Managing the challenges of marine concept design

Event Date:
Start at 5:30 PM
February 10, 2022

The concept design stage of any marine asset is fundamentally different to the subsequent stages in it’s life due to the fact that at the outset the actual outcome is, at best, only very broadly known. In addition, at the genesis / initial stages of concept design the design team may only have been given the briefest of requirements / ideas by the client and such a team is by necessity small, highly skilled and rapidly evolving / evaluating solutions. This means that the design team needs the cerebral space to explore the various possible ways of meeting the client’s brief and imperatively maintain a close technical liaison with the client and, especially for bespoke assets, other designers from possibly numerous and diverse disciplines for which the ship or offshore asset must be designed to accommodate in a sympathetic manner.

Therefore, are traditional project management methods which are now more frequently being applied by many organisations at the concept design stage appropriate and commensurate with the activities being undertaken? Often it appears that the project manager assigned is merely undertaking a project control function rather than a project management function – which would have traditionally been part of the role of the design authority / design naval architect.

This presentation will explore if there a role for a project manager at the concept, and other early, design stage(s) of marine assets and what is the most expedient approach to manage concept design exercises in order to ensure that the creative nature of the design team and their ability to explore all possibilities are not stifled, technical / progress rapport is maintained with the client and that the required deliverables are produced in an timely and cost effective manner whilst minimising technical and financial risks to a level commensurate with this early stage of design when many design drivers and construction / operational constraints are poorly understood and hence even principal dimensions cannot be frozen!

About the Speakers

Ian is Senior Lecturer in Project Management, and Admissions Tutor, for the MSc Project Management and MSc Engineering Management programmes at the University of Sunderland. He gained over 25 years’ industrial experience prior to moving to academia. As well as teaching project management, Ian is interested in research in this area. The main focus of his research is the management of the design of complex projects, the modelling of through life costs and environmental costs of projects, incorporation of sustainability within project design and business management, and finally the use of virtual and other technologies in the management of projects. Before entering academia, Ian worked in various engineering and management roles in several companies which allowed him to gain extensive experience in successfully managing projects. Over the years he ran and managed numerous projects mainly in the UK, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the USA, generally in the oil industry and general engineering sectors.

Keith is a Senior Consultant in Whole Ship Design and Naval Architecture with Safinah Group, where he undertakes commercial and offshore marine consultancy for a range of clients globally. Over a 35-year career as a ship designer and naval architect, Keith has constantly been at the forefront of the technical development of robust but flexible solutions for a multitude of challenges and therefore has a wealth of first-hand practical knowledge of the ship design process and the management of multidisciplinary design and cost estimating teams formulating solutions. He has constantly strived with clients globally to explore unknown and commonly conflicting multiple dimensional design spaces for novel, complex and bespoke merchant and offshore ship types, both new-build and conversions. Keith has published over 60 technical papers and been invited to give numerous public presentations and lectures on ship / offshore vessel design and performance. He sits on a variety of professional technical committees and is also active in several professional learned institutions.