Largest UK maritime simulation centre opens

Sir Michael Bibby The centre was officially opened by Sir Michael Bibby Bt., DL, President of the UK Chamber of Shipping. Credit: Solent University

The UK’s largest and most sophisticated maritime simulation centre will open next month to offer specialist training opportunities with innovative technology including a variety of simulators and a ‘virtual shipyard’.

Situated at Solent University in Southampton, UK, the GB£7m centre will contain equipment and software from Wärtsilä including eight full mission bridge simulators; over 50 part-task simulators; a full mission engineering room simulator; high voltage simulators; liquid cargo simulators; on-and off-shore crane simulators; GMDSS radio communications and VTS suites; DP simulators; and four multi-purpose desktop simulation classrooms.

Professor Syamantak Bhattacharya, dean of the university’s Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, said: “In a fast evolving maritime industry it’s crucial that students receive the best educational foundation in their initial studies, and are able to expand on it through continuous learning throughout their professional careers – this new simulation centre will do exactly that.”

Hands-on courses

Specialist training courses will include dynamic positioning, vessel traffic management and ice navigation.

The centre will enable joint exercises between bridge and engine compartments, or ship and shore. It will also feature hundreds of ship models, which will be used by cadets and maritime professionals alike.

The centre’s ‘virtual shipyard’ will test ships which are in the process of being designed, or to create digital twins of existing ships. This allows officers to train in a virtual environment that mirrors their own workplace. The virtual shipyard will also be available for the undergraduate and postgraduate degree students on the university’s yacht design and production courses.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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