Month: February 2019

Professor in Marine Technology Honorary Doctor at Chalmers

Atilla Incecik, a professor at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, is one of three researchers appointed as honorary doctors at Chalmers 2019. For a number of years, he has been a member of the Lighthouse Scientific Advisory Board and is honored for his pioneering efforts in marine environmental research.

Atilla Incecik is a professor at the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He is a leading researcher in marine technology and was formerly at Newcastle University as the holder of the Lloyd’s Register Chair of Offshore Engineering. He has been a member of the Lighthouse Scientific Advisory Board for several years and has contributed constructively to the development of sustainable shipping research.

Atilla Incecik is awarded an honorary doctorate for his pioneering efforts together with Chalmers researchers in maritime environmental science.

He has much research experience in traditional shipbuilding and offshore construction. The shipping world first began to pay attention to environmental issues in 2005, after reports of tens of thousands of early deaths caused by emissions from ships. Around the same time, public awareness of the need to reduce CO2 emissions was increasing, and so the focus of his research area expanded to emissions reduction and energy efficiency. Meanwhile at Chalmers, the research group maritime environmental science was being established. The cooperation between the groups provided access to supplementary networks, insight into national research projects, contacts through exchange of doctoral students, participation in seminars and workshops, and several research applications.

Lighthouse to operate program for SEK 100 million

Lighthouse has been appointed to operate the Swedish Transport Administration’s program for sustainable shipping. The program runs for 10 years and comprises SEK 100 million of state funds supplemented by part-financing from the industry.

“Now we can jointly take on the challenges to achieve a competitive, sustainable shipping industry,” Harry Robertsson, Technical Director of Stena and Chairman of Lighthouse Board, says. “Lighthouse was initiated as an organization already in 2006 and this means that we can continue to be a national center that gathers companies, universities and institutes around relevant issues in our industry.”

It is usually said that shipping is an energy-efficient mode of transport compared to road and air. But the fact is that shipping, which transports more than 90 percent of all goods in the world, has not had the same development as other modes of transport when it comes to sustainable solutions.

“Shipping offers great opportunities but faces major challenges and must radically reduce its emissions in order to be a sustainable transportation alternative in the future. The other aspects of sustainability are also important to work with, so that maritime transport can be offered at competitive terms and with a good and developing work environment,” says Åsa Burman, head of operations, Lighthouse.

Within the industry program Sustainable shipping, collaboration will take place between a large number of actors from both industry, academia and institutions, and society. The shipping expertise in the platform is in some respects world-leading and otherwise constitutes the tip of Swedish research and development in the shipping area.

“We at the Swedish Transport Administration see that the industry program will make a joint force gathering on strategically important sustainability issues of importance to the maritime transport system and Sweden’s competitiveness, as well as conduct the research, development and innovation required to make Swedish shipping more sustainable. Our hope is that the shipping industry wants to invest even more in sustainable development, now that the state contributes to a long-term basis for knowledge development and innovation,” Rein Jüriado of the Swedish Transport Administration says.

Among the program participants are industry organizations such as Svensk Sjöfart and the Swedish Ports, shipping companies, ports and marine technical companies. From the academy Chalmers, KTH, Gothenburg University and Linnaeus University participate. In addition, research institutes such as RISE, SSPA, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute and the National Road and Transport Institute, VTI and public actors such as the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Västra Götaland region participate.

Lighthouse: Åsa Burman, 031-772 26 74
Trafikverket: Rein Jüriado, 010-123 49 23

Shipping must be seen more

When the trains stop, it becomes headlines. When the ships do, nothing happens. A greater public awareness would benefit the shipping industry, Pia Berglund, Sweden’s new national coordinator for domestic shipping, believes.

“I get a maximum of one email a month that relates to shipping while I get at least 20 a day relating to the railway”. That’s what a politician from Kalmar said last week during at a seminar that Pia Berglund participated in.
”There is no buzz around shipping. Even if politicians think shipping is important, they have to deal with the issues people are interested in. That’s the problem”, she says.

This is no rocket science. People ride by train. Not so much with ferries. But what about the sea freight then? Pia Berglund, who previously has been both CEO and Vice President of Svensk Sjöfart, talks about the “curse of the goods”.
”In Sweden, it is actually only on Gotland that people know how important shipping is. If the traffic closes for two days, their shelves will be empty”, she says.
”At the same time, this proves that shipping works quite well”.

