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Maritime Research Centre

The Maritime Research Centre provides specialist research and consultancy services to the maritime industry, particularly in the field of maritime human factors. The sections below detail the main areas of research currently being undertaken but please contact us if you require additional information or would like to initiate a specific research or consultancy project. 

Claire Pekcan
Professor of Maritime Applied Psychology, School of Maritime Science and Engineering

Project MAXCMAS: MAchine eXecutable Collision regulations for Marine Autonomous Systems

MAXCMAS is an Innovate UK £1.27 million-funded multi-partner project. The consortium for this project includes Rolls Royce as lead co-ordinator; Atlas Electronic UK, a defence company; Lloyds Register, a leading safety assurance organisation; Queens University, Belfast; and Warsash Maritime Academy as academic partners. The project commenced in August 2015 and will conclude in the autumn of 2017.  

Project IMAGINE: innovation in marine engineering diagnostics and feedback

Southampton Solent University and Rolls-Royce have launched a collaborative research and development project to support the unmanned and partially autonomous operation of marine vessels. Running from Autumn 2016 to Spring 2018, the focus will be on applying immersive technologies to enable the engineering crew to perform typical duties required for continuous vessel operation at a remote location rather than in situ. Rolls-Royce are eager to take advantage of the breadth of expertise the the University offers, including marine engineering, high-fidelity simulation, human factors and virtual reality. IMAGINE has links with Rolls-Royce in the UK, Singapore and the Nordics.

IMAGINE is supported by a strong team of staff from across the University, as well as the future technologies group from the Rolls-Royce Derby office. The project team is led by Solent University senior lecturer, Gordon Meadow as principal investigator, and co-investigator, Professor Chris Barlow. Project research assistants include Dr Tychonas Michailidis, Dr Sara Braganca, Louis Arrigoni and Emma Broadchurch. Senior lecturers in marine engineering, John Gouch, Sam Samuels and Paul Jackson also bring their vast range of expertise to the project. Finally, the project is supported by a number of in-house consultants, as well as two technical members of staff, Dave Kemp and Charlie Stoodley.

MARTHA

The three-year MARTHA research project into seafarer fatigue concluded in 2016, and the final report was presented to delegates at the IMO's human element, training and watchkeeping committee on 30 January 2017. The study found that fatigue can result in long-term physical and mental health issues and individual motivation decreases over the length of the voyage. It also highlighted that night watchkeepers get significantly less total sleep than others onboard, and that Masters suffer more stress and fatigue than their crews.

Data was collected from the results of questionnaires and interviews of 1,000 international seafarers, and 100 volunteer crew members operating on vessels worldwide during their tours of duty.

HORIZON Project

This EU-sponsored research project investigated the concerns over human safety, environmental damage and commercial loss due to watch officer fatigue. Bridge and engine room officers were monitored closely during typical watch patterns on full mission simulators to determine the impact of fatigue of cognitive performance on maritime watchkeepers. 

Maritime Human Factors

The development of maritime human factors research at Warsash Maritime Academy has been in three main areas:

BEEMS

Project BEEMS (Building European Environmental and Maritime Skills) is an EU-funded project which aim is to stimulate the development and sustained growth of environmental and maritime skills within the marine renewable energy industry (offshore wind, wave and tidal flow), and to increase the sector’s economic viability through enhanced cross-border co-operation and joint working.

Port development projects

This work includes examining the operational aspects of changes in a port such as realigning existing berths, examining proposals for new berths, testing against specific combinations of meteorological conditions and investigating tug requirements and techniques.

Proposed berths, channels and other elements of a port can be built from drawings to achieve pilot and tug master familiarisation prior to the completion of the infrastructure.

The operational needs and procedures for new ship types and sizes can also be investigated on the simulator.

For further information, please email: wma@solent.ac.uk

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