Hong Kong shipping mogul pledges $4.1 million toward new Viterbi institute
Kenneth Koo, chairman and CEO of a prominent Hong Kong shipping company, has collaborated with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to create an institute dedicated to fighting pollution caused by marine engine emissions, according to USC News.
Koo, who runs Tai Chong Cheang Steamship Co. (H.K.) Ltd, has pledged $4.1 million toward the creation of the Tai Chong Cheang Institute for Emissions Reduction from Marine Diesel Engines. The institute will focus on creating technology to reduce emissions and invent more efficient engines.
Koo said he believes that collaboration with USC will be beneficial in realizing his vision of reducing the shipping industryâ€™s impact on the environment.
Faced with this vision, the new institute plans to research along two main paths. One will measure the differences between traditional engines and engines using new â€” possibly more efficient â€” transient plasma ignition technology.
The other would focus on producing small-scale prototype engine components that help reduce emissions of toxic pollutants. If successful, such prototypes would be made on a bigger scale and then tested with real engines.
“Our goal is to reverse, recover and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also conserving fuel and reducing emissions harmful to health and the environment,” Koo said. “I believe we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment, and we are willing to do our part to reduce the impact on climate change caused by our ships.”
Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos said the engineering school is thrilled to be working with Koo.
“We applaud Kenneth Koo for his interest in conducting truly path-breaking research that could improve combustion efficiency while saving fuel and substantially reducing pollution. He is a real visionary,â€ť Yortsos told USC News.