We are STM – John Saunders, Senior Lecturer, Warsash Maritime Academy
John Saunders, bridge simulator expert: I fully understand the need for close collaboration between all actors involved in the berthing and movements chain and this project is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the development of streamlining that process to make it more efficient.
John Saunders is a Senior Lecturer in Bridge Simulation at the Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), which is part of Southampton Solent University in the United Kingdom. WMA is a member of the European Maritime Simulation Network (EMSN), a networked group of 29 Bridge Simulators in 10 Maritime Centres from around Europe incorporating: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The EMSN was first utilized during the MONALISA 2.0 Project in 2014-15 in the definition phase of Sea Traffic Management (STM) and since then has been enhanced with the integration of additional Simulation Centres such as ours at WMA, to test the more advanced concepts with a larger number of simulated vessels and participants
How do simulators contribute?
The first half of the Validation Project has been all about preparation and planning for the main simulation exercises including the running of Pilot Exercises in March 2017 to test connectivity and the viability of the planned scenarios in advance of the fitting of the STM equipment and tools.
John Saunders explains that the huge benefit of the European Maritime Simulation Network is that certain scenarios, such as Area Management, can be tested in a simulator that perhaps cannot be done at sea, whilst also augmenting the results from the Voyage Management Test Beds in a controlled environment, for example regarding Ship to Ship (S2S) Route Exchange.
The main challenge in this project has been getting enough quality participants to volunteer to take part and make a difference by testing, so if there are any bridge officers, pilots, students out there who wants to participate in this huge project aiming to change the future of shipping, please, register your interest here
When will the main simulation exercises take place?
We start in October 2017 and continue until the mid of 2018. Four weeks of general navigation exercises in the Fehmarn Belt area of the Western Baltic and the central part of the English Channel, incorporating the port of Southampton as the focal point.
Some exercises will be run with the STM tools enabled whilst some baseline exercises will be run without, as a comparative measure. An additional two weeks will be set aside for Search and Rescue in the Gibraltar Straits area and for Ice Navigation in the Gulf of Bothnia between Sweden and Finland.
What is your contribution to the STM Validation Project?
I have been busy creating a tailor-made simulation exercise for the English Channel and contributing to the various discussions on the anticipated use of STM tools especially regarding S2S Route Exchange.
I have also been spreading the word as much as possible about the excellent work being done within the project by giving the odd presentation at Seminars and including the subject in most of the training courses that I am responsible for in our Maritime Academy.
As a former Deputy Queen’s Harbour Master in the busy Dockyard Port of Portsmouth, I fully understand the need for close collaboration between all actors involved in the berthing and movements chain and this project is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the development of streamlining that process to make it more efficient.
Want to meet John and learn more about STM? Come to the STM Validation Mid-Term Conference in Venice, Sept 12-13! Register here!