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Our Environment and Engineering research area is led by Dr Laurie Wright, Associate Professor of Marine Sustainability. Laurie is an environmental scientist and leads Solent’s Environmental and Engineering research strategy. He is also the director of our Centre for Marine Sustainability, which works on a range of projects for safer, sustainable seas. Prior to joining Solent University in September 2013, he was a teaching fellow in carbon management at the University of Southampton. He is co-chair of the American Center for Life Assessment (ACLCA) Education Committee, and a member of the Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation (FSLCI).

Laurie's expertise concerns the sustainability of industry environment interactions by understanding flows of materials and energy and their resulting impacts. He is particularly interested in investigating and reducing environmental impacts from the maritime industry and in the marine environment. His work is contributing to the development of sustainable solutions for maritime operations including in low carbon fuels, the role of remote and autonomous systems, and port management. He has a track record of appointments to service on external bodies, on the scientific and organisational committees of several international conferences, and as a scientific adviser to several national and international working groups. In 2016 he received the American Centre for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) Individual Award for Academic Leadership.

Historically, one of the key research strengths of Solent has been in maritime, with its long history and association with shipping, ports and seafarer training. The worldwide trade of goods at the scale and ease of today is only made possible by the global maritime industry. The sector represents a unique platform for international collaboration in research to deliver global benefit to society and the environment. Our goal is to pursue and build world-leading science and engineering research, to be a leader in the creation, sharing, and application of insight, innovation, and knowledge for a safe and sustainable maritime future.

To support this aim we are aiming to launch the Solent Sustainable Maritime Research Centre to coincide with COP 26 in November 2021. The centre will tackle three key maritime sustainability themes: People; Technology, and Environment.

Projects

IGNITE
The IGNITE project is developing a scaled demonstration and training facility for remotely operated Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). Solent University is the only institution worldwide with both advanced manned model and simulation capability. Working with leading experts, Wärtsilä the IGNITE project will innovatively link the manned model and simulation centres. The project will enable complex simulation and training in real traffic interactions and high-risk manoeuvres in a safe and controlled environment.

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Seafarers's Personal Protective Equipment Project
The Seafarers’ Personal Protective Equipment project is run by Solent University in collaboration with CHIRP Maritime. The project explores seafarers’ experiences of using personal protective equipment (PPE) on-board ships.

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The forgotten keyworkers: challenges faced by British seafarers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
This project aims to explore the challenges faced by British seafarers as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.The project is run by Solent University in collaboration with Nautilus International and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.

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Implementation of Ship Hybridisation
Solent University is part of a research and innovation collaboration that has been awarded almost €16 million to look at the options for green technology in the maritime industry. With 43 observer partners, the project covers the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and France. Starting in February 2019 the project will run until 2022, and aims to test and validate a number of technical tools and business models for the implementation of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies in ships and ports.

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