Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 9544

Dr James I R Blake BEng(Hons) MSc PhD MRINA FHEA

Associate Professor

Dr James I R Blake's photo

Dr James I R Blake is Associate Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Current position

James Blake is a Associate Professor in Ship Science and Maritime Engineering Science in High Performance Craft and Marine Safety & Environmental Engineering. He is a member of the Fluid Structure Interactions research group, the Performance Sports Laboratory and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. He is Undergraduate Admissions Tutor for Ship Science.

Honours and awards

2013 SUSU Excellence in Teaching Award – Ship Science
2001 RINA Calder Prize
1993 RINA Student of the Year Award

Career history

James graduated in 1993 at the top of his class with a first class degree in Ship Science at the University of Southampton and received a scholarship to study for a Master of Science in Maritime Engineering Science before embarking on his doctoral research in the prediction of motions of high speed planing craft. In 2000, James was awarded his doctorate and became a research fellow at the University investigating composite structural performance and high speed craft performance. He has worked as a design engineer for Halyard Marine and Industrial (marine anti-noise and vibration equipment), as a naval architect for Vosper Thorneycroft (vessel intact and damaged stability) and for BMT Seatech (structural monitoring). James serves the International Ship & Offshore Structures Congress and has represented the Specialist Committee for Yacht Design and currently sits on the Specialist Committee for Structural Longevity. He also sits on the EU InCROPS Biopolymers and Biocomposites Working Group advising on the use of bio-derived materials for marine use. He is a Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

James is interested in the fundamental way that fluid and structures interact and the practical consequences on the design and operation of marine vehicles. Consequently his research covers:

  • Performance sports (developing equipment for athletes, including the Va’a for 2016);
  • Sustainable structural materials for composite boat design and production;
  • Concurrent engineering for boat design and production;
  • Experimental & theoretical analysis of composite material performance;
  • Structural reliability and risk analysis;
  • High speed planing craft performance and simulation;
  • Biomimetic engineering for improved autonomous underwater vehicle performance.
Security of boat moorings and harvesting their energy
Pride of Humber on her mooring
manufactured totally form bioderived materials
Student success with the RS800 hull
scans of voids in typical leisure boat resin infused laminates
X-ray Computed Tomography
Simulating high performance craft for design and training.
High Speed Craft Simulator
to improve underwater vehicle performance
Mimicking penguin flight

Research group

Maritime Engineering

Research project(s)


Researching bio-derived solutions for marine composite structures is vital to the sustainability of UK boatbuilding.

How important are defects in marine structural composites?

Lessons from nature for engineering

Simulating high performance craft for design and training

Sort via:TypeorYear


Book Chapters



Module titleModule codeDisciplineRole
High Performance Craft SESS3011 Ship Science Course leader
Marine Safety and Environmental Engineering SESS6002 Ship Science Course leader
Dr James I R Blake
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 176/3015

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings