Marine Institute Graduate takes the helm of School of Maritime Studies
Thursday, July 6, 2023

The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University has named Marine Institute alumnus and Master Mariner, Captain Kristopher Drodge as its new head of the School of Maritime Studies. He will assume his new role July 24, 2023.

“Capt. Drodge has an exceptional reputation in the maritime and offshore energy sectors. His collaborative leadership style and expertise has strengthened education and training requirements, safety, and regulations that exist in our local offshore,” said Dr. Angie Clarke, associate vice-president (Academic and Student Affairs).

“I’m honoured to be a part of the school’s exceptional team of faculty, staff, researchers and technologists,” said Capt. Drodge. “This position is extremely important to me and to the future of the province’s maritime industry as we grow our world leading Marine Institute and educational resources.”

“We are excited to welcome Capt. Drodge back to the Marine Institute to lead our School of Maritime Studies,” said Dr. Paul Brett, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute), pro tempore.

Blueprint for leadership

As a member of the Institute’s senior management team, Capt. Drodge will be responsible for providing the strategic direction for the school and day-to-day leadership of its academic programs, research and industry partnerships. He will develop and maintain relationships with students, industry, academia, community, alumni and government to ensure continued effectiveness of academic programs and research activities.

“The maritime industry is evolving at a rapid pace with advancing technologies in the supply chain, a changing workforce and growing needs for specialized instruction and delivery,” explained Capt. Drodge.

“Our commitment to lifelong learning for our graduates and industry clients, coupled with strong relationship building and solid strategic planning will set the blueprint for our role as our school addresses the immediate and future educational needs of the maritime sector.”

Maritime experience

Beginning his career on tankers and containerships, he moved to NL’s offshore as a ballast control operator, where Capt. Drodge progressed through roles in the industry, having been one of the youngest offshore installation managers in Canada.Kris Drodge

An advocate for a modern and safe offshore working environment, Capt. Drodge has been an instructor at his alma mater and contributed to the development and offering of offshore safety courses.

Capt. Drodge moves to the Marine Institute from the Net Zero Project where he led subject matter experts in policy/regulation, technical, strategic partnerships and economics towards net zero emission reduction in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore energy industry.

His recent contributions to the industry include jurisdictional intakes of two drill rigs, revision of industry regulations and management of required training and qualifications for offshore personnel.

In 2019, NOIA (now Energy NL) recognized him with their Rising Star Award as a member of the local oil and gas industry who demonstrated significant achievement by age 40 or younger.

Capt. Drodge regularly speaks to professional and community groups about the industry, its commitment to safety and its value to all Canadians. He served as member of the NL oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force, was the former chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ Training and Qualifications Committee and brings a mobile offshore perspective to the Master Mariners of Canada and Nautical Institute.

A Torbay, N.L. native, Capt. Drodge holds a diploma of technology (Nautical Science) and bachelor of maritime studies (Maritime Management) from the Marine Institute and has more than 20 years experience in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas industry. He is currently completing a master of business administration, energy specialization at the Edinburgh Business School.

Search Process

Capt. Drodge was selected following a search, chaired by Dr.  Clarke and a committee comprised of faculty members, academic and administrative leaders, and representatives of the local maritime industry.

“I’d like to extend our gratitude to the committee for bringing their different perspectives together with a focused approach to find the right individual to lead our School of Maritime Studies. They have made an outstanding selection,” said Dr. Clarke.

Capt. Drodge succeeds Captain Fred Anstey. Dr. Brett thanked Capt. Anstey for his leadership in the head role.

“Capt. Anstey has played a central role in the school’s growth over the last decade, especially in recruiting new research chairs, supporting our research and training centres, and expanding our graduate programming for the maritime sector,” said Dr. Brett. “We are incredibly grateful for his dedication to Memorial’s Marine Institute.”