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#10 SUMMER 2016

ABOVE BOARD DEFENSIVE MEASURES Strenthening defence ties in training, education and research

TESTING THE TIDE Moving a step closer to harnessing tides to generate electricity

MIDDLE EAST EXPORT Training expertise being taken to meet international demand

Researchers on a mission to put seafarers front and centre






ABOVE BOARD: THE DIGITAL AGE 03  Welcome AMC Principal, Professor Neil Bose 04  Future forward for facilities Two recent upgrades help

bolster AMC’s reputation in the southern hemisphere

Above Board is a quarterly e-news and annual magazine distributed to around 12,000 Australian Maritime College alumni and industry stakeholders. Contributions are welcome, please email

06  Testing the tide Moving a step closer to harnessing

tides to generate electricity 08  Middle East export AMC’s expertise is now being taken

to meet global demand

Win the all new Go Pro Hero 5

10  Shaping ships for humans Why human behaviour is critical

when it comes to maritime design 13  Searching for online training Maritime training courses migrate

online for convenience, efficiency – and unparalled realism 14  Focus on defence Interview with Aaron Ingram,

Defence Maritime Program Manager 16 Industry impact Meet the students making their

mark in industry, tackling challenges normally reserved for graduates 18  Staff news Most innovative young engineer and

maritime economics prize 19 Alumni profile The sky’s the limit for Co-Operative

Program graduate Sigrid Wilson

Stay up-to-date with AMC’s latest news stories and subscribe to our Above Board quarterly e-newsletter and annual magazine. Simply update or register your details to go in the draw to win the all new Go Pro Hero 5.

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Cover image: Scott Gelston





Welcome to the Summer 2016 edition of Above Board THE PRINCIPAL Professor Neil Bose

Australia’s Defence White Paper heralds a new way of thinking in the defence realm, as changing approaches offer opportunities for our long-standing work with the Navy and maritime defence industries. This has opened the door the strengthening of maritime industry connections, including defence, at the Newnham campus of the University of Tasmania — a collaboration between industry and university on our campus as an integral part of AMC. At AMC, our maritime defence industry strengths have been developed over many decades. They include world-leading expertise in cavitation inception and testing that places Australia at the leading-edge in terms of work on noise signatures of naval vessels; nation-leading expertise in the operation of survey – capable autonomous and other robotic underwater vehicles; and the training of Pacific Patrol Boat crews under contract from the Navy. Furthermore, the Australian Research Council’s Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing (RTCDM) was established between AMC, eight industry and defence research members, and two further universities to support the goals of Australia’s multi-billion dollar naval shipbuilding program in designing and manufacturing new fleets of submarines, future frigates and patrol craft. This approach will strengthen Australia’s capacity to meet the needs of the major naval procurement and sustainment programs over next 20-30 years. AMC has the expertise to meet requirements for education and training of naval engineers at Bachelors and Technology levels, as well as upskilling existing mechanical, electrical and electronics engineers through a Master’s program in Naval Engineering. One of our key aims for the coming year is to expand Australia’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capabilities. AMC is rapidly developing the largest AUV expertise base in Australia and

is expanding this via the procurement of the Antarctic Gateway Project’s ISE Explorer Class, 5,000m-capable AUV, which also supports facilities and sensors. AMC has expertise in the assessment, acquisition, operation and training relating to AUVs for Navy applications, and in the procurement of platforms and their sensors focusing on the non-classified components of AUV operations for Navy use. A vital part of this is an industry incubator designed to kick-start innovation in the maritime industry. To date, this has included an AUV simulation capability and the manufacture of seeding materials for advanced flow measurement techniques. There are attractive opportunities for defence as well as ocean renewable energy, ports and logistics industries to establish a presence close to AMC’s leading hydrodynamics test and simulation facilities. AMC has extensive maritime simulation capability for training of navigating officers, pilots, tug masters and seagoing marine engineers. These are being expanded to include simulators to train AUV operators, and the potential for non-classified components for submariners, marine/submarine engine operations and new surface vessel types (e.g. patrol craft). Consolidating our long history of working with defence and defence industries is key for us and to accommodate the increased defence and defence industry demand for AMC’s services, Mr Aaron Ingram (formerly CDRE, RAN) has been appointed as AMC’s Defence Maritime Program Manager. ■

Please enjoy this edition of Above Board and I welcome any comments: Follow me on Twitter: @AMC_Principal and Facebook: AMC Principal ABOVE BOARD




Future forward for facilities Industry leader: Gamini Lokuketagoda leads AMC’s simulated training in the engine room.

