We have five cross-disciplinary research themes that cut across traditional scientific and engineering boundaries to address challenges that encompass the entire maritime domain.
Our five research themes are:
The maritime defence sector performs critical work defending nations, protecting national interests and contributing to regional security. Operating in extreme environments, the requirements of the defence industry are necessarily demanding and rapidly evolving.
Our activities in this area deliver high-calibre research, testing and evaluating solutions for naval design, manufacture and sustainment at both the applied and theoretical/fundamental level. We connect researchers with industry and defence to develop advanced techniques to achieve engineering solutions for optimum naval platform performance.
We work closely with the Royal Australian Navy, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and defence industries to drive the research that enables the naval defence sector to build the capacity and capability it needs in Australia and globally.
Our world-class maritime research facilities — including cavitation research laboratory, towing tank, model test basin, simulation centre, underwater collision laboratory, control laboratory and autonomous underwater vehicle facility— together with our researchers and technicians, are our greatest assets in this research area. With further recent funding for the Maritime Defence Innovation Design Precinct (MDIDP) from the federal government, AMC will expand research capability in maritime and defence industries. The MDIDP is intended to be the operational research and development hub for users to access the University of Tasmania Defence Network, and its Integrated Research Teams, leveraging off its collective, multi-disciplinary capabilities in the integrated thematic areas of:
- Performance and Survivability of Vessels and Maritime Structures (Maritime Engineering)
- Human Performance and Resilience
- Remote Maritime Sensing and Autonomous Vessels
As the country with the third largest Exclusive Economic Zone, Australia has the potential to significantly increase its marine productivity through sustainable and appropriate use of its natural resources. Blue Economy research activities will enhance the development of Australia’s economy through the delivery of world-class, industry-focused research into integrated seafood and marine renewable energy production systems.
This is achieved by the development of incremental “proof of concept” projects across a range of disciplines, including science, engineering, social science and humanities, that strategically progresses our knowledge and understanding and builds on our strengths in offshore and marine engineering, marine renewable energies and aquaculture infrastructure evaluation and design.
There are several crucial areas related to the design, operation and survivability of sustainable offshore installations that need research and development. These include: structural loads under normal and extreme operating conditions; material selection where corrosion, fatigue and biofouling may be present; the construction, launch, trawling and moorings associated with the platform installation; self-efficiency such as renewable energy and off-the-grid electricity generation; autonomous technologies for monitoring and maintenance; platform station keeping; maritime vessel operations; logistics and supply chain management, and safety, risk and reliability. AMC’s suite of specialist hydrodynamic facilities such as the towing tank, model test basin and ship simulator, and other capabilities in numerical modelling, are heavily utilised to undertake this research.
As part of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre we work closely with a large number and wide range of Australian and international companies and organisations such as CSIRO, ocean engineering consultancies, aquaculture companies, marine renewable energy developers and Government regulatory authorities to solve the challenges of offshore food and energy production.
Human activity in coastal and ocean environments is intensifying due to a significant increase in maritime commerce and transport and scientific exploration, as well as the drive to secure the energy and natural resource supply for the future.
Our research in this area aims to address the engineering challenges associated with the operation of maritime vehicles and offshore/coastal installations in environments ranging from protected in-land waterways, to the often-extreme seas across our region and to the depths of the world’s oceans.
Research projects include experimental and numerical modelling of the hydrodynamic behaviour of ships and offshore structures, the evaluation of new and developing shipping ports, development and deployment of autonomous underwater vehicles, new devices for extracting tidal and wave energy, assessing the impact of marine operations on the surrounding environment, quantifying the safety and risk associated with marine and offshore operations and new control systems for all types of marine vessels and installations.
We work closely with a diverse range of Australian and international maritime companies and organisations, including shipbuilders, naval architecture consultancies, port authorities, marine renewable energy developers and Government regulatory authorities to further our understanding of how to build and operate the most efficient and sustainable maritime platforms. Our research aims to add to the sum of human knowledge, drive innovation, meet the needs of industry and bring broad benefits to society.
Our research expertise and facilities, as well as our network of collaborations with industry partners and international universities, make AMC the ideal place for research into engineering systems for the maritime environment.
Education and training are critical to keeping the maritime industry moving. It is anticipated that an additional 40,000 trained seafarers will be needed by 2030 to meet the demands of the expanding global industry. In addition, with the development of future shipbuilding and sustainment projects, the need for specialised professional maritime engineers with a strong understanding of digital shipbuilding processes and systems engineering principles will be in demand. Technological innovation and global interconnection within the maritime industry will see the need for graduates to have both digital intelligence and enterprise skills.
An increasing number of students come from diverse backgrounds, remote locations or regions without a long maritime tradition and/or dedicated educational facilities. In order to meet their training and education needs, our research focuses on innovation through a distinctive curricular experience with accessible and state-of-the-art learning, that ultimately aims to influence education policies and practices across the maritime world.
This research theme includes:
- improving engineering pathways and building STEM teaching capacity for developing innovative strategies and platforms for tertiary level maritime education and training with emphasis on regional and remote areas in Australia; and
- competency development of seafarers’ shore-based operation of unmanned and autonomous ships of the future.
Our research attempts to understand how maritime systems should be shaped around human behaviour. It aims to improve the social, technical and organisational flow associated with operating in ship and ship-related shore environments. We also investigate human performance in extreme events, producing the research and training to respond and be more resilient to crises and emergencies. AMC researchers work on experimental and numerical modelling of operational behaviours of ships, development and deployment of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships, optimising power management of electric ships and assessing port operation efficiency including Vessel Traffic Systems. Our world-class suite of facilities offer real-time maritime simulation technology for training, research and investigation not only into ship manoeuvring, improving ship and port safety and efficiency, but also into optimal propulsion, fuel economy and energy conservation. These investigations are complemented by well-established Emergency Response Centre and access to a fleet of research vessels.
The maritime and logistics industries underpin global trade. Today, more than 90% of Australian trade is carried by sea and over 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast. International shipping is essential to Australia’s socio-economic development and even more so to the Tasmanian economy that is bound to transport and logistics regionally and globally.
The industries face significant challenges posed by globalisation, security, outsourcing, sustainability and climate change. Overcoming these challenges and optimising the efficiency of the industry is what drives AMC’s research in an innovative way in the fields of ports, shipping, maritime business, policy and law.
Our researchers investigate:
- how to operationalise resilience and sustainable development for ports (especially regional and remote ports)
- how to manage and optimize supply chains regionally and globally
- how to develop sustainable economic policies for the maritime domain
- how to develop adaptation strategies for maritime transport following the impact of climate change on shipping
- how emerging technology impacts on maritime and logistics operations and management.