Komarec23: Sustainable Development of Maritime Operations Requires a Shared Situational Picture

The first Kotka Maritime Research Conference (Komarec) focusing on sustainable development of maritime operations was successfully concluded. The event took place on November 8-9, 2023, at the new Event Centre Satama in Kotka. The planning of the conference began early in the spring, and the implementation involved the expertise of researchers from the Merikotka Research Network, representatives of stakeholders, and professionals from Satama’s event management team.

One of the central goals defined for Komarec was to bring together researchers, authorities, companies, and interest groups – all the stakeholders whose collaboration is essential for the sustainable development of maritime transport and shipping – to share knowledge and discuss possible ways to promote more sustainable maritime practices. Approximately 80 participants attended the conference, representing a comprehensive range of target audiences. Of the attendees, 57% were from research and educational organizations, while the remaining 43% represented stakeholder organizations. In total, 14 research and educational organizations and 21 stakeholder organizations were represented. In line with the international nature of both maritime operation and scientific research, the conference language was English, and international participants were also sought. Despite the majority of the multi-cultural audience represented various Finnish organizations, conference attendees also came from Estonia, Poland, and Canada.

Merikotka’s Executive Director Anna Kiiski welcoming the audience to the Komarec conference.

Cross-Sectoral Encounters

The conference was opened by the Development Director of the City of Kotka, Toni Vanhala, who welcomed both the Komarec event and its participants to Kotka. The keynote speaker of the first day came all the way from Canada: Assistant Professor Floris Goerlandt from Dalhousie University shared insights into ongoing work on sustainable maritime development in Canada with the conference attendees. The second day of the conference was opened by the Executive Secretary of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM), Rüdiger Strempel, who provided an overview of HELCOM’s work in developing environmentally sustainable maritime activities.

In the researchers’ presentations, the spectrum of perspectives to more sustainable maritime transport was pleasantly multidisciplinary and extensive, covering environmental issues, the development of technical tools, optimization of operations, human factors, and legislation. The presentations were divided into four thematic sessions. The themes included the environmental impacts of maritime transport, energy-efficient winter navigation, “smart” – i.e. automated and artificial intelligence-driven – maritime traffic and ports, as well as the significance of risk assessment and learning in developing maritime safety.

The session chairs moderating the thematic sessions represented crucial stakeholders in maritime affairs in Finland. The chairs included Eero Hokkanen from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mirka Laurila-Pant from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, Helena Orädd from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Mats Björkendahl from the Finnish Shipowners’ Association, Mia Hytti from the Baltic Sea Action Group, Päivi Brunou from the Mechanical Engineering and Metals Industry Standardization in Finland, and Ilkka Rytkölä from Meyer Turku Ltd. The perspective of maritime education was represented by Olli-Pekka Brunila, Director of Education in Logistics and Maritime at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

In his keynote talk, Floris Goerlandt from Dalhousie University shared insights into ongoing work on sustainable development in maritime transport in Canada.
Rüdiger Strempel spoke about HELCOM’s efforts in developing environmentally sustainable maritime activities for the marine environment.

Communication, Anticipation, and Systemic Understanding as Enablers of Sustainable Green Transition

Through interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral dialogue, the Komarec conference aimed to map and increase awareness of research related to the sustainability and sustainable development of maritime transport. We wanted to generate discussions about the societal impacts of the presented research questions and results and collectively identify future knowledge needs.

Discussions held between the conference presentations emphasized the importance of collaboration and communication at national, Baltic Sea region, EU, and IMO levels, as well as on the cross-sectoral level among researchers, business, authorities, and policymakers. Together, we also observed how terms can sometimes have very different meanings in different contexts. This highlighted the importance of context-specific clarification of terms as part of sustainability discussions.

Also in the maritime sector, the Green Transition is discussed a lot. Research can help develop solutions and pathways for implementing the transition in a sustainable manner: ethically and justly, minimizing economic losses. Maritime transport itself contributes to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals by serving social well-being, enabling the movement of people and goods, and promoting positive economic development. However, for the activity to be considered sustainable, it should succeed without compromising the state of the environment or jeopardizing human safety and other societal values, such as equality and human rights. This is a global challenge across all sectors, and addressing it requires bringing together different perspectives and identifying the connections and collaboration needs between them.

