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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

CRR member joins the Antarctic Gateway Partnership programme

Published: 12 May 2016
Antarctic Gateway Partnership

Dr. Mario P. Brito, a member of the Centre for Risk Research (CRR), has recently joined the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) Australian Marine Centre (AMC) as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer to support the Australian Gateway Partnership programme.


The Antarctic Gateway Partnership is funded by the Australian Government to build further polar research capability in Tasmania. The Partnership also aims to reinforce the Tasmania's recognition as a global leader in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science and as a gateway for Antarctic research, education, innovation and logistics.

One of the key aims of the programme is to develop a novel, world-leading underwater polar Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that specifically addresses the challenges of Antarctic waters, but which is also applicable in any ice-covered environment. The project is valued at $7.5M.

Dr. Brito will support the risk analysis and management for the vehicle development, testing and mission planning. He will train staff on how to integrate risk management strategies at different stages of the development and operational process. In addition, Dr. Brito will work with Professor Neil Bose (AMC, UTAS) and Prof Jingjing Xu (University of Plymouth) to jointly supervise a PhD project that aims to address the risk and legal issues that are associated with exploring Antarctica using AUVs.


Dr Mario Brito
Dr Mario Brito

“Antarctica, remains a hugely unexplored environment. Autonomous underwater vehicles are currently the best solution for acquiring in situ observations underneath the ice. The environment is complex and unforgiving to failures. Having already successfully implemented risk management processes for AUVs operating in both poles I am highly confident that, given the experience of the AMC team and the risk analysis methods that we will employ, we have an excellent chance of being successful.”

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