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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Decisions, decisions, decisions. How to include the vagaries of choice? Seminar

Image by Thomas Spenkuch
12:30 - 13:30
12 February 2015
Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus Building 177, Room 2011

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone SMMI Administrator on 02380 597773 or email .

Event details

SMMI-LR Seminar Series 2015

By Professor Stephen Turnock

The complex interplay of maritime structural response and dynamic fluid loading results in a significant engineering challenge. Yet if there is limited appreciation of the role of human decisions in specifying the correct design scenario or in operational constraints there are risks of wasted effort, over engineered systems or of potential failures. The example of the race tactics and strategy required in fleet sailing events is used to examine the use of Bayesian models for the choice of when to tack in upwind/downwind fleet races. The environmental unknown of the wind with its varying strength and direction is combined with a four degree of freedom unsteady yacht force/moment simulation. A Bayesian decision framework has been developed that allows varying degrees of expertise on behalf of the yacht tactician to be captured. The eventual aim is to develop a realistic fleet to challenge the skills of a sailor when racing against these ‘roboyachts’. The results of virtual race series when compared with realistic patterns of behaviours from actual yacht fleet races demonstrate good capture of the combined stochastic nature of the environment and human response. In considering the future role of increased autonomy in the maritime environment the lessons learnt from this study are used to project how such models of human choice can be included in the design of future systems.

Speaker information

Stephen Turnock,is Professor of Maritime Fluid Dynamics. He leads the fluid structure interactions group and is Director of the Performance Sports Engineering Laboratory. The PSEL has provided support to many sports since 2005, and was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary award for Higher Education in 2012. Recent successes include providing technical support to British Skeleton in the run upto to Lizzy Yarnold’s Gold medal at Sochi in 2014 and to a number of the breakthrough British Swimmers at the Glasgow, Commonwealth games. He has degrees in Engineering, Aeronautics & Astronautics and Ship Science. He joined the University of Southampton in 1988 and has research interests in renewable energy, maritime robotics, performance sport and ship resistance, manoeuvring and propulsion.

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