UK shipbuilding risk consultancy Houlder has been awarded a £1.3M contract from NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) to provide technical advice for the commissioning of a new UK polar research vessel.

The new ship, will be operated in Antarctica and the Arctic by British Antarctic Survey from 2019. Houlder will work in close collaboration with the vessel’s project management office over the next four years to support the shipyard selection process, plan review construction and delivery.

The 120m, 13000t Polar Research vessel will have a 19,000 nautical mile range. It will have state-of-the art research capability, including a range of aerial and subsea robotic systems, and during research cruises will provide a home for up to 60 scientists and support staff.

The Houlder team will work with a wide range of stakeholders including the client, scientific end-users, shortlisted shipyards and main equipment suppliers. Members will manage and mitigate technical risk as integrated members of the project delivery team.

By Jake Frith