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REliability and Safety Engineering and Technology for large maritime engineering systems

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RESET (REliability and Safety Engineering and Technology for large maritime engineering systems)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2019-04-30

The overall aim of this proposed exchange programme is to bring together an international team of researchers with a wide variety of skills in reliability and safety research of large maritime engineering systems, and to tackle challenges faced by industry which require specialist knowledge and innovation. The proposed research covers the fundamental study of reliability and safety, as well as applications in different maritime systems such as offshore installations, ships, offshore wind farms, and other Made-To-Order (MTO) systems.
Reliability and safety assessment is a challenging task for large and sophisticated maritime engineering systems or processes, and inevitably requires hypotheses, approximations and simplifications based on human judgements. The Reliability and Safety Engineering and Technology (RESET) network for large maritime and other MTO engineering systems aims to provide the required dynamic approach for reliability and safety assessment. This is achieved through the integration of a pool of techniques for assisting the decision making process in the various phases of the system(s)’ life cycle. Examples of such techniques include: uncertain data analysis methods, expert knowledge elicitation methods, probabilistic and possibilistic risk estimation methods, reliability assessment methods based on Monte Carlo simulation and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), fatigue and fracture modelling of engineering structures, techno-economic analysis and decision making models.

The research contributes to European economic competitiveness by producing a group of highly creative researchers, with the expertise and skills that will allow them to become productive and insightful engineers and scientists. It also establishes collaborative mechanisms for long-term partnerships between European and Asian researchers and institutes, with expertise in reliability and safety assessment of large complex maritime engineering systems. Similarly, this shall advance reliability and safety modelling and decision making, in order to address the issues of technology changes and emerging uncertainties in the 21st century.

The project has 9 partners (5 EU members and 4 TC members) who have agreed for a program of extensive exchange of both Experienced Researchers (ERs) and Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) during four years from May 2017, in order to fully explore and exploit the complementary strengths and synergies within the consortium. The interdisciplinary nature of the proposed exchange programme offers a link for research and training of the involved ERs and ESRs, in a collaborative academic environment. This serves to support and reinforce the collaborations amongst the participants and helps establish a long-term research collaboration.
Apart from training of ESRs, particularly the PhD students involved in this project, the scientific impact of the proposed research has been facilitated through high-quality papers in the most prestigious and relevant journals and also conference presentations. Within the consortium, the results generated by the project have been disseminated via exchange visits, workshops, conferences, the project website and industrial visits. 2 workshops have been organised and one more will be organised at LUH, in Sept. 2019, focusing on the RESET framework, safety assessment models (stage 1) and decision making models (stage 1), respectively. Representatives from local industries and societies have been invited to attend the workshops and have received a briefing on progress and key results achieved. The dissemination strategy also aims to communicate effectively with parties outside the project, such as other European project consortia and potential users of large maritime engineering systems. The produced results have been published and continue to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and international conference proceedings. The project will create a number of small sub-projects (such as experimental tests of a ship model and simulation study of ship collisions) for MSc and undergraduate students at the individual partner institutions such as LJMU, IST and WUT. In addition, the research outcomes of this project have been incorporated into some taught modules of the MSc courses in Marine and Offshore Engineering/Technology run by the individual partners including LJMU, AALTO, IST and WHUT.

The research outcomes from the project have been exploited through the following paths:
• Publications such as journal papers (e.g. those published in Reliability Engineering & System Safety).
• Papers and presentations in conferences (e.g. Annual European Safety and Reliability Conference).
• Three workshops organised as described previously.
• Invited presentations at international conferences or workshops such as ICTIS 2017, CE-ICVRAM-ISUMA 2018 and MSSS 2019.
• Research visits of local industries.

Research outcomes from the project will continue to be exploited through publications, workshops and collaboration with industrial partners. The project consortium will continue to promote general reliability and safety assessment concepts and also safety culture through a variety of ways such as project leaflets, the project website, project newsletters and public lectures.

During the first 24 months the consortium through the partnership has produced 11 journal papers and 11 conference papers.
This project starts to generate some extra impact through collaboration among the partners. LJMU and MU have developed a dual PhD programme in Engineering. It is anticipated that other European partners will also look at similar collaborative opportunities with the TC partners. The produced RESET framework has been used by the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in their guidelines for the offshore industry (“Collision detection in the UKCS” and “Effective collision risk management for offshore installations”).