Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Southampton Engineering Students to Enter the Marine Autonomy Challenge

Published: 15 November 2022
SMART members
SMART members (left to right): Chihiro, Flavio, Joe, Nefelie, Prateek

A group of University of Southampton engineering students will compete in the Marine Autonomy Challenge (MAC) – organised by Society of Maritime Industries (SMI) Maritime Autonomous Systems Group (MASG). The competition focuses on the development of intelligent autonomous operation for Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USV) to map and detect ocean plastics.

SMART (Southampton University Maritime Autonomy Robotics Team) consists of 5 members, Nefelie Hemrich (3rd Year Ship Science), Flavio Gheri (3rd Year Mechanical Engineering), Chihiro Hirai (MSc Marine Engineering & Autonomy), Prateek Srivastava (MSc Marine Engineering & Autonomy) and Joe Gough (3rd Year Ship Science).

The team brings together the following expertise:

  • Nefelie is a member of the robotics club and has completed an online machine learning course, with a keen interest to apply this knowledge to solve challenges in the maritime industry
  • Flavio is the president of the Robotics Society and has completed an internship at UoS based on the development of a framework code for autonomous vehicles
  • Chihiro has been engaged in the Research Wing of Japan Ministry of Defence, and has experience in R&D projects relating to AUVs
  • Prateek has been a Sailor (Marine Engineer) and is currently undertaking Maritime Robotics as part of his MSc course
  • Joe is researching probabilistic localisation for use on ships and autonomous vessels for his individual research project under the supervision of Professor Blair Thornton

The team’s journey has been given a kick start with the SMMI sponsoring them to attend the Marine Autonomy & Technology Showcase 2022 that will be held on the waterfront campus between 8 to 10 November. MATS will showcase state of the art developments in the marine autonomy, with presentations, exhibitions, panel events and networking opportunities with leading figures in marine autonomy community from the research, defence and commercial sectors. The team states, “We would like to thank SMMI sponsoring us to attend MATS2022. It will be a great opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding on Marine Autonomous Systems and how these could be implemented in the Marine Autonomy Challenge.”

Related academic staff:

Blair Thornton
Nicholas Townsend
Stephen Turnock

Related courses and programmes:
SESS6072 – Maritime Robotics
Maritime Engineering Science: Marine Engineering and Autonomy (MSc)
Ship Science (MEng) – Marine Engineering and Autonomy pathway

Privacy Settings