Engineers Debate ‘the Next Great Challenge’
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Engineers Debate ‘the Next Great Challenge’


Experts in marine and water engineering addressed a range of key issues in their fields in presentations to the UK Engineering Council Conference on 29 April 1999. The theme of the conference was: The next great challenge – marine and water engineering The environmental challenges facing the marine industry were highlighted by Dr Gillian Reynolds, Principal Surveyor and Manager of the Environmental Engineering Department at Lloyd’s Register. She described the strategy that is evolving, embracing the concept of life-cycle analysis, the shipping industry and the associated factors of ship design. Dr Reynolds said: "the environmental issues within the shipping industry parallel land-based concerns in that a ship is essentially a small village or town – albeit floating - with all the associated environmental problems. However, ships have additional concerns, including the potential for damage to the hull and consequent loss of cargo and the transfer of organisms and pollutants in ballast water." A European-wide network for ship design and life-cycle analysis is being currently co-ordinated by Lloyd’s Register; the introduction of guidelines is also being considered to "facilitate environmentally optimal" scrapping practices for the current generation of ships and off-shore installations. An ocean challenge wedding human endeavour to technology was described to the conference by round-the-world yachtsman Pete Goss. He heads the team that is harnessing the most advanced technology to build Britain’s biggest multi-hull yacht – the 120 ft Goss Challenger catamaran – for a global race that will be the centrepiece of the international millennium celebrations. The giant boat is being built of a carbon and aluminium honeycomb laminate structure with two revolutionary revolving AeroRig masts 130 ft high. Pete Goss has brought together a development team that includes top aerospace structural engineer Martyn Smith and renowned boat designer Adrian Thompson. "Ours is a drive to perfection in which we embrace new ideas," explained the yachtsman. "As we start to generate scientific data from our comprehensive test programme, our radical concept stands tall. The unstayed rig is within an ambitious target weight and has proven itself to be 30 per cent more efficient than a standard configuration. With one on each hull, we can say with certainty that this is going to be a fast boat – up to 40 knots." More information: Engineering Council (UK)


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