In the Komarec conference, the need and importance of a shared situational picture emerged clearly, particularly in the context of the increasing use of artificial intelligence and automation in maritime transport. Various artificial intelligence solutions can help reduce the negative environmental impacts of maritime transport and improve operational cost-effectiveness. However, beyond technical development, it is essential to proactively consider the risks associated with the introduction of new AI innovations, and how legislation, liability distribution, and infrastructure should be developed to enable sustainable evolution of maritime automatization. One crucial question, especially with the increasing use of artificial intelligence, is the well-being of operational personnel and the identification of new skill requirements: how these can be ensured as part of the development.

Looking Toward the Future of Komarec

The shared vision of the Merikotka research network is to promote comprehensive sustainable development in maritime transport through scientific collaboration and societal dialogue. The Komarec conference supports this goal by providing a platform for dialogue, visibility for research, and an opportunity to identify future research and development needs. The interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral format prompted researchers to carefully consider how to present their research topics and findings in a way that is understandable to all, and based on our feedback survey, this was perceived as beneficial by the researchers themselves. The active participation of stakeholders ensured that researchers’ work was scrutinized also from the perspective of its societal significance. Such expansion of perspective is particularly valuable for researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Based on the positive feedback received, we can state that the first Komarec event was successful. We also received several good suggestions for improvement for future editions. It was encouraging to see that there is a perceived need for the event. Building on this experience, we dare to promise that the conference will be developed into a regularly occurring, increasingly international, and possibly larger event that provides meaningful content and engagement for all stakeholders interested in sustainable development in maritime transport while maintaining a focus on high-quality research.

Päivi Kuusisto from Neste Corporation presented research findings to the audience regarding the opportunities offered by new fuels in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The session was chaired by Mia Hytti and Mats Björkendahl.
Mashrura Musharraf from Aalto University introduced a decision support tool for optimizing winter navigation operations. The session was chaired by Helena Orädd and Eero Hokkanen.
Beatrice Schütte from the University of Helsinki and the University of Lapland discussed legislative challenges related to the utilization of artificial intelligence in maritime affairs. The session was chaired by Päivi Brunou and Ilkka Rytkölä.
Nina Janasik from the University of Helsinki discussed the importance of proactive infrastructure planning as part of the sustainable green transition in maritime. The session chaires in the photo are Päivi Brunou and Ilkka Rytkölä.
Liangliang Lu from Aalto University presented a forthcoming tool that can be utilized in the assessment and management of risks in maritime transport. The session was chaired by Olli-Pekka Brunila and Mirka Laurila-Pant.


Text and photos: Annukka Lehikoinen


“Collaborative Science for Sustainable Maritime Practices in a Changing World”

Kotka Maritime Research Conference #komarec23 will launch a new event to generate dialogue between the academia and other sectors of society, creating rich pictures of the potential pathways to more sustainable maritime practices. The event will provide researchers studying maritime sustainability related themes an opportunity to bring out their results and ideas and discuss with stakeholders whose representatives are invited to act as keynote speakers and commentators. 

Conference aims to: 
1) map and increase awareness of the ongoing research contributing to sustainable development of maritime practices.
2) discuss about the potential societal implications of the presented studies.
3) identify current and future knowledge needs.


Day 1 – Wednesday 8.11.2023

11:00 Lunch in Satama Areena (self-funded)

Event hostess
Anna Kiiski, Executive Director, Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Toni Vanhala, Director, City Development and Communications, City of Kotka

Floris Goerlandt, Associate professor, Dalhausie University, Canada

Enhancing Arctic shipping sustainability through transformative risk governance: A Canadian perspective

13:00 Refresment break

13:20 SESSION 1

Chairs of the Session 1
Mats Björkendahl, Finnish Shipowners’ Association
Mia Hytti, Baltic Sea Action Group 

Tightening environmental rules change maritime traffic
Tapaninen, U., Otsason, R., Tombak, M-L., Hunt, T., Laasma, A.
GHG emission reduction potential of fuels
Kuusisto, S., Alve, H., Haara, R-M, Rautelin, W.  
Analysis of shipping emissions based on the sustainability index
Tanhuanpää, T., Altarriba, E., Rahiala, S.  
Existing technologies and scientific advancements to reduce CO2 emissions from ships by retrofitting
Kondratenko, A., Tavakoli, S., Zhang, M., Taimuri, G., Hirdaris, S.
Bayesian meta-analysis model for assessing bioeconomic impacts of oil spills on fisheries
Vikkula, S., Kuikka, S., Mäntyniemi, S. 
A decision support model to promote sustainable biofouling management in the Baltic Sea
Luoma, E., Laurila-Pant, M., Altarriba, E., Nevalainen, L., Helle, I., Lehikoinen, A. 

