"Design-for-safety"- safe sea transport | Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology at the Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-04-11

"Design-for-safety"- safe sea transport

Photo: Jakub Montewka, PhD, DSc, Eng. / Gdańsk Tech
Photo: Jakub Montewka, PhD, DSc, Eng. / Gdańsk Tech
"Design-for-safety - development of a rational method of designing a ship in order to increase the safety of navigation, with particular emphasis on stability and maneuverability" - is a new project on which scientists from the Institute of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology at Gdańsk University of Technology will work. For the implementation of the project managed by Jakub Montewka, PhD, DSc, Eng. scientists received PLN 498,800 as part of the Aurum program.  

Sea transport is particularly vulnerable due to the complex, often unpredictable environment in which it operates. Threats may arise from both deliberate and accidental actions (hydrometeorological, mechanical conditions, etc.). Providing navigational safety, including collision avoidance, is one of the main and most important issues related to the issue of fleet development.

– Providing support systems or issuing a decision to change, e.g. course or speed, requires the development of very accurate algorithms that take into account the actual characteristics of a given ship – says PhD Maciej Reichel from the Ship Design Department. – It is a long and gradual process which can be divided into several stages, the initial elements of which will be the development of very precise hydrodynamic characteristics of the ship and their use in the system of "testing" the ship's reaction under specific shipping conditions – he adds.

Scientists emphasize that actions taken by crews in emergency situations must take into account a number of factors, such as the right of way at sea, the actual hydrometeorological conditions and the ship's capabilities, including maneuverability and the ability to maintain balance, i.e. stability, which is one of the most important operational parameters related to security.

A new research group

The project involves the establishment of a new international research group consisting of employees of the Ship Design Department with the participation of prof. Jerzy Matusiak from the Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. The group will consist of seven people and two sections corresponding to the current scientific problems related to the safety of navigation. Prof. Jerzy Matusiak is a recognized authority in the field of hydrodynamics and, above all, the author of the LaiDyn program that models the maneuverability of the ship in six degrees of freedom, which will be the main numerical tool of the newly created team. Prof. Matusiak will also oversee the development of the LaiDyn program in which members of the new team are to be involved.

The main objective

The overriding goal of establishing the new research group is to develop optimization procedures, the use of which in the ship design process will primarily increase stability and maneuvering safety in sea transport.

Achieving the main goal of the new research group has been divided into five stages:

  • The first stage will include training in the use of the program conducted by the author - prof. Matusiak.
  • The second stage is the new team's response to possible shortcomings and simplifications used in the LaiDyn program. The constantly developing methods of describing the problems of hydrodynamics and the information obtained so far about the program allow for the initial definition of parts of the LaiDyn program, which are worth developing and introducing corrections.
  • The third stage - experimental, will be based on the study of free models with tracking the trajectory of motion using the available Qualisys system and the newly purchased Gough-Stewart platform with tethered models, but with precise measurement of forces and moments on the hull. It is planned to conduct a series of tests in both still water and wave, the results of which will provide excellent validation material for the LaiDyn program under development.
  • The fourth stage of works will focus on the development of such ship design procedures that will significantly reduce the risk of stability and maneuvering accidents. These procedures will take into account the latest methods of assessing the risk of such accidents and will take into account the current and future, but already planned to be implemented, regulations and recommendations regarding both the standardization of the stability of undamaged and degraded ships as well as the standardization of maneuvering properties, in particular on waves.
  • The fifth stage will be to verify the practical use of the developed program. Due to the fact that more extensive verification of the developed modules of the LaiDyn program will be necessary, it is planned to submit two project applications to national science funding institutions for funds allocated to these purposes.

Work on the project will last one year, yet scientists and students will be able to use its effects for many years. This is, for example, predicting maneuverability using the Gough-Stewart platform or using the LaiDyn program. In addition, it is planned to launch a transport safety section as part of the KORAB research club, in which students will deal with safety analyzes and related model studies.


The project entitled "Design-for-safety - development of a rational method of ship design in order to increase the safety of navigation, with particular emphasis on stability and maneuvering properties" is carried out under the Aurum Supporting International Research Team Building program

Funds granted: PLN 498,800

The Project is implemented as part of EkoTech Center

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