Facilities at the site include eight full-mission bridge simulators, a full-mission engine room simulator, over 50 part-task simulators, high voltage, dynamic positioning and liquid cargo simulators, on- and off-shore crane simulators, ECDIS, GMDSS and VTS suites, and four multipurpose desktop simulation and debriefing classrooms.
The centre is able to simulate more than 400 different ships and currently features about 140 ports worldwide. Every simulator and classroom is interconnected, with 35km of cabling allowing joint exercises to be conducted by students.
The new equipment enables the School to provide several new specialist training courses, like dynamic positioning, vessel traffic management and ice navigation. The simulators will also be used to support the university’s research work, in areas like sea traffic management, the machine execution of Colregs, and more studies analyzing navigational safety and the human-machine interface and operations.
What is more, the facilities include a 'Virtual Shipyard', to test ship designs or create digital twins of existing vessels. The simulators can also be used to test new port developments and berths, as well as being used for marine pilot training.
Professor Syamantak Bhattacharya, dean of the school, highlighted that the centre will be meeting the high demand for digital skills across the maritime workforce. He added that as training periods onboard get reduced, training providers must ensure that through simulation they are able to fill the gap.
In addition, Mr. Bibby stated that:
This is a really important time for investment in such fantastic facilities. We must remain a world-leading cluster of expertise in the new areas of shipping that will develop over the next 30 to 40 years. The seafarers that will train here are the future of our maritime nation, and this centre should make it better and safer for all