Docked ship - LJMU Maritime Centre

Research and consultancy

LJMU Maritime Centre

Escort towage and tug operations

LJMU Maritime Centre was the first in the UK to have a full active escort tug simulator which is an enhancement of the existing 360° full mission ship-handling simulator. The new tug simulator was developed in a collaboration between Shell UK Ltd, Svitzer Marine and Wirral Waterfront – an initiative funded by the North West Development Agency.

George Franklin, Marine Manager at Shell's Stanlow Refinery, said of the facility:

"The new upgraded facility will not only provide an important training and competence development tool for the key players involved in the safe passage of tankers bound for Shell's Tranmere Oil Terminal, but will also contribute towards enhanced risk management on the Mersey River".

"The newly upgraded facility will not only provide an important training and competence development tool for the key players involved in the safe passage of tankers bound for Shell's Tranmere Oil Terminal but will also contribute towards enhanced risk management on the Mersey River."

Svitzer Marine Limited, a member of the AP Moller Group of companies, was another of the key funders in this project. Managing Director Stuart McNiven commented:

"Safety is paramount in the Svitzer Marine organisation and any project which enhances the safety of marine operation is deserving of our support. We are proud to support this initiative in one of our key ports."

Port development

LJMU Maritime Centre’s 360° ship simulator can be configured for research purposes into bridge operations, testing the feasibility of proposed harbour facilities prior to construction and identifying limiting factors for entry to, or departure from, a port in difficult conditions.

Research and development

In addition to using the ship simulator for the research purposes mentioned above, the simulator has also been used to model the Twelve Quays ro-ro ferry terminal, allowing shipmasters and river pilots to practice berthing under a variety of conditions.

Some of Centre’s commercial projects include:

  • The impact on navigation of the Gwynt-y-Mor wind farm and use of the simulator to investigate Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) operations
  • Belfast Port and approaches
  • Dublin Port and approaches
  • Fishguard Port and approaches
  • Holyhead Port and approaches
  • Liverpool Port and approaches
  • Rosslare Port and approaches

The Centre has developed a total of 2,410 square nautical miles (8,266 square kilometres) coverage area of the recently developed ports. This includes the development of seabed and all features associated with coastal navigation and approaches to harbours listed above. These areas are realistically matched with hydrographic data available to allow pilots, masters and other navigation officers to practice for berthing/un-berthing vessels in different weather and tidal conditions.

In addition to port area development, the Centre also has an in-house capability to develop new ship models based on any ship’s particulars. Recently, the following vessel models have been developed:

  • Ro-Ro Ferries to include an increase in the size of the vessel to conduct trail for justification to suit the same berth/harbour
  • Tug models to train tug master for specific models

For any further enquiries relevant to bespoke training or research work, please email maritime@ljmu.ac.uk.