Following the completion of a multi-milliondollar upgrade, students can now embrace the latest in 3D simulation technology to master engine room operations.

the most advanced in the world, with virtual reality screens that immerse students in training for day-today and emergency situations on a range of diesel and electric propulsion ship engines.

Thanks to a new Kongsberg ‘K-Sim’ system, AMC’s engine room simulation facilities are now among

The facility is now a powerfully immersive tool for training students and industry professionals on basic engine room operations, emergency operations and troubleshooting, optimal operation, fuel economy and advanced engine monitoring. More realistic simulated training experiences can lead to more successful outcomes and AMC’s chosen Kongsberg model offers the most powerful virtual reality system in the world. 65-inch screens display a range of systems and scenarios in 3D – including emergency situations such as fires. The new facility can train up to 16 students at individual work stations and offers an engine control room and simulated CCTV functionality for monitoring funnel emissions, main engines and generators. Students have already enthused about their experience in the simulator, with a group of students from the United Arab Emirates writing: CHRIS CRERAR


“The simulator experience…was like a real experience of an engine room. We can truly say that this subject has helped us to have a greater




Ready for action: Simulated engine fire.



Construction has finished on a research lab that’s set to position Tasmania as a world leader in underwater robotic technologies.

understanding of how the engine room operates… and what we have learnt will surely impact our careers.”

Launceston firm Artas Architects took what was a simple storage area and converted it into a contemporary research facility – with the additional challenge of needing to accommodate a new polar AUV measuring 8m x 3m and weighing two tonnes.

The $750,000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) facility has been built to house a fleet of underwater robots as well as workshop and office space for the fivestrong AUV team based at AMC.

Gamini Lokuketagoda, who leads AMC’s simulated training in the engine room, explains how the investment in the facility will benefit students for years to come. “AMC’s undergraduate students, as well as maritime industry professionals, will now be able to take advantage of some of the most capable engine simulation available. The 3D display is incredibly immersive and – I speak from experience – is as close as you can get to being on a real ship.

Game changer: AUV co-ordinator, Peter King, in the $750,000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle facility.


“I’m convinced that such a realistic experience means that AMC will be one of the best places in the world to prepare students for working with real engine rooms.” ■

This new AUV, co-funded by AMC and the Antarctic Gateway Partnership, is set to arrive in Tasmania in 2017 and will join two existing AUVs in the new facility.





Testing the tide

Making waves: Tasmania’s first floating tidal turbine has been installed in the Tamar estuary. ISSUE #10



Put to the test: An AMC vessel tows the tidal turbine into position.

They are now conducting field experiments with the 2.4 metre-wide prototype to understand how fullscale turbines operate in a real-world environment and to confirm their low environmental impact. The testing will include the influence of turbulence and biofouling (organisms growing on the turbine), which may impede performance and affect the longevity of the device. Associate Professor Irene Penesis, who leads AMC’s involvement in this project, explains more about her team’s contribution to this renewable energy milestone. “AMC has a burgeoning marine renewable energy research theme, with world experts in tidal and wave energy, as well as the world-class hydrodynamic facilities that companies need to test and develop their prototypes. “We have worked with MAKO from the early stages of the development of their device: testing it first in our towing tank and then in the field, before finally deploying in Launceston’s Tamar – near Batman Bridge. “During this project, we want to monitor the effects of this particular turbine and location, but also understand the processes so we can apply the findings to other potential tidal energy sites.”

Why tidal energy?


Working in partnership with developer MAKO Turbines, AMC researchers have deployed the first tidal turbine of its kind in Tasmania’s Tamar estuary, as part of a long-term project to investigate and optimise the device’s performance.


MAKO Turbines’ Managing Director, Douglas Hunt, explained how Australia stands to benefit from the partnership’s activity in Tasmania. “We are delighted with the results achieved by working collaboratively with AMC from tank testing though to full-scale deployment. The Tamar estuary is an ideal location to demonstrate the MAKO turbine and its ability to deliver predictable renewable energy.” ■


“It’s a particularly exciting form of renewable energy, and completely predictable compared with solar and wind power due to its consistent cycles. Tidal energy technologies extract energy from marine currents and tidal movements. This energy can then be converted into electrical power.” – Associate Professor Irene Penesis

FACT AND FIGURES A  1 megawatt tidal turbine could generate enough electricity to power between 600 to 1200 households at any given time; B  ecause water is 832 times denser than air, tides can produce four to 10 times more power than wind at similar speeds; T  he total tidal energy potential in Australia is estimated to be 300 gigawatts.

