Winner of the Maritime Masters 2020 is...

The winner of the 2020 Maritime Masters programme is Andrea Chipolina from the University of Southampton, who presented her research along with eight other student finalists in the live-streamed virtual Maritime Masters finalist event this Thursday (15 October) as part of Maritime UK Week.

Chipolina’s research on the performance of flapping foils on a wave-powered autonomous vehicle was presented to an audience of representatives from industry and academia and explored the ways in which explored the use of wave-powered flapping foils as propulsion. The award was presented by Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, and along with a trophy consists of a cash prize of £1,000 for the winner.

The Maritime Masters programme, which aims to encourage engagement between maritime industries and maritime academia in the UK, has been run by Maritime UK since 2018 and along with engagement through a range of events throughout the academic term, culminates in a competitive element every year. Previous winners of the competition have been Tessa Jones from Queen Mary, University of London and Jordan Curtis from the University of Strathclyde, who won the award by popular vote in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

From a list of more than 30 shortlisted students from the participating universities, nine finalists were chosen based on academic abilities and presentation skills. The students shortlisted for this year’s competition represented a wide range of disciplines and a variety of research topics, including the legality surrounding autonomous vessels, the effects of Covid-19 on maritime businesses, alternative fuel technologies for shipping, port privatisation, emission reductions and environmental concerns, ship design, shipping finance and FFA trading.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing guidelines in place for the past couple of months, a series of successful webinars were put on as part of the Maritime Masters programme this year, enabling wider engagement amongst the student cohorts at participating universities and beyond. The finalist event, normally hosted at Clarksons Platou’s offices in London, was also held in a virtual format.

The winning project, presented alongside the work of other finalists this Thursday, explored the use of wave-powered foils as a form of propulsion that may contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and environmental impact of vessels at sea.

Andrea Chipolina was voted the winner by the participating audience at the Maritime Masters finalist event.

Ben Murray, Director of Maritime UK said:

"With the COVID-19 pandemic having presented tremendous challenges for students and their universities as well as industry, we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to push ahead with the Maritime Masters programme. It’s always been a priority for this programme to bring academia and industry closer together and working closety throughout such difficult times can only have forged some strong and purposeful relationships that will serve our sector well into the future.

"We’re excited to be live streaming the finalist reception as part of Maritime UK Week, meaning that we’ll be able to share the students’ first-class research with an even bigger industry audience. Good luck to everyone!"

Ben Challier, Business Development Director for Aviation and Maritime at Royal HaskoningDHV said:

“It is a privilege for Royal HaskoningDHV to be playing a part in such a worthwhile programme. We see it as our duty to support schemes like Maritime UK’s Maritime Masters programme that safeguards the future of the industry by bringing through the next generation. For example, recently we have provided insight into port operations and ferry traffic management to student studies into post-Brexit industry challenges, which is being actively tackled by our clients in 2020.

"With COVID-19, this year has brought a huge amount of additional challenges to students and we are therefore excited to be supporting the shortlisted students by sharing our knowledge on the challenges the maritime industry is facing to help them shape targeted research around those topics.”

L&D Advisor at Clarksons Platou Malcolm Willingale added:

"The Maritime Masters competition is an important building block in establishing a bridge between industry and academia. Clarksons is keen to continue its sponsorship of the programme and provide help to the competitors' research projects."

The 2020 student finalists were:

  • Huimin Hu, The Business School (formerly Cass, City, University of London - An analysis of UK nonferrous metal imports and exports
  • Markella Pikouni, University of Strathclyde - Safety analysis of the navigational system of autonomous ships
  • Andy Wibroe, Newcastle University - Titanic - a century of regulatory evolution
  • Rafael Castillo, UCL - Addressing the challenges of transferring ship design into production
  • Ioannis Palasis, Cardiff University - Port privatisation and container terminal concessions: the case of the Port of Piraeus
  • Ankita Mishra, University of Plymouth - Alternative marine fuels and technologies
  • Aleandro Mifsud, Queen Mary University of London - The legal implications of unmanned vessels at sea with particular focus on the SOLAS Convention
  • Andrea Chipolina, University of Southampton - Foil performance of a flapping foil, wave powered autonomous vehicle
  • Krishna Sooprayen, Liverpool John Moores University - Maritime cargo prioritisation during a prolonged pandemic lockdown using an integrated TOPSIS-Knapsack technique: a case study on small island developing states - the Rodrigues Island

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