2022 Society of Naval Architects and Naval Engineers (SNAME) conference.

The conference will take place at the Harbor View Room in the Alfond Student Center. From 4:00 – 5:00 PM, there will be optional tours of T.S. State of Maine, pending ship availability. From 5:00 – 6:00 PM, there will be a social hour and cash bar, followed by dinner from 6:00 – 6:45 PM. Dr. Ferreiro will present from 6:45 – 7:45 PM. Guests can attend for $40, with discounted rates for SNAME/ASNE members ($35) and student members ($15). Guests can view a live stream of the presentation and register online at

Dr. Ferreiro’s talk will expand upon concepts he explores in his newest book, Bridging the Seas: The Rise of Naval Architecture in the Industrial Age 1800-2000, where he discusses the shift from sail to steam propulsion, and later to diesel and gas turbine, which helped drive the industrialization of shipbuilding and ship propulsion. Following in the footsteps of the famous Search for Speed Under Sail by Howard Chapelle, Ferreiro explains how the introduction of steam (along with iron and steel) required new rules and new ways of thinking for building ships. During the Age of Sail, the shipbuilder was left to his own knowledge and experience to build the fastest ships. As other propulsion technologies emerged (paddlewheel, screw propeller), the demands for predictability of speed and power led to requirements for engineering, research and development, which in turn gave rise to the new engineering professions of naval architect and marine engineer.

Ferreiro describes these propulsion system developments across two centuries, and projects some considerations for a decarbonized future, including the development of commercial nuclear power at sea.

Larrie D. Ferreiro is a naval architect, historian and the author of several award-winning books in his-tory, science and technology, and was the 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in history for his book Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It. He has served for over forty years as a naval architect and systems engineer in the US Navy, US Coast Guard and Department of Defense, and was an exchange engineer in the French Navy. He teaches at George Mason University in Virginia and Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

SNAME is an internationally recognized non-profit, professional society of individual members serving the maritime and offshore industries and their suppliers. For many, SNAME has been absolutely essential to career development and success in the industry. With more than 6,000 members around the world in 95 countries, SNAME is THE International Community for Maritime and Ocean Professionals!

About Maine Maritime Academy
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The annual job placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine. For more information, visit

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