Within the University of Strathclyde, there is the Strathclyde Marine Institute which aims to contribute to the maritime economy of the United Kingdom providing cutting-edge marine energy, transport and environmental research. In this line, how do you assess the level of development and application of ICT technologies in the maritime sector in your region?
In the framework of the University of Strathclyde and, more specifically, in the context of the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, the development of ICT-based technologies for maritime applications is strong, expanding and sustainable. In alignment with all HEI (Higher Education Institutions) and Research Units in Scotland, the research outcome covers a broad spectrum of applications, such as designing energy efficient maritime assets, environmental friendly subsea engineering and marine renewables.
Regarding research in the maritime industry, which topics do you believe should be researched further, which industry needs are not yet being covered by specific technologies?
I consider that ergonomics and human safety on fishing vessels is not covered to the extent and depth that the societal impact of this need would deserve. Another research area that is not enjoying the interest it deserves is the customization of modern operational concepts, such as PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) for SMEs and especially maritime SMEs.
As an expert in the field, which branch of the industry do you believe would appreciate more the application of innovative technologies?
If we are referring to the maritime industry, I could easily point out towards those branches of shipping that deal with complex and/or special-purpose ships, e.g., large cruise ships, OSV (Offshore Support Vessels), etc.
The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering is a key supplier of Marine Technology experience in the United Kingdom and beyond. Could you highlight any project/technology in particular?
ARCADES is a new MSCA (Marie Sklodowska-Curie) ITN (Innovative Training Network), offering a comprehensive training program at the crossroads of mathematical foundations, CAD technology, and software development, aiming to bridge the gap between CAD and CAE; http://arcades-network.eu/ . ARCADES offers 13 Early-Stage-Researcher (ESR) positions which allow the researcher to work towards a PhD. ESRs will be recruited within 2016 for a duration of 36 months. The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering is a key partner of ARCADES, through:
- supervising 2 PhD theses, which will employ novel CAD and CAE concepts in maritime engineering, and
- leading WP2 on Novel shape representations for tightly integrated Design-through-analysis.
Continuing with the above, is the university currently favoring any innovation in the maritime sector?
I would dare asserting that the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering is favoring to investigate the benefits of applying VAMR (Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality) Technologies for improving the operational efficiency of maritime assets with emphasis on inspection and maintenance. This strategy is aligned with the fact that, currently, the Department is coordinating INCASS, a very successful EU project, which offers a solution for more efficient monitoring and ship inspections, which is of fundamental importance nowadays due to the big number of newly built ships. http://www.incass.eu/
Regarding the STAMAR project, how do you assess the actions that have been carried out, such as the dissemination of technologies within the industry, co-creation, valorization and piloting of technologies in specific SMEs?
STAMAR has enabled us to thoroughly chart a representative sample of the needs and challenges faced by maritime SMEs and ICT research units and technology providers in Scotland. Links among among major stakeholders have been created, ensuing collaboration and interaction steps have been materilaised, nevertheless, as a consequence of the limited duration of the project, our efficiency versus the criterion of completing the loop: industrial need – technology provider – pilot-project test, has not succeeded to fulfill our initial expectations.
To conclude, do you think your region can give continuity to STAMAR’s philosophy once the project ends?
Absolutely. Given the sustainability of the created links and the potential coverage of existing expertise in Scotland, STAMAR’s philosophy can be continued and expanded under the constraint of minimal human resource availability.