“Tidal is set to become a key part of the energy mix worldwide and our work here with AMC means Australia will continue to play a key role in this emerging global industry.” – Douglas Hunt, MAKO Turbines




Middle East export OFFERING VOCATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL MARITIME TRAINING IN AUSTRALIA FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, AMC’S EXPERTISE IS NOW BEING TAKEN TO MEET INTERNATIONAL DEMAND A coastal seafaring course has been delivered by the Australian Maritime College in the United Arab Emirates, marking the first time the college has exported its vocational training overseas, as well as the first coastal seafaring qualification that has ever been offered in the UAE.

Collaboration: The course was offered as a joint initiative between AMC and Abu Dhabi Ports.

Fifteen students, including four women, undertook a Master up to 24m Near Coastal course – leading to a qualification for work as a Master on a commercial vessel up to 24 metres within the exclusive economic zone – in Abu Dhabi between October and December 2016. The course was offered as a joint initiative between AMC and Abu Dhabi Ports – a master developer of ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The two organisations collaboratively offered the course to meet the demand in the UAE for high-quality seafaring training.


Professor Athanasios (Thanasis) Karlis, Director of AMC’s National Centre for Ports and Shipping, explains why AMC exported its training to Abu Dhabi. “The UAE is a strong seafaring nation and a fastgrowing hub for the international maritime industry; as such, it has an immediate demand for qualified seafarers,” he said. “As a provider of high-quality seafaring training courses for more than 30 years, AMC is ideally placed to work with Abu Dhabi Ports and bring its expertise to the country to meet this demand.” Commenting on the collaboration, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Being a graduate myself from the Australian Maritime College, I can assure all seafaring enthusiasts in the UAE that this training course represents a great learning opportunity to acquire in-depth understanding of the maritime business and related activities. “We will continue to forge such ties to further expand our seafaring knowledge and build the much-needed skillset to maintain a world-class performance.” ■



ALUMNUS AWARD FOR ABU DHABI PORTS CEO Joint effort: Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi is the CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Almost two decades after he first enrolled in a deck-officer cadet course, the CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports has been awarded AMC’s annual alumnus award for his contribution to the maritime industry. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi has been awarded the Peter Morris prize in recognition of his leadership in developing Abu Dhabi’s flagship port, Khalifa, as a mainstay facility for regional and global trade.


AMC Principal, Professor Neil Bose, explains how his efforts have benefited not only the emirate of Abu Dhabi but also the regional and global trading industry:

“As a provider of highquality seafaring training courses for more than 30 years, AMC is ideally placed to work with Abu Dhabi Ports and bring its expertise to the country to meet this demand”

EXPORT EXCELLENCE ACCOLADE The Australian MWaritime College’s international accomplishments have been recognised with an export award at the Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

“In his role as CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi has worked tirelessly to deliver on his vision of developing the region into an international shipping hub. This has not only provided vital infrastructure for the maritime industry and promoted the flow of imports and exports, but has also supported local communities, sustainable businesses, and the wider economy. “We are extremely proud of what he has achieved since graduating from the Australian Maritime College; his success

The college was recognised for the overseas export of its maritime courses; its international research collaborations; and for attracting significant numbers of international students and staff to the region – more than 500 international students contributed to a total economic impact of more than $100 million in 2015. In addition to the coastal seafaring qualification offered

demonstrates the world of opportunity accessible to our graduates.” Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi enrolled at AMC in 1997, completing the initial phases of his training as a deck-officer cadet. With study interspersed with periods of practical training at sea, he completed the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Applied Science (Ship Master). In 2004 he was awarded the Australian Maritime College’s Baird Publication Prize for Best Performance in Navigation Studies (2004). He continued his studies at the University of Tasmania, graduating with a Graduate Certificate of Management (2005) and Master of Business Administration (2007). Captain Mohamed Al Shamisi is now an experienced maritime executive with more than 19 years of industry experience. As CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports – the master developer, operator and manager of the ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi – Captain Al Shamisi develops and directs the strategy and operations of Abu Dhabi Ports’ portfolio of assets and business units, and has successfully driven the transition from a project-focussed organisation to fully operational, customer-focused ports.

in Abu Dhabi, highlights of the college’s main international achievements over the last year include: ❙ Providing patrol boat training to 12 Pacific Island nations; ❙ Delivering nationally-accredited training in the Torres Strait; ❙ Delivering vessel traffic and safety training to Indonesian students and employees; ❙ Offering online training courses

completed by 2500 students, 50% of them located overseas; and ❙ Participating in numerous international research collaborations, including Cavitation and Bubble Dynamics research projects with the Office of Naval Research (US) and the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (Japan).




