Postgraduate research opportunities

Safe e-Navigation and Collision avoidance of autonomous ships

This project aims at developing a simulation model and a decision support system (DSS) for supporting e-navigation on avoiding direct and near-miss collisions and obstacle avoidance.

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 related disciplines.

 

 

 

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 the development of a novel navigational model and a DSS based on multi-criteria approach for providing support on e-navigation and collision / obstacle avoidance for operations including conventional and marine autonomous surface vessels (MASV). The developed system will be used for both improving the vessels propulsion system design and control as well as for ensuring safe navigation. The project commences with the investigation of the current and future propulsion plant alternatives for both vessels types and proceed to the selection of the ship types to be investigated along with their hull and propulsion system characteristics. Fidel models for adequately representing the investigated vessels subsystems/components as well as the ships control systems (engine and steering control) modelling will be developed. Based on these models, the identification of the propulsion system limitations will be carried out. The next project phase includes the integration of the developed models to form a vessel digital twin for representing the behaviour and response of the investigated vessels propulsion and manoeuvring. The uncertainty involved in the complete chain (sensors, models, conditions, actuators, course, decision made) will be thoroughly investigated and its influence on the proposed actions will be quantified. Appropriate risk metrics including the navigation practices, minimum distances as well as reliability and failures of the propulsion system and its components will be introduced for characterising the safety of the ship’s navigation. A number of counter scenarios including the number or the involved vessels (and their types), the navigation area details, the prevailing environmental conditions as well as  the quantified level of uncertainty and the human  response, will be evaluated for accessing the associated safety metrics and characterising the collision risk.  Based on the examined scenarios results, optimal control systems will be proposed and decision guidelines will be suggested. All the previous steps will allow the development of the novel structured DSS.

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 a simulation model and a decision support system (DSS) for supporting e-navigation on avoiding direct and near-miss collisions and obstacle avoidance. It will consider the operation of both manned and marine autonomous surface vessels (MASV). Particular focus will be given in developing and validating appropriate model to represent the behaviour of the vessel propulsion systems taking into account the manoeuvring response of the investigated vessels. The uncertainty of the complete chain from sensor to the decision point along with its influence on the proposed actions will systematically studied. The crucial parameters for the ship response including the environmental conditions and the hull characteristics will be incorporated into the performed analysis.

The project is multi-disciplinary requiring skills from various areas including naval architecture, marine systems engineering, systems modelling, decision support development 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.

 

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