Director and Chief Surveyor of AMA Inc., John Poulson brings 40 years' experience in marine engineering, surveying, consulting, claims, loss prevention, and provision of expert witness services. While Poulson has served in senior manager roles for the past 17 years, positions he has held throughout his career have involved expertise in the coordination and oversight of worldwide surveying and consulting operations, quality control, and dispute resolution.
Atlantic Marine Associates Inc., New York, NY
Director and Chief Surveyor | Providing independent marine surveying, consulting, claims handling, and expert witness services globally.
GL Noble Denton, New York, NY
President | Opened and established the New York office for marine casualty investigation. Responsible for the coordination and oversight of surveying and consulting operations, quality control, and dispute resolution throughout the Americas for the company's marine casualty investigation sector, reporting principally to Underwriters concerned. Responsible for regional development of the business sector, and training and skill development of technical surveying personnel.
Performed field survey work; assisted attorneys; provided expert witness reporting and testimony. Performed casualty investigations with an emphasis on major casualties, including: collisions, fires, groundings, machinery failures, shipyard liabilities, and damages to third party installations. Warranty survey work included voyage and towage approvals, vessel moorings, and lay-ups / reactivations.
Shipowners Claims Bureau, Managers of the American P&I Club, New York, NY
Principal Surveyor: Loss Prevention, Risk Control and Technical Services | Globally responsible for management of the survey department; monitored the condition and standard of Member vessels entered with the club, a fleet comprising several million tons. Liaison with claims handlers on technical and vessel third party liability issues. Conducted work on personal injury cases.
BMT Salvage Ltd (the SA), New York: Regional Office for the Americas
Regional Manager, the Americas | Manager directly responsible for all aspects of company operations throughout Canada, North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Responsibilities included overseeing all aspects of survey operations, quality control, and dispute resolution. Performed casualty investigative survey work; assisted attorneys; provided expert witness testimony with depositions and court appearances in the U.S. and abroad; conducted field training and evaluation of personnel; conducted warranty survey work, including voyage and towage approvals, vessel moorings, and lay-up / reactivation.
Acted as liaison at board level, reporting to company directors. Responsible for regional development, including start-up of joint ventures; establishment of new office locations; acquisition of subsidiary surveying companies; recruitment of technical and administrative personnel; marketing; presentations to Underwriters and industry personnel; speaking as conference delegate at IUMI and IMCC; and giving guest presentations for technical instruction courses.
Conducted administration-level duties, including trustee-ship of company pension and retirement funds, general business management, and general administration.
The Salvage Association, Ltd., New York: Head Office for the Americas
Staff Surveyor | Performed salvage, casualty, warranty, and condition surveys in the Eastern Seaboard, Great Lakes, and Gulf regions of the U.S.; Canada; the Caribbean; and Central and South America.
Conducted casualty work with an emphasis on major casualties, including collisions, fires, groundings and machinery failures, fixed and floating object damages, and builder’s risk and repair liability. Warranty work included vessel and power-barge mooring approvals, towage and voyage approvals for vessels of various types and damages, fishing vessel risk assessment, and loss prevention engineering.
Represented Underwriters on occasion in Europe and the Far East. Acted as regional manager for the Americas.
The Salvage Association, Antwerp Office, Belgium
Staff Surveyor | Conducted salvage, casualty, warranty, and condition surveys throughout Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East.
Reederei Roth, GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
Chief Engineer | Responsible for all engineering matters, personnel, main and auxiliary machinery, and plant. Assisted shore-based technical management with preparation of dry dock and repair specification, including modification of vessel systems. Sailed on multipurpose vessels engaged in container line trades and carriage of bulk liquid cargoes.
Certified by Lloyds Register of Shipping for continuous survey of machinery (CSM).
Andrew Weir & Co. Ltd. (Managers of the Bank Line Ltd.)
Second Engineer | Responsible for all operational matters pertaining to main and auxiliary machinery and plant. Assisted with dry docking and repairs. Sailed on multipurpose vessels engaged in container line trades and carriage of bulk liquids. Specifically responsible for on-board care and handling of bulk edible oil cargoes.
Junior to Third Engineer | Performed various watch-keeping and maintenance responsibilities. Sailed on container, general, and refrigerated cargo vessels.
Education & training
South Shields Marine & Technical College | South Shields, UK
National Diploma in Marine Engineering with Endorsements
Shore-based and sea-going training
University of Portsmouth | Portsmouth, UK
Master of Science (MSc), Maritime Studies
UK Department of Transport (DOT) First Class Certificate of Competency: Marine Engineer, Unlimited horse power
DOT Second Class Certificate of Competency
DOT Class Four Certificate of Competency
Chartered Engineer (CEng): UK Engineering Council
Chartered Marine Engineer (CMarEng): Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
Registered Marine Surveyor (RMS): International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS)
GL Noble Denton: 'Leading with Integrity' - Certificate of Completion
Bond Solon, London: Excellence in Written Evidence & Witness Familiarization
BMT Fleet Technologies: 'Fatigue and Fracture Analysis of Ship Structures' - Certificate of Completion
Course presenter on 'Viewpoint of the Underwriters' Surveyor'
North of England P&I Association: Residential Course in Loss Prevention and P&I Insurance - Pass with Distinction
Fellow: Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (FIMarEST)
Member: Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME)
Member: International Institute of Marine Surveying (MIIMS)
Member: Maritime Law Association, U.S. (non-lawyer)
Associate Member: Association of Average Adjusters of the U.S. and Canada
Chairman: Association of Average Adjusters of the U.S. (2005-2006)
Past Member: American Bureau of Shipping, Special Committee on Ship Operations
Past Member: Ship Technical Committee, International Group of P&I Clubs
publications & presentations
Ballast Water Management Presented at International Marine Claims Conference, Dublin, 2017
Ever Feel Like a Spare Part? Presented at International Marine Claims Conference, Dublin, 2016
E-Mission Control, We have a Problem American P&I Club, 'Currents' periodical
Article discussing problems encountered with operation of fuels necessary to comply with impending environmental legislation
Design or Latent Defect Presented jointly at International Marine Claims Conference, Dublin, 2013
Comparison of coverage under English, German, Norwegian, and U.S. law
The Deadliest Cargo The Nautical Institute, 'Seaways' periodical, 2013
Discussion of the dangers of nickel ore cargoes
Watery Graves American P&I Club, 'Currents' periodical, 2013
Discussion of the dangers of nickel ore cargoes
It Must Be the Fuel Presented at International Marine Claims Conference, Dublin, 2009
Life at the Sharp End Presented at International Marine Claims Conference, Dublin, 2008
Hatch Covers - An Open and Shut Case (Fact, Fiction and Fallacies) American P&I Club, 'Currents' periodical, 2007
Human Error - the Challenges Facing Mariners Today Address presented at International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), Copenhagen, 2007
Where Do We Go from Here? Chairman's address at the Association of Average Adjusters of the U.S., 2006
Bilge Water Discharge - Still Hazy After All these Years? American P&I Club, 'Currents' periodical, 2006
Fatigue and Fracture Analysis of Ship Structures Course material published for The Viewpoint of the Underwriters Surveyor, British Marine Technologies (BMT), 2004
Construction of Merchant Vessels in the U.S. Lloyds of London Press, 2003