Understanding how humans behave is a critical, but frequently neglected, aspect of designing maritime tools and systems. Via its Human Factors research theme, the Australian Maritime College is showing why and how users should be put front and centre. The research is led by Professor Margareta Lützhöft, who explains its importance in the day-to-day lives of seafarers: “Maritime systems and processes often fail to consider how people behave, which leads to inefficiencies and accidents. “Our research aims to integrate a consideration for human behaviour and activity into all aspects of the maritime domain including designing vessels, training seafarers, working conditions and technology on board vessels. “AMC is the perfect place for this research as it is one of the few places globally that brings together researchers, students, industry and seafarers – the users as well as the designers – for the holistic view that is critical in tackling human factors issues.”



Human touch: Students training in AMC’s simulator.

PROJECT FOCUS: CAN SIMULATORS PREPARE YOU FOR LIFE AT SEA? Organisations are investing heavily in simulated facilities: the Royal Australian Navy opened a state-of-the-art simulation facility in Sydney earlier this year and AMC itself recently carried out a $1.4 million upgrade to its real-time maritime simulation technology, including a full-mission ship’s bridge, a tug simulator and six ship operations bridges. Researchers at AMC are now a step closer to finding out how effective they are, having carried out a pilot study comparing the effectiveness of training on vessels with computer-based and simulated training. Together with her team – Paul Brown, Clarence Pietersz and Siri Hirimbure – Professor Lützhöft gathered nine first-year undergraduate students with no formal seafaring experience.


The students were briefed together on a manoverboard scenario and then split into three groups to undertake training on how to respond. One group carried out the training on board one of AMC’s dedicated training vessels, Reviresco; another was trained in a full mission simulator at AMC; and the


The results showed that in certain practical tasks such as manoeuvring and positioning, the simulator trained students performed just as well as those on the vessel. “This suggests that practical tasks can indeed be trained in full-mission simulators without affecting the quality of the results,” Professor Lützhöft said. The simulator-trained students obtained slightly lower scores in the area of teamwork, while the group trained in the computer lab didn’t do as well in all areas. “This suggests that other tasks, such as teamwork may still need to be trained on board, or we need to better prepare simulator scenarios to ensure we address all aspects of a situation and the appropriate response.”

Rather than blaming individuals, the root cause of so-called operator errors can often be traced back to the design and construction stages of a ship; primarily the operator’s exclusion from the design process. Efforts to get humans to use tools in the ‘right’ way are tackling a symptom and not a cause. People make vastly more ‘errors’ when the tool, system or process they use has not been designed with them in mind. And this means how they actually act, think and feel, rather than how the designer wants them to. Most urgent is a need to establish a feedback loop between users – be they officers, port operators or ship cooks – and those designing their environments and tools. This is not easy: it takes time, money and is

Sea legs: Professor Margareta Lützhöft.


An estimated 60-80 per cent of accidents at sea are ascribed to human error, with the maritime industry forced to cover the cost and, in the worst cases, lives lost. This is before factoring in the negative impact of those quitting ships for the shore because of miserable working conditions, or the number of hours lost to frustration in dealing with troublesome technology.

third undertook their preparation in a computerbased training lab. Three hours later, the students re-grouped on the ship and were individually assessed using standard assessment criteria on their performance in areas including practical tasks, team work and preparation.

logistically challenging, with users who are often at sea for months at a time. But it can’t afford to be ignored. Problems retaining seafarers and escalating costs covering ‘human error’ mistakes will only grow as technology takes over ever more maritime work and exacerbates existing issues. – Professor Margareta Lützhöft ABOVE BOARD




Researcher Apsara Abeysiriwardhane

for both teaching and measuring the results. Her research began with a group of undergraduate students, already working in small groups on a design project for their final year of a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Researcher Apsara Abeysiriwardhane is on a mission to get naval architecture undergraduates to design with seafarers in mind.

