New Faces in the Engineering Department

LT William Hibbard Joins the MMA Faculty

Massachusetts Maritime Academy is pleased to welcome 10 new members to our faculty this past fall, including a couple to the Engineering department. For some, it was a return to their alma mater, the place where they began their academic and professional journeys. For all, it was an exciting new opportunity to share their knowledge with the cadets.

Assistant Engineering Professor Jim Albani '86 has a keen understanding of what it’s like to sit in classes like Auxiliary Machinery II and Steam Generators, the classes he taught during the fall semester, because he once sat through them as a cadet. He also knows how critical such classes are. “These courses are directly applicable to what the students will be doing out in the field once they graduate,” Albani says. “If you work at sea or work in the facilities engineering industry, these classes provide key knowledge and skills you will use.”

Albani, who earned his master’s degree in maritime engineering management from American Military University, spent nearly 10 years at sea with Exxon Shipping Company and SeaRiver Maritime before coming ashore to form a maritime consulting business with a fellow MMA alumnus. In addition, Albani served 30 years of Navy reserve duty. “I taught at various times throughout my Navy career, both to Navy personnel and civilian mariners engaged in Navy operations,” he explains.

Before retiring from the Navy, Albani served as liaison officer between the Navy Reserve Program and the Academy. “In that role I was reacquainted with the Academy, the administration, and especially the midshipmen and cadets,” he says. “I was impressed by what I saw and the degree of dedication.” When the opportunity arose to become part of the faculty, he jumped.

“As an alumnus, I know firsthand the impact MMA can have, not just on a career, but on one’s future,” Albani says. He notes that the Academy provides cadets with the tools to excel in the world at large — be it teamwork, leadership, or management skills. He says, “Through teaching and mentoring today’s students, I want to give back to the MMA community, a community that had such a powerful impact on my life when I was a youngie so many years ago."

Lt. Will Hibbard is also no stranger to life at a maritime academy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marine engineering systems from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., before spending 14 years afloat with the U.S. Merchant Marine. In addition to serving five years as Chief Engineer, Hibbard spent two summers as cruise instructor at SUNY Maritime Academy, and was part of MMA’s 2007 Sea Term.

“This is my first experience working ashore in my professional career,” Hibbard says. “I can already take a measure of the high level of standards kept at the Academy that I’m proud to be a part of.” During his inaugural semester at the Academy, Hibbard taught Engineering Systems and Safety, Auxiliaries II, and Refrigeration Lab. While he may be a youngie at the front of the classroom, his expectation of the cadets is clear: to put forth the due diligence that got them there in the first place. He says, “Each student will receive the education equivalent to what they deposit in effort, and [he or she] will carry that knowledge with them throughout their entire careers.”

CAPT Albion Llewllyn joins alma mater as professor Professor Jim Albani '86

When Albion Llewellyn '08 graduated from the Academy, he never imagined he’d return. Raised in the British Virgin Islands, Llewellyn made his mark as the first master unlimited license in his homeland. After MMA, he became a navigation officer for Celebrity Cruises and later served as a senior dynamic positioning officer aboard a drill ship. And now, he’s back at MMA. “It’s awesome to be back,” he says. “Once you’ve begun your career, you realize how lucky you are to be from MMA because of the established network.” That’s the message he’s sharing with his Marine Transportation students. “I sympathize with the cadets, but I try to encourage them to finish strong … they’ll be grateful for their time here,” Llewellyn says.

Through his Ships Construction and Deep-Sea Navigation classes, Llewellyn tries to dispense as much of his real-world experience as he can. “After completing my class, cadets should understand the fundamentals of shipboard safety through real-life scenarios,” he explains. In addition, cadets examine case studies, identify problems, and determine how to solve them.

While this is Llewellyn’s first professional teaching job, he already finds it extremely rewarding. “I like being challenged and fielding the hard questions,” he says. An avid believer in — and a prime example of — the Academy’s Learn-Do-Learn philosophy, Llewellyn works to ensure his students have the book knowledge, but also the confidence and presentation skills needed to excel in any field. “Cadets need to leave here with the ability to reason,” he says. Llewellyn is proud that his alma mater has a history of producing effective thinkers and problem solvers, and he is excited to have a part in shaping the next crop of merchant mariners.

Professor Mark Whalen joins Engineering Department

Mark Whalen, too is pleased to be part of the MMA community. A professional engineer who served as adjunct professor at the Academy for the past five years, Whalen earned his bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering from the University of Rhode Island and his master’s degree in ocean engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “MMA is small enough that its staff, educators, and students allow me to feel part of a community,” Whalen says. “I feel very welcome here by everyone I meet.”

Prior to Academy, Whalen worked at Lockheed Martin as a senior engineer and engineering manager. While a portion of his time at Lockheed Martin involved teaching, he is thrilled to devote all his attention on his students. “I was attracted to MMA because I believe I can contribute value to a facility that is focused on educating the next generation of marine technologists,” he says. During his first semester, Whalen taught Mechanics of Materials and Fluid Mechanics and assisted in the Thermo-fluid and Strengths labs as well as the Senior Design Projects. He says, “I expect students to engage in critical thinking and be active learners in a professional environment while at MMA.”