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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

SMMI and LR co-host European workshop for Lloyd's Register Foundation's Foresight Review on Ocean Engineering

Published: 24 May 2018
LRF Foresight Review

Oceans cover most of the planet, are a critical ecosystem for a healthy planet, and provide food and energy resources as well as transport routes for people and goods. Population growth and the increasing diversity of human uses of the oceans pose challenges requiring new engineering approaches and skills to ensure oceans are used safely and sustainably. The LRF Foresight Review on Ocean Engineering will evaluate the short and long-term challenges and trends associated with oceans' safe and responsible use. Recommendations will be made on the research, innovation, education, policy and practice needed to plan for a healthy and safe future for the worlds' populations and oceans.

Commenting on the Foundation's latest initiative, Professor Richard Clegg, Foundation Chief Executive, said: "The oceans are among our biggest resource for life on earth but are facing increasing demands and issues. While they can provide us with eco-solutions like alternative energy, they need to be managed sustainably and safely. To review this and identify what actions can be taken, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) in collaboration with the University of Western Australia is to carry out an Ocean Engineering Foresight Review. It will adopt a broad scope looking at current and future uses of the oceans and identify where the major challenges lie in terms of enhancing the safety and sustainability of life, property and the environment. The foresight review will include such uses of the oceans for; energy generation, deep see drilling, mining, fishing, aqua-culture, transportation and supply chains. It will also consider the engineering challenges and opportunities through the total life cycle of assets, from design to decommissioning, and will examine the opportunities emerging from new technologies such as robotic and autonomous systems and advanced materials."

The review which is being led by Professor Mark Cassidy, Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair of Offshore Foundations at the University of Western Australia, said: "The Lloyd's Register Foundation Foresight Review on Ocean Engineering will highlight the intersections between the increased demands on our oceans and the technological trends enabling their further development. It is timely because, as the world's population increasingly relies on the oceans, so the potential impact on the safety of life and property grows."

The Foundation is engaging leading international experts through a series of workshops. The second of which was held on 26-27 April 2018 and co-hosted by SMMI and LR at the Boldrewood Innovation Campus, University of Southampton.  Review lead Professor Mark Cassidy and local co-hosts Professor Susan Gourvenec (SMMI) and Mark Tipping (LR) convened a group of cross-sector participants from a wide range of discipline areas including engineering, oceanography, law, economics, policy and business to contribute to development of the content of the review.  

The workshop combined short presentations from leading experts of ocean uses and facilitated discussions of the workshop participants to identify key future uses of the world's oceans, risks to life, infrastructure and sustainability in engineering these future resources, the best solutions to mitigate the risks, and implementation plans for the proposed solutions to make a major and long-term impact of safety of life and property and sustainable use of the oceans. 

The outcomes of the Foresight Review will be shaped into nine chapters.  Chapters 1, 2 and 3 will be written using previously published materials, a participant’s questionnaire and information from the technology advisory group.  Chapters 4-9 will be written based on information gained from invited workshops, questionnaires and interviews with international experts and key industry figures. 

Further input will be provided by targeted interviews of senior leaders in industry, government and academia.  A template of questions will be provided to the interviewees as the draft chapters and workshop outputs, and individual discussions will be set up to encourage comments on the draft and to garner consensus and support.

The first draft of the Foresight Review is scheduled for 30th June 2018 at which time the report will be reviewed and revised through a consultation process with LRF, workshop participants, interviewees, industry champions and LR, before a 2nd draft goes to open consultation.

Final publication of the Foresight Review is scheduled for 31st October 2018.

The three workshops were scheduled as follows:

  • Singapore: 19-20 April 2018
  • Southampton, UK: 26-27 April 2018
  • St John’s, Canada: 6-7 June 2018

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