Together with Professor Lützhöft and colleagues, Apsara began introducing the concepts of humancentred design to the students via short lectures and workshops. They were assisted by guest seafarers including ship officers and submariners, who helped bring the realities of life on a ship to the classroom.

“Because maritime design practice today doesn’t explicitly involve end-users and how they actually live and work on ships, bad design can make the lives of seafarers uncomfortable, inefficient and even dangerous,” she explains.

The students themselves also carried out exercises on AMC’s training vessel, Bluefin, to help them understand some of the real issues that seafarers face as a result of bad design – including the challenge of trying to manoeuvre an injured person on a stretcher in impossibly tight spaces.

“By including human-centered design into undergraduate studies we can lay a strong foundation for more human-focused future for naval architecture.” With the topic not currently taught at all at undergraduate level, Apsara needed to start from scratch and put together a systematic methodology

Apsara is dividing her research into ‘Action Cycles’, collecting data during each cycle to assess how the students improve.


So far, the students have been extremely positive; grateful to the researchers at AMC for stimulating their knowledge of the topic and thankful for the opportunity to meet the users of the ships they hope to design for in future. “We would very much like to have more meetings with users so that designers have a better overview of what users are experiencing with good design and bad design,” wrote one student. “Human-centred design will be a strong aspect of my design in future. Now I know that if I need to satisfy the users of my design, I must include human-centred design from the beginning of the project,” said another. The seafarers were equally enthusiastic, appreciating the opportunity to have a forum to interface with future ship designers and discuss their needs and requirements. Apsara sees this as one of the unique benefits of AMC and one of the few places in the world that industry, research and students can work together.



Getting prepared: Demonstrating how ships are often not designed for humans.

“AMC is the perfect place to carry out this research. Not only because of its research vessels that can be easily accessed for practical work but humanfactored design needs both academics and seafarers to work together. AMC is one of just a few places in the world where they are so tightly meshed.” ■


e-Modlets: Online modules that can simulate your own ships or tools

Searching for online training CATHY WILSON – DEPUTY CEO, AMC SEARCH

Maritime training courses migrate online for convenience, efficiency – and unparalleled realism Early in 2013, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) made changes stipulating that all of the world’s seafarers needed to undertake a security awareness short course by the end of the year. This mandate created unprecedented demand, which couldn’t be met by approved training providers. The deadline, inevitably, had to be extended. The silver lining was AMC Search’s decision to develop an online version of the course, designed to be available to any number of students at any one time. Since its launch in 2014, this course has been completed more than 2,500 times, with almost half of the registrations originating outside Australia, from countries as diverse as Canada, India, Germany, the US, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Zimbabwe.

It became clear that success of the courses outside Australia was due to a combination of AMC’s strong international reputation, the access that social media provides to international audiences, and the appeal of the short courses – which can be undertaken in as little as six hours – to individuals who need to undertake training as efficiently and cost-effective as possible. Now firmly committed to online training, AMC Search has progressed from mandatory courses to creating bespoke training for individual clients – even going as far as simulating their own vessels for a personalised experience. One example – Contribute to Safe Cargo Operations on Offshore Support Vessels – included the client’s own vessel schematics displayed in 3D interactive modules (called e-Modlets™). With participants experiencing interactive immersion onboard their own vessels, unparalled realism was brought to the course. The enthusiastic uptake of our online courses to date has led us to invest in further development; combining advanced technology with engaging and interactive experiences via the e-Modlets™. With some courses better suited for online learning – particularly those that are primarily theory-based – the following courses will be available online, as well as face to face, from April 2017: Tanker Familiarisation Crisis Management (non Ro-Ro) for Passenger Vessels Safe Bulk Loading General Purpose Hand ■

Encouraged by the positive reception to its first online foray, AMC Search set to work developing a second online training course – Crowd Management for Passenger Vessels – to provide mandatory training for crew of passenger vessels. Once again, international registrations were significant. ABOVE BOARD


of mutually beneficial activities. I’ve also been working on raising awareness of AMC’s capabilities within Defence, as well as gaining a fuller understanding of Defence needs. We have been pleased to have welcomed the Chief of Navy and the Navy’s Training Authorities for Maritime Warfare and Engineering to AMC as part of this enhanced level of engagement.


What is AMC actually doing differently? There is a lot underway as we lay the groundwork for a strong collaboration. We’ve re-invigorated a Training Working Group and expanded its scope to incorporate higher education. The aims of this forum are to strengthen networks between AMC and the Navy at an organisational level, to identify and realise opportunities for complementary development and undertaking of activities, and assist each other to resolve training and education challenges. Already, we’ve agreed to the provision of lifeboat training for Navy auxiliary ships and to collaborate in the research and development of blended learning initiatives.

AARON INGRAM DEFENCE MARITIME PROGRAM MANAGER Can you tell us a bit about what’s happening in world of defence in Australia? It’s an exciting time: the Defence White Paper published earlier this year articulated the Australian Government’s plan for the largest recapitalisation of the Navy since World War II. This means funding for naval design, manufacturing and sustainment activities in Australia for many years to come.

A number of other opportunities are being progressed towards agreement, including the attendance at AMC of several Navy Marine Technicians, Junior Sailors through to NonCommissioned Officers, to undertake a range of Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Bachelor Degree Courses in Marine Engineering from 2017.

What does this mean for AMC? We see real opportunity to help realise the ambitious plans set out in the White Paper. Defence and defence industries will need a substantial increase in maritime engineers, naval architects and logisticians, bespoke training for new equipment and systems, and research undertaken to help develop cutting-edge new vessels. These are areas in which AMC’s expertise and experience complement those that exist within Defence.

In terms of education, we already have a great range of engineering, logistics and specialist maritime courses that are suitable for students considering a career in Defence – whether in the Royal Australian Navy or as a Defence civilian – as well as for currently serving Defence members. We are working to package up these courses in a more flexible way so that Navy personnel in particular – who may be working at sea for long periods – can better balance their work, study and family commitments.

What’s your role in realising this? AMC has a long-standing relationship with Defence – with the Navy in particular – and it’s my job to bring all the strands of our training, education and research activity together into a sustainable program



Planning for future: Defence Maritime Program Manager Aaron Ingram.

Finally, in the area of research we already have some brilliant minds utilising world-class facilities: both engaged in tackling Defence-related challenges via the ARC Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing, and in operationalising new technologies such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. We are strengthening our already longstanding ties with the Defence Science and Technology Group, ready to provide our unique and specialised capabilities to support the creation of the technologically advanced Naval fleet envisaged in the Defence White Paper. What do you most want to achieve over the next year? I want to have the range of offerings and the strong Defence ties that will make AMC a major provider of expertise that will be sustainable over the long-term. Watch this space!



WHEN RESEARCH IS THE BEST DEFENCE Thirteen talented young researchers have now spent up to a year-and-a-half immersed in solving some of the challenges that stand between the Australian Navy and its ambitious shipbuilding program.

Good vibrations: Samuel Smith is investigating how to minimise vibration and noise production caused by hydrofoils.

Contributing to development of state-of-the-art vessels for the Navy, the PhD students – from AMC, the University of Wollongong and Flinders University – are tackling problems that restrict the efficient design, construction and sustainment of new submarines and boats.

STUDENT PROFILE SAMUEL SMITH PhD thesis title: Unsteady loading of hydrofoils immersed in a turbulent boundary layer. Don’t let the technical nature of Sam’s thesis title dissuade you: his work sets out to solve a problem that is understandable to most of us. “Helping the Navy develop quieter vessels by shaping the design so they handle turbulent conditions better,” he explains.

Part of the Australian Research Council’s Research Training Centre for Naval Design and Manufacturing, their work includes research that will help reduce vibrations and sound from submarines, minimise the build-up of organic matter on vehicle sensors, use robots to efficiently inspect fuel tanks and reduce the corrosion that degrades naval ships.

More specifically, Sam is investigating how to minimise vibration and noise production caused by hydrofoils – the underwater wings on a vessel – when they are in a layer of water that it is particularly turbulent.

With this work well underway, AMC will capitalise on its defence research capabilities and offer further PhDs in collaboration with industry. Interested companies should contact Professor Jonathan Binns at

The turbulence happens inside a layer of water called the boundary layer, and is caused by the vessel pushing through the water. Sam’s using AMC’s Cavitation Research Laboratory to understand what is happening inside this ‘turbulent boundary layer’ of water and observe how it affects the hydrofoil performance.

The $3.8 million centre is funded through the Australian Research Council’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme.

Helping hand: Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of the Australian Navy, witnessing Professor Neil Bose signing the terms of reference for a new training and education steering group.

His research lets him get his hands on some seriously cutting-edge equipment: not just AMC’s Cavitation tunnel, which can produce the precise flow conditions for the research to take place, but also new lasers that can detect movement in picometres – or one billionth of a millimetre. His end goal? A set of guidelines that can help the Navy with design optimisation for submarines – and other vessels with hydrofoils – where stealth is important.


