The Maine Maritime Academy was awarded a $1.4 million research grant to study and develop environmentally savvy transportation technology.
The U.S. Department of Transportation grant is the largest research grant that the school has ever received, according to the Bangor Daily News.
It will fund the academy’s efforts to build a marine engine-testing and emissions laboratory, where researchers will study how to reduce harmful emissions and make more efficient engines for commercial shipping.
The lab will be in the academy’s ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research. Construction is expected to begin in the spring, with the lab ready for use in the fall of 2015.
Projects that take place in the new lab will be integrated into the studies of the academy’s students in the school’s engineering, transportation and business programs.
Research in the new lab will focus on helping the marine industry further comply with a set of regulations adopted at the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which was held in 1973 with the aim of reducing ocean pollution.
“These regulations, especially in coastal and inland waterways, are difficult to meet with existing marine engines,” Maine Maritime Academy board of trustees chairman Robert Peacock II said in a statement.