Postgraduate research opportunities

Autonomous ships systems holistic design

This project aims at developing and validating a holistic approach for designing the ship/marine systems by combining a number of modelling tools and optimisation techniques facilitating the identification of the safe, environmental friendly, reliable and cost efficient autonomous vessels power plant.

Number of places

One

Funding

Home fee, Stipend

Opens

18 February 2019

Deadline

31 October 2019

Duration

3 Years

Eligibility

Applicants should have a distinction pass at Master’s level in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering or Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering or a relevant area.

Eligibility for RCUK studentships

  • Research Council (RC) fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students.
  • EU students are only eligible for RC stipend if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years, including for study purposes, immediately prior to starting their PhD.
  • If an EU student cannot fulfil this condition then they are eligible for a fees only studentship.
  • International students cannot be funded from RC funds unless they are ‘settled’ in the UK. ‘Settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without any immigration restrictions on the length of stay in the UK. To be ‘settled’ a student must either have the Right to Abode or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. If the student’s passport describes them as a British citizen they have the Right of Abode.
  • Students with full Refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

Project Details

The project involves ships systems modelling and multi objective optimisation for the optimal design of the autonomous ships power plant. The project will commence with the investigation of alternatives for addressing the needs of the autonomous vessels plants including mechanical and electric propulsion, hybrid solutions with energy storage as well as appropriate control options. Metrics characterising the various system functions including safety, reliability/availability, maintainability, efficiency and cost, will be established. Deterministic and probabilistic models will be developed and validated covering all the operating phases of the investigated systems allowing for the elucidation of the system complexity and obtaining a sufficient level of understanding of the interactions between the subsystems/components. The optimisation problem will be set up by the use of novel optimisation algorithms and clusters of optimal solutions will be identified. The uncertainty will be quantified and a systematic study will be conducted to identify the uncertainty influence on the optimal design alternatives. The influence of control, power management, health management and prognostics algorithms usage on the optimal system design will be thoroughly studied by the development the use of appropriate data-drive models for forecasting the systems metrics. The human interaction with the system operation and the performance of alternative design options will be studied. Based on the examined studies results, optimal designs will be proposed and the required level of redundancy will be discussed.

Funding Details

The funding covers UK/EU student tuition fees and stipend in line with University rates for 36 months.

Start Date and Duration: November 2019, for 3 years. 

Supervisor

Dr Gerasimos Theotokatos - University of Strathclyde, Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering – Maritime Safety Research Centre (MSRC).

Dr Evangelos Boulougouris - University of Strathclyde, Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering – Maritime Safety Research Centre (MSRC).

Further information

This project aims at developing and validating a holistic approach for designing the ship/marine systems by combining a number of modelling tools and optimisation techniques facilitating the identification of the safe, environmental friendly, reliable and cost efficient autonomous vessels power plant. Particular focus will be put towards elucidating the complexity arising from the integration of the physical components, sensors, actuators, control systems, human interfaces and interactions and connectivity to the shore operating centres, whilst quantifying the uncertainties introduced by the autonomous systems/components operations.

The project is multi-disciplinary requiring skills from various areas including marine systems engineering, systems modelling, safety and reliability engineering, optimisation techniques and computer programming. The candidate should be able to undertake, complete and disseminate the outcomes of this research in international conferences and high impact research journals.

The student will have support from with the MSRC industrial sponsors (DNV GL and RCCL). The student will complement the MSRC research group focusing on autonomous ships research.

The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering is a world-leader in research, whose main interests lie in: Ship Stability and Safety, Marine Hydrodynamics, Marine Structures, Ocean Engineering, Marine Engineering, Emerging Technologies, Offshore Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels. The Department makes a significant contribution to National, European and International policy-making in Marine Technology research and its application.

As part of a significant Industry-University partnership involving, the University of Strathclyde – Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and DNV GL Classification Society, the Maritime Safety Research Centre (MSRC) of Excellence was established with the vision to shape the future of maritime safety

Contact us

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Gerasimos Theotokatos – gerasimos.theotokatos@strath.ac.uk

How to apply

Applicants should send their application directly to Mr Stuart Hewitt – stuart.hewitt@strath.ac.uk

 

Applications should include:

  • Cover Letter;
  • CV with two references;
  • Degree transcripts and certificates (in English), and if English is not your native language, a copy of your English language qualifications (IELTS).
  • Research proposal

The applicants need to demonstrate excellent organisational, interpersonal, verbal and academic writing skills.

An interview will be arranged for the shortlisted applicants.