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Dr Jon Downes BEng, PhD, CEng, MRINA, SFHEA

Lecturer in Ship Science and Maritime Engineering

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Jon is a Lecturer in Ship Science and Maritime Engineering at the University of Southampton within Engineering and Physical Sciences, based on the Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus. Jon joined the University in early 2014 where he is a member of the Fluid Structure Interactions Group.

His current research interests are in the development of maritime autonomous systems, in particular the development of unmanned surface vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles, investigating the overall system design, systems integration, and mission behaviours. He is the academic lead for the Maritime Robotics Laboratory.

His previous research has been in the area of structural response of marine structures under extreme loads and methods for the efficient inspection of marine structures which has led to the research interest in autonomous marine platforms.

Previous to joining the University of Southampton, Jon worked for Newcastle University on both their UK and Singapore Campuses. His last role was as Director of Operations for the School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University International Singapore. He was based in in Newcastle, UK and then for nearly 3 years in Singapore.

He was previously a member of the International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress (ISSC) –Committee IV.I Design Principles and Criteria. He is a member of the Editorial Board for both the IMECHE Part M Journal of Engineering in the Maritime Environment and the International Shipbuilding Progress Journals.

He is the Employability and Industrial Liaison for the Ship Science degree courses.

Research interests

Jon’s principal research areas are in the field of maritime autonomous systems investigating the overall system design, systems integration, and mission behaviours. Recent projects have been researching the development of unmanned surface vessels through the development of a new onboard hardware, and command and control system, inspection of ballast tanks using autonomous systems for the visual survey of potential structural defects, and the performance of underwater gliders. These have been funded by EU H2020, Industry and other funds.

He is responsible for the procurement of ASV Global C-Cat3 vessel from EPSRC RAS Capital funding which considerably enhances the capabilities of the Maritime Robotics Laboratory and will be used research including developing greater understanding of autonomous behaviours in the maritime environment and interdisciplinary scientific research.

His interest in autonomous systems has been originally driven by the need to enhance the safety and reliability of methods for the inspection of ships internal and external structure, and the ability to reduce the risk to humans involved in these activities. This has then lead to a wider interest in the development of maritime autonomous systems.

Jon has previously been involved in projects investigating a range of structural problems including the development of structural analysis codes for the Office of Naval Research, analysis work for an ISSC benchmark studies, and collaborative research work including EU Projects (RISPECT, ALERT, POP&C, MARSTRUCT, MARTOB). This research was centred around the development of theoretical methods for predicting the nonlinear elasto-plastic collapse and post collapse behaviour of plates and stiffened panels in marine structures and for predicting the ultimate strength of a ship's hull girder and novel structures; Modelling of events such as collisions and grounding and the prediction of the resulting damaged residual strength and the consequent ability to survive in the damaged state. Risk based inspection and maintenance techniques, improved decision making based on statistical and reliability based analysis for the safe, cost effective structural inspection, repair and design-rule improvement of existing ships.

Research group

Maritime Engineering

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SESS3026 Marine Structures

SESS6065 Fundamentals of Ship Science

SESS6071 Marine Structures in Fluids

FEEG2005 Materials and Structures

Employability and Industrial Liaison for the Ship Science

Dr Jon Downes
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 176/3039

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