Sam is presenting his work at the Australasian Fluid Mechanics conference from December 5-8.




INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON BOAT BUILDING Most second-year undergraduates are still getting to grips with their studies on campus; not Charlie Rae. He’s swapped books for sailboat building in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he was snapped up by Seawind Catamarans – “Australia’s most popular design of cruising sail and power catamarans” – for a six-month co-operative scheme placement. Rather than reading about building boats, his days are now spent helping produce a 52ft sailing catamaran. A typical day sees him designing new features, taking measurements, communicating with the shop floor, organising the interior arrangement and appliances, investigating certification requirements and compiling purchase orders for suppliers. Charlie’s co-operative placement is only the second one outside Australia. What does he think the experience offers over and above a national placement?

Shipshape: Charlie Rae is helping produce a 52ft sailing catamaran.

The Co-Op Program is our Flagship engineering degree requiring an ATAR of 85. It allows students to extend their degree by a year, combining university studies with periods of paid work experience. The placements total up to 17 months over the course of a fiveyear degree and are fulfilled under the supervision of professional engineers. For further details or to register your company’s interest in participating in the program, please contact Industry Co-ordinator Mike Plakalovic: on or +61 3 6324 5007




“Perspective on the shipbuilding industry, definitely. Being able to compare the work environments in Australia and Vietnam and knowing that there are opportunities for work in South-east Asia is a big plus.” FROM WORK PLACEMENT TO OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT – BEFORE GRADUATION In less than a year, Robert Daly has gone from draftsman at a Gold Coast start-up to an operations manager overseeing 20 projects – an impressive feat for a 21-year-old who is yet to graduate. Oh, and he’s also found the time to set up his own consulting company. Still in the final year of his Ocean Engineering degree, Robert is animated when describing his work with GCMarine, which he’s seen grow from a start-up specialising in national pontoons to an international provider of both pontoons and floating offices. “The floating office is where stuff gets really interesting; a lot of what I have learnt at AMC is


“SEEING MULTI-STOREY DESIGNS COMING THROUGH, AND FEATURES LIKE ROOFTOP HELIPADS: THE SKY’S THE LIMIT WITH THESE” Managing staff as well as contractors, dredging, trucks, cranes and surveying, he also acts as the point of contact for clients during this whole process. What’s more, he continues to do it all remotely during his study periods back at AMC. “It keeps me on my toes,” he says, with understatement.


incorporated into the design and construction of these. Seeing multi-storey designs coming through, and features like rooftop helipads: the sky’s the limit with these.”

Floating office: Robert Daly oversees 20 projects in his role as operations manager.

With the company since 2015 as part of the co-operative program, as Operations Manager he now oversees all the company’s projects through the drafting, engineering, fabrication, construction and installation phases.

Having completed three work placements, set up his own maritime consulting company – RKD Maritime Consultants – and with his five-year co-operative program degree drawing to a close, he reflects on what will have been quite a journey. “I like the idea of having a degree that sets me apart from everybody else and being able to try different work places. Gaining experience in different fields really gets you on track to understand where you want to be in the future. “Coming to the end of the co-operative program, I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience – both personally and professionally – which has prepared me to make an impact in my future work.” ■

Shape your maritime employment outlook The Australian Maritime College (AMC) at the University of Tasmania, provides you with the qualifications you need for a successful maritime career. Our postgraduate programs are delivered at all levels including Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters. • • •

Maritime Studies Maritime Engineering (Naval Engineering) Maritime Business and International Logistics

Study here, work globally. Apply now:

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MOST INNOVATIVE YOUNG ENGINEER six years in the offshore oil and gas industry in Western Australia, gathering engineering design and project engineering experience. While working, his curiosity for broader engineering insight led him to complete a Civil Engineering Bachelor degree by correspondence.


In July this year he was recognised nationally for his achievements, winning an Engineers Australia ‘Most Innovative Young Engineers’ award for pioneering an analysis methodology and engineering tools for a new way of completing pipelay, which eliminated a major threat to the delivery of an offshore project.

One of AMC Search’s newest team members is tasked with helping organisations test and develop their designs using AMC’s hydrodynamic facilities and expertise.

Between graduating and his appointment at AMC Search earlier this year, Keyvan spent

Six months into his role at AMC Search, what’s motivating him?


