The QACE Board comprises of industry experts from the major marine interest groups, ship builders, owners and flag Administrations, but also different geographic regions. The Board members have no current affiliation with the Recognised Organisations.
Board Member Since 2019, Chairman Since 2021
Dr Nikos Mikelis
Board Member Since 2018
Nikos has worked in ship classification; and then for a shipping company as superintendent, technical manager and director. He joined the International Maritime Organization in 2006, where he was the Head of Marine Pollution Prevention and Ship Recycling section.
Nikos has served in senior positions in various shipping industry bodies, has written over 50 papers, numerous articles in the maritime press and is a freeman of the City of London.
Board Member Since 2019
Peter Hinchliffe OBE
Board Member Since 2022
Board Member Since 2023
Lars joined QACE in January 2023 as Director. Lars is a qualified maritime lawyer by training. He started his professional career 1998 as a maritime lawyer in Bremen. From 1999 onwards he dedicated his professional life to marine insurance, first as head of marine insurance of an “Assekuradeur” in Bremen and since October 2008 as head of marine and aviation insurance at the German Insurance Association (GDV) in Berlin. In January 2013, Lars moved to his present position as Secretary General of the International Union of Marine Insurance e.V. (IUMI) where he takes – beyond others – care on IUMI’s IMO and EU activities and fosters the relations to other maritime stakeholders. In his capacity, Lars holds a number of honorary posts in the maritime environment, for example as the Chair of the International Quality Assessment Review Body IQARB, as a member of the Advisory Committee to the IACS QSCS or as Technical Expert to the BIMCO Marine Committee.
The Board has appointed an Executive Secretary to manage the assessment and certification of the Recognised Organisations; a Company Secretary to oversee QACE’s corporate operations; and an Administration Manager.
Ananth joined QACE on 15 June 2020. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of Ship Classification Societies and Statutory services of Recognised Organisations (RO), having worked for three different Class Societies in his past career. He has been involved with Quality Management for the past 22 years in various roles and capacities. He has represented all of the three Class Societies in the Quality Committee of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) for 15 years, and he was its Vice-Chairman for 3 years. He was the GL Representative in the RO Group that established QACE. In the last year immediately prior to joining QACE, he has worked as an auditor for three different Accredited Certification Bodies now engaged in the certification of the Class Societies/ROs.
Dr Nikos Mikelis
Nikos has been a Board Member since 2018 and became the Company Secretary from 15 June 2020. He remains on the QACE Board.
Matina joined QACE in September 2021. She has extensive experience in different business areas as well as a Bachelor degree in Maritime Business and an ongoing Master Degree in Financial Trading. She is responsible for QACE’s smooth day to day administrative and operational activities.
QACE contracts Assessors to execute the assessment programme. The Assessors are experienced maritime professionals drawn from different geographic regions.
Gur (Sarup) joined QACE in 2011 after serving fifteen years with IACS as an Audit Manager. He has extensive experience with Class having served the Indian Register of Shipping for seventeen years in various capacities, including responsible for Classification & Statutory services. A marine engineer by profession he sailed as a Chief Engineer. Sarup is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers (India).
Captain Hartmut Nickel
Hartmut joined the QACE team in 2014 from the German flag State Administration. Hartmut has long and varied experience most recently as a German flag state surveyor, senior Port State control officer, ISM / ISO 9000 lead auditor and MLC inspector to the German Ship Safety Department. He has been involved with RO oversight for the Administration.
Abhay joined the QACE team in January 2020 following 20 years with Lloyd’s Register where he held senior governance, assurance and improvement positions at both a global and regional level. Abhay has a background in technical performance highlights include responsibility for a transformation programme that helped improve ship maintenance and awareness of common deficiencies, through pre-arrival checklist booklets, now widely used by the marine industry. He was heavily involved with internal and external audit and was responsible for introducing both risk-based and remote ISO audit methods.
Priyabrata (Pat) Patnaik joined QACE in 2022 with 45+ years of experience with compliance, risk and consultancy services in the marine industry. He worked with Lloyd’s Register (LR) across a range of their global offices over three decades. He leveraged his expertise in class and statutory services to serve as the chairman of the Devolved Classification Executive of the Americas chapter and as LR’s Technical Performance Manager (TPM) for the Americas and an internal auditor. As the TPM, he was responsible for ensuring the services delivered met LR’s quality objectives as well as IMO, various flag state and other regulatory requirements. Trained as a naval architect, he has experience in ship design, ship building, classification and statutory compliance, and all technical aspects of new building projects. He is an experienced ISM/ISPS/MLC auditor
Chen Wang joined the QACE team in November 2022 upon retiring from the China Classification Society. He has extensive experience with the IACS QSCS scheme, with EU Reg.391/2009, and with Statutory and Classification survey for new constructions and ships in service, and chaired IACS Statutory Panel from Jan 2008 to Dec 2010.
Chitta joined QACE in 2022 with 42+ years of experience in maritime industry, areas of expertise being Classification and Statutory Survey & Certification, Audit/Assessment, Training, Consultancy services, New Construction Project Management, Operations and Quality & HSE Management. He worked with Lloyd’s Register (LR) for over 30 years and was LR’s Area General Manager and Marine Business Manager for South West Asia Area. He is an experienced ISM/ISPS/ISO Auditor. A marine engineer by profession, Chitta sailed as Chief Engineer on Merchant ships. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Marine Engineers (India) and Member of The Indian Society for Nondestructive Testing.
Frankie joined QACE in 2022 after retiring from DNV. His roles in his 41 years in DNV included site survey, site audit, operation management and quality & safety management roles. Frankie focused particularly on quality & safety in his later career, and was the global head of quality & safety in DNV Maritime. He has worked in Norway, Denmark, Japan, Greater China, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.
Steve joined QACE in 2023, following a twenty-year career with a major classification society culminated in the position of Director, Business Development – Management Systems Certification. Prior to this Steve was Head of Management Systems Certification, from 2000 to 2015. During this time, he was accountable for the certification of client companies and their ships in meeting the requirements of the ISM Code, ISPS Code, ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 45001, and ISO 50001 standards. Steve is an ex-student of the College of Nautical Studies, Warsash, Southampton, and is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute and a Freeman of The Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
Accredited Certification Bodies
QACE, as part of its certification process, utilises the services of the following Accredited Certification Bodies (ACB) to audit the quality management systems of the Recognised Organisations: