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Autonomous ships systems holistic design

Project Description

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.


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

For further information on the specific details of this project go to:


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

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.

How to Apply

Applicants should send their application directly to Mr Stuart Hewitt – by the 31st May 2019.
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 –

Funding Notes

The funding covers UK/EU student tuition fees and stipend in line with University rates for 36 months.
Start Date and Duration: October 2019, for 3 years.

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