Business Development Manager Keyvan Sartipi is well placed to do this, having graduated from AMC in 2009 as the year’s top Bachelor of Ocean Engineering 1st Class Honours student. During his studies he used the facilities himself to test and optimise designs and served as a technical ‘tour guide’ to explain their application to visitors.


“A lot! AMC Search enables businesses to access nationally unique scientific and technical services. This helps them innovate and contributes to AMC’s educational mission, which makes it especially rewarding.”

An AMC lecturer has been awarded a prize in a thesis competition hosted by the world’s foremost maritime economics organisation. Dr Vera Zhang was awarded third prize in the Palgrave McMillan Competition for the best PhD theses in Maritime Economics & Logistics. Having been shortlisted, Vera was invited to present her thesis – on Maritime Clusters and their Development Interplay with Ports – at the International Association of Maritime Economists conference in August, where it was evaluated by a committee who deemed it to be in the top three internationally. Having completed her PhD in Singapore, Dr Zhang has been working as a researcher at AMC since January 2016.



“I’m pleased to have been recognised by such a prestigious organisation and I hope it inspires other maritime economics PhD students.” Dr Zhang said.


Sky’s the limit for Sigrid GRADUATE SIGRID WILSON Graduation date: December 2015 Employer: AMSA

She did not disappoint, quickly landing a position at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) – an organisation tasked with promoting maritime safety and protection of the marine environment. It’s surely no coincidence that Sigrid had already spent seven months on work placement at AMSA during her degree. She used this time to make her mark by developing “from scratch” a new program that used web applications to make vessel standards more accessible. Back at AMSA two years later, Sigrid is now a Senior Technical Adviser working in the Vessel Safety Unit – a team that provides technical expertise and support for all aspects of AMSA’s work with Australian vessels. “My main responsibilities are assessing applications for exemptions and equivalent means of compliance (with the help of some very experienced engineers) and providing technical advice to surveyors and vessel owners.” “Vessel owners can achieve safety outcomes (like preventing collisions,


Graduating as one of AMC’s very first co-operative program students – which meant interspersing her Ocean Engineering degree with three extended industry placements – hopes were high that Sigrid Wilson would be well prepared for the world of work.

fires, and man overboard situations) using either the solutions given in the relevant standards or alternative solutions that work for their operation. A big part of our work is looking at those proposed alternative solutions and determining if they are safe in the circumstances.” It’s important work – keeping people safe at sea must be a rewarding way to start your career? “I am lucky to work with a swag of very qualified and experienced people from all over the country. They teach me something hourly. There’s also something to be said for working for an organisation with noble goals – at the end of the day we’re here to make sure everyone comes home.” Having extended her degree to five years to undertake her three work placements, was it worth it? “Definitely. Although I use my maritime engineering ‘hard skills’, the most useful aspect of my education was

“There’s certainly something to be said for working for an organisation with noble goals – at the end of the day we’re here to make sure everyone comes home”

the professional skills I gained through the co-operative education program. “During the five years I spent studying and working before graduation, I sometimes felt that I was going off course or waiting too late to choose a specific area of maritime engineering. I spent time in a design office, at a consulting firm, in public service and in research. In hindsight every moment was well spent. “AMC’s co-op program allowed me to spend a lot of time in a work environment and develop the professional maturity to be able to perform on day one as an employee.” Does Sigrid have any advice for those who want to follow in her footsteps? “Get as much as you can out of every opportunity and never take them for granted. If you can get access to an industry or company you’re not sure about, go for it – work experience or a thesis is a much smaller commitment than a full-time job after graduation, and you won’t have the same ability to sample different types of work for short periods later on. “Also: proof-read everything, always photograph your lab work, stay hydrated, and call your parents.” ■ ABOVE BOARD

Train with the leaders in online maritime short courses

A suite of online courses with the most current training options available. These courses have been developed in collaboration with industry and meet all regulatory requirements. Incorporating 2 and 3D interactive capability, you are provided with an immersive learning experience, taking online training delivery to a new level of sophistication. Specialised short course offerings include: • • •

Crowd Management Security Awareness Cargo Operations for Offshore Support Vessels

2017 releases: • • • •

Tanker Familiarisation Crisis Management (non Ro-Ro) for passenger Vessels Safe Bulk Loading General Purpose Hand

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Commercial arm of the Australian Marime College

Above Board Summer edition 2016/17  

Welcome to AMC's Above Board summer edition 2016/17

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