There is no shortcut. The road to the politicians goes through the people. Actually, there are several roads to choose from.
”What worked best so far is technical innovation, people are interested in it. Then I think we should tell what we do every day. How is it to be a sailor nowadays?”

The climate issue, which flared up again in the last year, can of course also become a key road. As a national coordinator of domestic shipping her main task is to, in dialogue with stakeholders, is to improve the conditions for the transfer of freight transport from road to shipping.
”First I think we need to imply things that we can do quite quickly, things that can simplify life here and now for the stakeholders, and which can be applied to existing systems and regulations.”

Pia Berglund made one of her first public appearances as a national coordinator last week. It happened in the Riksdag when the National Committee for Sustainable Shipping presented a report with proposals on how sustainable shipping can be strengthened and developed. Despite the name, Pia Berglund has nothing to do with the committee. While she is appointed by the Swedish Transport Administration, the National Committee has been appointed and formed within the framework of the cross-sectoral and non-profit organization Gröna Städer.
”I have no opinion on the name, but I think they have an exciting idea to spin on. They have a community building perspective, and have worked with all kinds of such issues and have now come to shipping. They were very humble, made a good presentation and the feeling in the Riksdag became “oh, why do we not talk about this important thing more?”. Most people in the audience were not from shipping, which can sometimes be useful, Pia Berglund says.
”If you have worked in the shipping industry all your life, you easily take things for granted. You lose the perspectives. I think the industry would benefit from inviting more people from the outside to seminars and happenings. It’s good for us to talk to others.”

Competence provision in the maritime industry (sv)

In the preliminary study, Competence provision in Maritime Industry, the skills needs for shipping and marine engineering will be mapped. The level of competence may exist at different levels of education. In Norway, such work has already been done, and the preliminary study should look at how the Norwegian model can be transferred to the Swedish maritime industry.

Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, RISE

SMTF,VGR, Svensk Sjöfart, Stiftelsen Sveriges Sjömanshus

The shipping industry must be seen more!

Last week, The Swedish Confederation of Transport, came up with a report, and now comes a prestudy from Lighthouse. Both say the same thing: Shipping must be seen more in order to attract young people and new skills.

“The shipping screams for staff” reads the headline of a TT article that could be read in a lot of Swedish newspapers. It is based on the report “Tempen på Sjöfartbranschen” wich was published by The Swedish Confederation of Transport last week. According to it, the industry faces major challenges. Young peoples interest in maritime education is low, while every sixth employee is between 58-67 years and approaches the retirement age. Over the next five years, approximately 800 people in the professional groups of sailors, engineers and technical and nautical officers need to be recruited. But it is difficult to find competence. Four out of ten companies have had difficulties recruiting for the past year.

So the industry screams, but if not for deaf ears, then at least in the dark. The Lighthouse prestudy ”Kompetensförsörjning inom den svenska marina och maritima näringen” (only in swedish), carried out by researchers at RISE and Chalmers, states that ”the industry needs to be more visual for young people.” The reason why the industry is so unknown to the public has most likely historical reasons as the Swedish shipbuilding industry and the Swedish merchant navy during the 1980’s suffered from shutdowns and loss of tonnage.

So what can be done to increase interest and secure the supply of competence?
First and foremost the public’s knowledge of how important shipping is to the economy must be increased. How many even know that 90 percent of all transport goes on water?
– If the shipping industry does not succeed in finding employees, it will negatively affect Swedish exports and imports, which will result in major socio-economic consequences”, Caj Louma, head of competence supply at The Swedish Confederation of Transport said in the TT article.

The Lighthouse prestudy suggests that the different marine/maritime education programs seek cooperation in order to widen the awareness of the total marine/maritime industry among the students.
The study does also suggest that the possibility to start industry driven/owned competence centers should be investigated. This type of centers, which have been successful in Norway, should be established in order to get better flexibility among the personnel within the industry and to reinvest competence from experienced to less experienced personnel.

Read the prestudy (only in Swedish): Kompetensförsörjning inom den svenska marina och maritima näringen (PDF)


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Publisher: Åsa Burman

Integritetspolicy / dataskyddspolicy


Chalmers tekniska högskola AB
412 96 Göteborg, Sweden


Lindholmen Science Park
Lindholmspiren 3A

Lighthouse är en neutral samverkansplattform för forskning, utveckling och innovation inom den maritima sektorn.