Foreship appoints Benjamin Sward as president to lead US growth
(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Naval architecture and marine engineering company Foreship Ltd. has appointed Benjamin Sward as president of Foreship LLC to take responsibility for the company’s U.S. activities, its growth and a renewed pursuit of opportunities in the commercial shipping and offshore sectors. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Sward will also have oversight of Foreship’s Seattle operation.
The appointment sees a return to Foreship for Sward, who served the company as a naval architect and project manager between 2015-2018 and led a variety of upgrade projects for high-profile cruise clients such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises. Sward is a University of Michigan graduate in naval architecture and marine engineering and a member of SNAME.
In the intervening period, he worked as engineering manager of PaR Marine, a Georgia-based company specialised in mission critical machinery engineering for U.S. Navy ships. Here, he led the team of engineers that designed and installed the first electric aircraft elevator in U.S. naval history and took responsibility for growing the PaR Marine engineering headcount by over 30 percent.
“Taking the opportunity to lead and grow an engineering department, and being part of the important work with the U.S. Navy was very appealing to me, but I am delighted to come back to Foreship to work with some of the best naval architecture and marine engineering minds in the business,” Sward said. “Obviously, COVID-19 has disrupted the business world in 2020 but I look forward to meeting the challenges we face working alongside my friends and colleagues at Foreship.”
Sward can also call on oil and gas expertise, having served as a technical consultant for Granherne (KBR) based in Houston, focusing on floating production and storage offshore (FPSO) vessels.
“Ben’s previous contribution to Foreship was very much appreciated within the organization and by colleagues, clients and by shipyard partners,” said Lauri Haavisto, Foreship CEO. “We experienced his professionalism in project management at first hand and we have been fully aware of his work to build up PaR Marine’s engineering team. We are delighted to welcome him back and offer him the opportunity to help shape Foreship’s business and the new generation of naval architects and marine engineers who will reinforce our presence in the United States.”
Much of the focus will remain on Foreship’s leading role in the cruise sector, where it recently launched its four-step ship response service Project Hygiea covering interception, prevention, mitigation and evacuation for ships at risk from COVID-19 or other pathogens. However, Sward has also been tasked with growing Foreship’s role in the U.S. as a center for expertise in energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources, and driving diversification into more commercial and offshore projects.
Haavisto said the significance of the appointment is also demonstrated by Sward’s inclusion in Foreship’s steering group, the team of six top level managers responsible for company strategy. He added that the Sept. 1 start date affords time for a full handover of responsibilities by previous President Marcus Höglund, who has returned to Foreship headquarters in Finland having established Seattle as the company’s second U.S. location.
Foreship is an independent company specializing in ship design and engineering. Employing more than 100 naval architects, marine and structural engineers, interior and HVAC designers and electrical engineers, Foreship provides a complete range of naval architecture and marine engineering solutions. Customers include the world's largest cruise lines as well as passenger, cargo and offshore shipowners, leading shipyards and maritime suppliers. For more information, visit www.foreship.com.