Welcome to this special edition of The Wire

Welcome to this special edition of The Wire, which focuses on naval architecture. ITIC hosted an interactive and lively naval architect panel discussion in London on 15th November.  The title was “the future of ship and yacht design”.  The panel consisted of:

  • Catriona Savage, Professor of Naval Architecture at UCL
  • Dean Smith, Group Managing Director at Burness Corlett Three Quays 
  • Matteo Magherini, Naval Architect at BMT Nigel Gee

With Robert Hodge of ITIC as moderator 

The panel discussion focused on three areas: 

Reduction of emissions - shipping lines are recognising that although, on a per ton of cargo basis, ships are very efficient they are nevertheless a major source of world pollution.  The panel discussed new ship designs, considering alternative propulsion systems, new fuel types (LNG, solar, etc) and other systems to reduce emissions and improve overall efficiency; 

Automation – there is a growing interest in the possibilities for increasing automation in ships, reducing crew sizes and costs to bring greater efficiency.  Ultimately this would give rise to a fully autonomous ship (they are already being built).  However, the panel concluded that although the technology is well advanced, the regulations will take many years to amend before wholly unmanned ships will be allowed to operate;

Evacuation of panels ships – lifeboats are effectively 19th Century technology, their effectiveness at disembarking passenger ships within thirty minutes is often questioned.  The panel discussed how they could be improved. The view was that the ship is the most effective lifeboat. Water integrity and the time the ship remained safe to return to port are as important to lifeboat technology. 

Thanks to our panellists and all who attended this event; we hope you found it enjoyable and informative. 

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