15:00 Refresment break

15:30 SESSION 2

Chairs of the Session 2
Helena Orädd, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency
Eero Hokkanen, Ministry of Transport and Communications

Energy efficiency Optimization for Ice-going ship operations: A focus on optimal power management strategies for Battery electric RoPax ships
Okonkwo, A.

Navigation modes classification using a machine learning method
Liu, C., Musharraf, M., Kulkarni, K.

Enhancing sustainability of Finnish-Swedish Winter Navigation System by intelligent icebreaking assistance
Kondratenko, A., Kulkarni, K., Li, F., Musharraf, M., Hirdaris, S., Kujala, P.

Decision-support for winter navigation operations
Musharraf, M., Kulkarni, K., Liu, C., Kujala, P.  

Annukka Lehikoinen, Research Director, Kotka Maritime Research Centre


18:00 Merikotka (KMRC) alumni meeting (requires a separate registration)
19:00 Conference Dinner (requires a separate registration)


Day 2 – Thursday 9.11.2023

Event hostess
Anna Kiiski, Executive Director, Kotka Maritime Research Centre

9:00 Opening

Rüdiger Strempel, Executive Secretary, HELCOM
Looking beyond the surface: HELCOM’s contribution to environmentally sustainable sea-based activities
9:45 SESSION 3
Chairs of the Session 3
Päivi Brunou, Mechanical Engineering and Metals Industry Standardization METSTA
Ilkka Rytkölä, Mayer Turku Shipyard
Towards smart regulations: an analysis of the effectiveness of international maritime regulations
Olaniyi, E., Solarte-Vasquez, M. C., Inkinen, T. 
The Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Maritime Context: Legal Challenges and Implications for Sustainability
Schütte, B.
An explorative study of anticipatory infrastructural alignment for autonomous shipping
Janasik, N., Luoma, E., Knudsen, M. 
Potential of explainable AI in enhancing trust in autonomous vessels – a systematic literature review
Musharraf, M., Ranjan, R., Kulkarni, K. 
Analysis of autonomous ships’ impact on the maritime practitioners required skills
Bolbot, V. Methlouthia, O., Chaal, M., Valdez Banda, O., BahooToroody, A., Tsvetkova, A., Hellström, M., Saarni, J., Virtanen, S. 
11.10 Refresment break
11:40 SESSION 4

Chairs of the Session 4
Mirka Laurila-Pant, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency
Olli-Pekka Brunila, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Is scientific learning effective enough in maritime risk analysis?
Kuikka, S. & Lu, L. 
Real-Time Bayesian Risk Modeling for Maritime Industry: A Hierarchical Approach for Dynamic Risk Estimation and Control
Bolbot, V., Basnet, S., BahooToroody, A., Valdez Banda, O.
Developing Fuzzy Logic Strength of Evidence and Integration for System Risk Management
Lu, L. & Kuikka, S.
Artificial intelligence -based virtual control room 
Markkanen, M., Räsänen, J., Kropsu, M. & Partanen, P. 
Comparing Low-Fidelity and High-Fidelity simulations from a pedagogical perspective
Salmi, A.
Annukka Lehikoinen, Research Director, Kotka Maritime Research Centre
Lunch in Satama Areena (self-funded)

The rights to program changes are reserved. 

Call for Abstracts opened

Kotka Maritime Research Conference aims to:

1) map and increase awareness of the ongoing research contributing to sustainable development of maritime practices.
2) discuss about the potential societal implications of the presented studies.
3) identify current and future knowledge needs.

We invite abstracts on research-driven results, ideas, and solutions that have potential to contribute to sustainable development of maritime operations in the changing world.

Here, sustainable operation means such way of operating that serves the human well-being by enabling moving of people and goods, and advancing economics, while not degrading the environment, nor compromising the human safety or equality. Any angle of entry into this definition is welcome but must be opened in the abstract.

The abstracts can contribute for example to the following questions:

Digitalization, AI, automation: Increased digitalization, machine learning and artificial intelligence in maritime operations and design has brought new opportunities in terms of achieving sustainability goals, but also additional risks and challenges e.g. related to cybersecurity, regulations and policies, work-life wellbeing, and educational needs. How to take the opportunities and avoid or control the risks?

Socio-political challenges: How have maritime practices evolved in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and under the impact of global economic crisis? How do these affect the achievement of the sustainability goals? What could be done to ensure the sustainable development despite the challenges?

Changing traffic and transportation flows: The changing world changes maritime traffic parameters and freights. How does this affect maritime risks and resilience, and further on the sustainability of the operation? What tools or measures can support risk management or improve resilience, to ensure the sustainability?

