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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. 

Project Sea Traffic Management

The project is aiming to connect the maritime world in real time, enabling seafarers and those working ashore to make decisions based on real-time information, creating a more efficient and environmentally friendly maritime sector. Warsash Maritime Academy/Solent University is the only UK participant.

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 concluded in the autumn of 2017.  

Project IMAGINE: innovation in marine engineering diagnostics and feedback

Project IMAGINE badgeSolent 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.

Mentoring Seafarers Project

The Mentoring Seafarers Project will explore current mentoring initiatives employed by shipping companies internationally. It will also raise awareness of sustainable mentoring initiatives and encourage best practice to ensure long-term benefits for the education and wellbeing of seafarers.

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The Effective Crew Project

The Effective Crew Project was established to examine the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of either a stable or a fluid crewing strategy on board merchant vessels. This three year project started in April 2017 and is kindly sponsored by the Lloyds Register Foundation and the TK Foundation.

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Seafarers' Welfare in Chinese Ports (SWiC) Project

The SWiC Project will explore and examine the the availability and adequacy of welfare provisions for ocean-going seafarers when their ships call at Chinese ports. Particular attention will be paid to the seafarers' perspectives.

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Ports Energy and Carbon Savings (PECS) Project

The PECS project is an Interreg 2 Seas project under the programme priority "Low carbon technologies". The project will investigate tools and technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of small- and medium-sized entrepreneurial ports and marinas with a view to enabling them to function in a more energy-efficient and cost-effective way.

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GEM Project

The Gender, Empowerment and Multicultural Crews (GEM) project, aims to examine seafarers’ welfare, focussing on gender issues arising from multi-cultural crews and isolation. The research and data findings will facilitate the development of appropriate tools to help support women within the industry.

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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.


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:


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: