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Project Title:

Network of Excellence for Maritime Structures

Project Reference:

Project Website:


Start Date: End Date:

The overall objective of the Network, which has a duration of 5 years, is to improve the safety, effectiveness, reliability, environmental behaviour and comfort of ship structures through the application of advanced structural and reliability assessment within design, fabrication and operation, leading to increased public and commercial confidence in the competitiveness and use of waterborne transportation.

This objective will be achieved by strengthening the European competitiveness aiming at a permanent organisation of the type of a virtual institute, which will ensure the integration of the various European groups in a European Centre of Competence for structural analysis of ships with improved safety environmental behaviour and comfort.

The objective will be achieved through a programme for jointly executed research in the area of structural analysis of ships, the creation of research facilities and platforms and a continuous programme of dissemination and communication of research results. The way in which the programme is designed contributes to the mutual specialisation and complementarity through building up of strengths and the shrinking of weaknesses of the participants. This programme will strengthen the scientific and technological excellence of the European Research Area by integrating at a European Level a critical mass of resources and expertise that will be able to provide European leadership in the design of efficient and safe ship structures.

The activities of the Network will cover the different areas related with advanced structural analysis such as:

  • Specification of the loading appropriate for the various modes of structural response and strength.
  • Methods and tools for the analysis both numerically and experimentally of the structural strength and performance, including aspects such as ultimate strength, fatigue, crashworthiness, fire and explosion, resistance, and noise and vibration.
  • Influence of fabrication methods and new and advanced materials on the structural strength and performance of ships.
  • Tools for design and optimisation of ship structures.
  • Tools and methods of structural reliability, safety and environmental protection of ships.

The various assessment methods will be incorporated in the methods to design and optimise efficient ship structures as well as in the methods of structural reliability to be used to ensure the safety and environmental behaviour of the ships.

The progress towards the overall objective will be managed by setting measurable intermediate objectives, such as:

  • To document current practices and trends. Measurable by: Publication of state-of-the-art surveys and expert predictions; provision of a database to back up needs of Structural Reliability Analysis (including data on distribution shapes and cut-offs, assessment of quality and limitations of data, materials information, load states.
  • To establish guidelines to best practices and generate case studies and benchmark test results wherever possible, after identification. Measurable by: Drafting best practice guidelines and standards proposals. Publish results of case studies and benchmark tests.
  • To identify the research required by European universities and research institutes, in conjunction with industry. Measurable by: Results of survey of academic and industrial organisations in the marine field, with monitoring of progress by the Network in meeting those needs.
  • To provide a forum where specific research and development issues can be discussed, including Modelling Process. Measurable by: Establishment of active network with opportunities for personal contacts, and associated online and paper publications, courses, workshops, seminars and conferences (including virtual conferencing), and provision of internal documents on methodologies and data.
  • To ensure that reports of research projects are disseminated to industrial partners and policy-makers, and help industry to use these results in their design process. Measurable by: Publication and promotion to all involved in the industry, with guidance workshops provided to professional practitioners.
  • The improvement in the advanced analysis and reliability techniques derived through the Network will be measurable by: Provision of reliability methodologies to the industry throughout Europe. Acknowledging that the provision of software tools is less likely to be practicable for many smaller companies, due to purchase and support costs, the network will aim to provide a methodology, with worked examples and comparisons from which designers can write their own computer code.
  • To promote better understanding of industry's requirements in the application of reliability analysis techniques, incorporating advanced structural analysis. Measurable by: Networking activities to ensure industry has the opportunity to let researchers know their requirement.
  • To enable a common basis for contracting within membership. Measurable by: Establishment of a common simplified form of contract agreed by members.
  • To work in a cohesive manner within Europe. Measurable by: range and number of joint projects, reports and publications, the establishment of e-working and long-term virtual links.


Instituto Superior Técnico

Contact Person:

C. Guedes Soares

Contact Information:

Address: Av. Rovisco Pais
Postcode: 1049-001
City: Lisboa
email: guedess@mar.ist.utl.pt

Other Partners:
  • Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, United Kingdom
  • University of Liége, Belgium
  • Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria
  • Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
  • VTT Industrial Systems, Finland
  • Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Finland
  • Bureau Veritas, France
  • Principia Marine, France
  • SIREHNA, France
  • Germanischer Lloyd, Germany
  • Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Germany
  • Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft mbH & Co KG, Germany
  • Forschungszentrum des Deutschen Schiffbaus e.V., Germany
  • National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • Centro Tecnico Navale, Italy
  • Università di Genova, Italy
  • Netherlands Institute for Applied Scientific Research, Netherlands
  • Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Netherlands
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Det Norske Veritas, Norway
  • Technical University of Szczecin, Poland
  • Ship Design and Research Centre, Centrum Techniki Okretowej CTO, Poland
  • Lisnave Estaleiros Navais SA, Portugal
  • Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • University “Dunarea de Jos” of Galati, Romania
  • IZAR Construcciones Navales S.A., Spain
  • Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Technical University of Istanbul, Turkey
  • University of Newcastle, United Kingdom
  • University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • The Welding Institute, United Kingdom