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Maritime experts visit South Shields Marine School to discuss industry advances

At the school are, from left, Gary Hindmarch, Principal of South Shields Marine School, Dr Michael Woodward, of Newcastle University's School of Marine Science and Technology, and Professor Stephen Cross, of the International Marine Simulation forum.
At the school are, from left, Gary Hindmarch, Principal of South Shields Marine School, Dr Michael Woodward, of Newcastle University's School of Marine Science and Technology, and Professor Stephen Cross, of the International Marine Simulation forum.

International maritime experts have visited the world famous South Shields Marine School to discuss latest industry and technological advances as part of a major North East conference.

Around 100 delegates toured its state-of-the-art facilities, which include the latest full-mission bridge and engine room simulators, and took part in lectures.

It was part of the four-day MARSIM 2015 International Conference on Ship Manoeuvrability and Maritime Simulation, hosted by Newcastle University.

The conference brought together industry-wide expertise from all sectors relating to the manoeuvrability and simulation of ships and floating structures.

Those taking part included subject experts and distinguished speakers who discussed technical and topical issues, while exhibitors showcased the latest maritime simulation technology.

Among the speakers were Alan McPherson, Deputy Harbour Master at Port of Tyne, and Solvi Opthun and Gier Lille of Kongsberg Maritime Simulation, the company which designs and supplies some of the world’s leading simulation equipment.

Mr McPherson spoke about how the college’s simulators are used by the port’s pilots for training, and Mr Opthun and Mr Lille presented an overview of their company’s latest technological developments.

Senior staff at South Shields Marine School’s School of Maritime Simulation and Senior Marine also discussed their latest research and development programme and projects work involving vessel hydrodynamic and land area modelling, including 3D graphics.

Gary Hindmarch, Principal of South Shields Marine School, which is part of South Tyneside College, said: “The conference provided a platform for experts from around the world to discuss latest research and current practice and to spread collaboration.

“The marine school uses the latest Kongsberg simulators and we were able to give delegates very clear insight into their huge instructional and learning benefits.

“Combined with the very valuable input of our guest speakers, delegates enjoyed a very successful and informative day of learning and understanding.”

“MARSIM is a major event in the maritime calendar and it is a measure of the marine school’s prestige that we were invited to play a full and very important part in it.”

The conference was based overall at Newcastle University’s Herschel Building.

Topics discussed included the development of the ship-handling support system based on human characteristics, culturally aware simulation, and wave effects on manoeuvring ships in shallow water.

South Shields Marine School, which was founded in 1861, runs a full curriculum of courses which include cadet programmes, professional industry training, and off-shore and safety training to international shipping and maritime industries.

The school enjoys close links with international shipping companies, and many experienced seafarers choose it for training when they require new skills and qualifications.