Solent University to open the largest maritime simulation centre in the UK

Solent University will open what it claims to be the UK’s largest and most sophisticated maritime simulation centre on its main campus in Southampton.

Part of Solent’s overall investment of more than £40 million into maritime education and training, the new ship and port simulation centre will open its doors for business this June 2019.

“As pioneers in the use of simulation for professional development of ship’s personnel since the 1970s, we are proud to remain at the forefront in delivering specialist higher-level training,” says Lars Lippuner, Head of Commercial Operations at the University’s Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering.

The new centre will include the latest equipment and software from Wärtsilä including: eight full mission bridge simulators; over 50 part task simulators; a full mission engineering room simulator; HV simulators; liquid cargo simulators; on-and off-shore crane simulators; GMDSS radio communications and VTS suites; DP simulators; and four multi-purpose desktop simulation classrooms.

The new centre will also offer the opportunity for several new specialist training courses such as: Dynamic positioning, vessel traffic management and ice navigation.

Everything will be networked for joint exercises between bridge and engine compartments, or ship and shore. The simulation centre will also feature hundreds of ship models, which will be used by cadets and maritime professionals alike.

“This new centre has also been designed with the future in mind,” says Lars, “It features a ‘Virtual Shipyard, to test ships which are in the process of being designed, or to create digital twins of existing ships. This allows officers to train in a virtual environment that mirrors their own workplace, further enhancing the experience.”

The ‘Virtual Shipyard’ will also be available for students on the University’s yacht design and production courses. Students will not only benefit from testing their designs in Solent’s own 60m towing tank but also in a virtually unlimited set of environmental parameters.

The new maritime simulation centre will also play a pivotal role in the University’s maritime research – from Sea Traffic Management to the machine execution of COLREGS, and further studies looking at navigational safety and the human-machine interface and operations.

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