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Academy management team

Syamantak BattacharyaProfessor Captain Syamantak Bhattacharya, Director, Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering


Syamantak spent over 15 years in the Merchant Navy. Initially training as a deck officer cadet, he qualified in 1989 and moved up the ranks, reaching the rank of Captain after 11 years of sailing.

Syamantak specialised in the oil tankers trade, which included petroleum products, crude oil and vegetable oil. He sailed to all corners of the world and still loves to reminisce about his sailing days. After two years as Captain, Syamantak moved to a shore-based position in Singapore as manager of a fleet of tankers, responsible for its operation and safety. 

After spending two years there, in 2004, Syamantak was awarded the Nippon Foundation Scholarship to carry out his PhD on seafarers’ health and safety from Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University, which he completed in 2009. He was then appointed by Plymouth University as a lecturer and was promoted to associated professor in 2012 where he was engaged in teaching in the UK and overseas, supervising and carrying out scholarly research projects. Since May 2016, Syamantak has held the role of director of the Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, which includes Warsash Maritime Academy.

john-onslow-webJohn Onslow, Head of Nautical Studies

MSc, Master Mariner, PGCTLHE, PGCHEP

John spent his sea-going career with Canadian Pacific as a deck officer serving on a variety of ship types but eventually specialising in the tanker trade. John gained all but his first certificate of competencies after studying at Warsash. He left deep sea service after 16 years and moved ashore first as a marine superintendent, before deciding to move to Texas for three years as a marine technical surveyor for an international survey company.

Thereafter, John spent a period of time at with F.T. Everard & Co before becoming an operations coordinator for a large pool of chemical tankers, subsequently working for seven years as a marine surveyor to the tanker industry carrying out vetting inspections, cargo expediting and general trouble shooting for oil majors and charterers.

John joined Warsash in 1997 as a senior lecturer with the petrochemical section before moving to professional studies in 2000. John then gained his MSc in International Shipping Management at Solent University in 2006, before becoming principal lecturer in 2007.

John has maintained good contact with industry and is involved in tanker vetting inspector training and examination for external organisations and is a consultant to a maritime training video production company. He has co-authored a text book on oil tanker operations and represents Warsash on the deck sub-group of the International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI).

Direct tel: +44 (0)23 8201 4236

Chris PattersonChris Patterson, Head of Marine Engineering

FHEA, PGCLT(HE), BEng (Hons), BSc (Hons)

Chris joined Warsash in 2006 as a senior lecturer (naval architecture) in the merchant vessel engineering section. In 2008 he took on course leader responsibility for the BEng (Hons) Marine Engineering and Management top-up degree for engineer officer cadets. During his time at the Academy, Chris has been the University's teaching and learning fellow, first for Warsash and then the wider technology faculty (2010-13). Chris became responsible for the engineering section in 2016, a role which includes management of the engine room simulator, HV training facility, and the engineering workshops.

Chris began his teaching career at Falmouth Marine School in 1996, where he was responsible for higher education provision at the college, in partnership with Plymouth University, having previously been the HND/HNC maritime programme leader. In 2002 took the opportunity to join the world-renowned yacht design and manufacturing group at the University where he acted as research co-ordinator, admissions tutor and student support network officer.

Chris has industrial experience as technical director for an advanced composite manufacturer specialising in resin infusion solutions for the superyacht industry. As a software developer with over 30 years' experience, he has also worked in the IT sector in software solutions, web development and as a corporate trainer. In addition, He also has wide experience of supporting the maritime commercial sector in identifying and meeting their training needs.

Chris's background is as a qualified physicist and engineer with a particular interest in naval architecture and hydrodynamics. Research interests include advances in marine computational fluid dynamics (CFD), turbulent flow fragmentation and marine simulation. Chris is also the hydrodynamic modeller for the Academy's ship bridge simulators.

Direct tel: +44 (0)23 8201 4178

russ-grayRussell Gray, Head of Ship Handling and Safety Training 


Russell served at sea for 17 years as a deck officer on board a variety of vessel types, including tankers, coastal tankers, survey vessels and sub-sea installation and repair ships. He studied at Plymouth and Southampton for an HND in Nautical Science and gained his Master (Foreign Going) Certificate in 1990 whilst working for BT (Marine) Ltd. 

He joined the staff of the Warsash Maritime Academy in 1995 as a senior lecturer working for the Maritime and Offshore Safety Section, primarily teaching at the fire school.  In addition he became an MCA approved examiner for EDH and PSCRB courses and following a period of study, was awarded a certificate in education and assessor/verifier qualifications.

As an ISM auditor with NEBOSH qualifications, Russell has undertaken a number of consultancy roles for Warsash by providing advice and reports to third parties about individual vessel safety and the necessary training facility improvements required for MCA accreditation.

In 2003 he completed an MSc in Project Management, awarded by Portsmouth University, and during the same year was appointed as principal lecturer maritime training, with responsibility for managing maritime and offshore safety resources. In 2009 following an internal restructure, his responsibilities changed to manage resources in the following work areas: fire school, ship handling centre and commercial yacht courses (deck).

Russell has participated in several national working groups dealing with maritime safety issues. He is a Member of the Nautical Institute (MNI) and is the Treasurer of the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST). 

Direct tel: +44 (0)23 8201 4226

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