Communications & Media

Researchers help advance nation's ship design capabilities

University of Tasmania researchers are helping to advance Australia’s ship design capabilities, further bolstering the high-speed ferry industry’s multi-million dollar export potential.

Dr Jason Lavroff and colleagues, from the University’s School of Engineering, were awarded $460,000 in the latest round of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Project scheme.

Dr Lavroff will work directly with industry to develop a “smart” semi-autonomous interface.

The technology, which includes a real-time on-board monitoring and feedback system, will lead the way for increasing ship safety, vessel longevity and improving passenger comfort for vessels worldwide, including high-speed catamarans.

“The high-speed ferry industry is a major export earner for Australia with annual revenue of $100 million,” Dr Lavroff said.

“The work is significant as it will impact on design rules used worldwide, reducing weight and increasing payload and transport efficiency for this class of vessel.

“World-class, research informed ship design is crucial for maintaining and maximising Australia’s competitive advantage in this critical sector.”

The University of Tasmania secured a number of grants, totalling more than $1.6 million, in the latest round of announcements for the ARC Linkage Project scheme.

University of Tasmania Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Brigid Heywood said the success in funding further reflected the University’s strength in working in partnership with industry and government to innovate, and create next generation technologies which advance Australia’s competitiveness.

“Our cybermarine research has local and global impact, across a number of industry sectors, and our reputation to help drive innovation and economic impact is nationally and internationally renowned,” she said.

Other industry-aligned projects successful in the latest round of ARC Linkage Project scheme include:

  • Will natural selection save the Tasmanian devil from extinction?, lead investigator Dr Rodrigo Hamede ($300,000). The project aims to assess the immune adaptive capabilities of Tasmanian devils in response to facial tumour disease, a novel transmissible cancer, and determine how the expression of immune genes differ between wild and captive populations. The approach will enable the development of novel diagnostic tools for managing this and other threatened species, and for screening disease resistance markers across the wild and captive insurance populations.
  • Synthetic storage for improving flexibility and security of micro-grids, lead investigator Professor Michael Negnevitsky ($274,000). The project aims to remove the need for energy storage in micro-grids via adoption of synthetic storage methods. The expected project outcomes include reductions in cost and complexity for high renewable energy penetration micro-grids, reduced emissions and improved micro-grid reliability.

Photo courtesy of Incat/photographer: Robert Heazlewood

Published on: 25 Jul 2018 2:03pm