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Event details

We're delighted to invite our alumni, former staff, current staff and students to a conference and gala dinner to celebrate 50 years of yacht design at Solent University.

Courses at Diploma, HND or degree level over the years have included naval architecture, small craft design, yacht manufacturing and surveying, and boatyard management to name a few.

We have a day of celebrations and activities planned. From 10am to 4pm you'll have exclusive access to some of our facilities and the campus, as well as the opportunity to listen to a range of academic papers. Lunch and refreshments are included.

The day will be rounded off in the evening with a gala dinner and after party in The Spark from 7pm to 11.30pm, which includes a welcome drink, three-course dinner, table wine, and tea and coffee.  As part of our commitment to responsible farming, our menus are certified by the Soil Association, Fairtrade Foundation, Marine Stewardship Council, Red Tractor and Rainforest Alliance.

Our keynote speaker for the evening will be alumnus, Matthew Sheahan. Matthew is one of sailing's leading journalists.

Daytime activities

There are four activity sessions across the day (10.30am, 11.45am, 1.30pm and 2.45pm). You can take part in all four sessions or pick and choose based on your interests. Activities are booked on a first come, first served basis and some have limited places.* Book early to avoid disappointment.

Academic papers 10.30am, 1.30pm, 2.45pm
Duration: 1 hour 

Hear from our academics and alumni presenting on a range of topics and research including:

  • Yacht Design Optimisation – The New Cutting Edge, presented by Marcus Mauleverer and Jason Ker of Ker Yacht Design.
  • On The Experimental Testing of Downwind Yacht Sails, presented by Jean-Baptiste R G Souppez of Solent University
  • Real World Learning for Students - The Design of a 46-metre Explorer Superyacht, presented by Giles Barkley of Solent University
  • Design Development of a 55m Low Wash Displacement Motoryacht, presented by Grant Firth of Firth Marine Design
  • Virtual Reality - Introducing the New Ship Simulation Centre, presented by Jonathan Ridley of Solent University
  • Assured Long-Term Availability of a Vessel: A Case for applied Obsolescence Management, presented by Sören Werner of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH
Yacht design at Solent today, featuring current students 11.45am
Duration: 1 hour
Find out what a degree in yacht design at Solent University involves in 2019 and hear from our current students about some of the projects they are undertaking as part of their studies.
Southampton hidden history tour 10.30am
Duration: 2 hours
Did you know Southampton has some of the most complete medieval town walls in the UK? This two-hour walking tour illustrates the lives of the people and city of Southampton in an informative, light-hearted manner, from the time of the Romans up to that of Henry VIII and beyond, including visits to some of the city’s many vaults.
Engineering tour 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.30pm, 2.45pm
Duration: 1 hour
On this one-hour tour, discover why engineering matters and see our amazing facilities first hand - including visiting our tow tank and meeting Baxter, our friendly humanoid robot.
Campus tour 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.30pm, 2.45pm
Duration: 1 hour
Join one of our current students on an hour walking tour of the East Park Terrace campus. See all the things that have changed – and all the things that haven’t – since you were last a student. Visit the library and reminisce in the Students’ Union.
Maritime simulation centre tour 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.30pm, 2.45pm
Duration: 1 hour
An exclusive behind the scenes tour of the UK’s newest and largest ship and port simulation centre.

*Please note the activities are subject to change and more academic papers are to be added.

Tell your friends and academics

We can help make your day even more special by contacting fellow alumni and academics to let them know you’re attending so they can join you. Get in touch with their name, subject and graduating year (if an alum) of those you would like to notify.

Send us your Solent memories

We will be putting together an exhibition of photos and memories to celebrate 50 years of yacht design at Solent University. If you have anything you wish to share from your time at the University we would love to hear from you.

Support our next generation of students

Celebrate 50 years of Yacht Design and enable more students to follow in your footsteps at Solent by making a donation to support our Local Student Bursary Scheme. Our aim is to raise enough funds from this event to support another two students with a £1,000 bursary each in autumn 2019.

Need a hotel?

There’s plenty of accommodation in walking distance of the University. Find out more here:

Jury’s Inn are offering an exclusive 20% discount to alumni who book direct through their website. Details to claim this offer will be included with your ticket confirmation.

Booking your ticket

Alumni, staff, former staff and guest tickets for the not for profit event cost £45. Non-alumni are also welcome to attend, so please feel free to bring along partners or friends. Subsidised student tickets are £30.

The ticket price includes: exclusive daytime activities, refreshments and lunch, an evening welcome drink, three-course dinner, table wine, tea/coffee and entertainment.

Booking closes 26 July 2019.

Amendments and cancellations

You can amend or cancel your booking up until 3 August. We are unable to offer any amendments, cancellations or refunds after this date.

The event is now sold out. To be added to a waiting list, please email


This event is kindly supported by:

 Lateral Naval Architects logo     Xelvin logo      Stephenson Harwood logo