Alternative fuels and energy sources, air emissions: National and international agreements and new regulatory instruments create pressure to substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions from maritime operations. Do they work as intended? What is the potential of new alternative fuels and other energy sources here? How sustainable solutions are they?

Other maritime emissions: How do the other emission types from maritime operations prevent the sector from achieving the sustainability criteria? How could these challenges be solved? What cross- and joint impacts with other blue economy sectors, as well as intersectoral management measures and strategies, should be considered?

Consequences of and adaptation to climate change: How do the consequences of climate change, such as more frequent extreme weathers or changes in the sea ice, affect the sustainability of maritime operation? How to adapt?


Submit your abstract no later than 7 May 2023 via email to merikotka@merikotka.fi. NB! ABSTRACT SUBMISSION EXTENDED TO 21 MAY.

Title of the message should be: Abstract submission KOMAREC.

Please, download and use this MS Word -template for the formulation of your abstract and attach the file to the email.

Based on the abstracts received, the organizing committee will form logical thematic sessions of oral presentations (8-10 minutes + discussion) and an interactive poster session. On 20 June, the authors will be notified whether their contributions have been selected as an oral or a poster presentation. The authors whose abstracts are accepted as oral presentations will be asked to provide an extended abstract of two pages no later than 15 September.

We’ll request from the authors a permission to publish the abstracts on the conference website as open access. From our side this does not limit the authors’ use of the material for other purposes.


For questions or additional information, please contact merikotka@merikotka.fi

The organizer reserves right to make changes to the plans.

Kotka Maritime Research Conference #komarec23

“Collaborative Science for Sustainable Maritime Practices in a Changing World”

Kotka Maritime Research Centre (Merikotka) is organising the first Kotka Maritime Research Conference #komarec23. Merikotka is a society of researchers and experts from the leading Finnish universities and research organisations with a shared mission to advance the sustainable development of maritime activities through interdisciplinary research and active societal dialogue, closely interacting with the other sectors of blue economy.

#komarec23 will launch a new event to promote this mission. The conference aims to generate dialogue between the academia and other sectors of society, creating rich pictures of the potential pathways to more sustainable maritime practices. The event will provide researchers studying maritime sustainability related themes an opportunity to bring out their results and ideas and discuss with stakeholders whose representatives are invited to act as keynote speakers and commentators.

We wish the event will increase the societal impact of scientific research, give rise to novel ideas, and generate interdisciplinary and -sectoral collaboration. Abstracts are invited from researchers representing a wide variety of disciplines, including both social, natural, and technical spheres.

Important dates

6 April 2023 – Call for abstracts opened and published
7 May 2023 – Deadline for the abstract submission
20 June 2023 – Invitations for the oral and poster presentations sent to the authors
15 August 2023 – The registration opens
25 September 2023 – Deadline for the submission of extended abstracts (2 p, oral presentations)
25 September 2023 – Registration deadline for the presenters (oral and poster)
25 October 2023 – Registration deadline for the other participants
8-9 November 2023 – Kotka Maritime Research Conference 2023


Venue: The conference venue is the brand new Event Centre Satama, located in the charming coastal city of Kotka. The city center, an island surrounded by the Baltic Sea, is known e.g. for its numerous parks, the Maritime Centre Vellamo, and the Maretarium aquarium – all within walking distance.

Connections: You can easily reach Kotka by bus or train. There are daily bus services from Helsinki, Tampere, Lahti and Jyväskylä. Check the schedules at Matkahuolto. For the train timetables and tickets, see VR.

Accommodation: The organizer has reserved a quota of hotel rooms from the Sokos Hotel Seurahuone, see Reservation information.

Other accommodation options are available e.g. in Hotel Jokipuisto, Hotel Uninen, Hotel Merikotka or via Airbnb.

Registration: The conference is free of charge. Registration is required both from the presenters and audience. The registration system will open in August. Registration can be canceled free of charge if the cancellation is made no later than 2 days before the event. No-show fee 150 €.


Functional and safe shipping, port operations, and maritime infrastructures are important enablers of international trade and passenger traffic – often providing the most energy- and climate-efficient form of transportation. In many corners of the world, the operational environment of the maritime sector is undergoing several forms of transitions in parallel, while at the same time there is a growing pressure to ensure the continuous sustainable development of the operation.

The international climate goals and ongoing green transition affect the maritime operations through diverse mechanisms, changing traffic flows, cargoes, fuels, and vessels. On top of that, the impacts of the climate change, such as more frequent extreme weathers, or the changes in ice cover, require adaptation of many types. Digitalization and the following increase of artificial intelligence in different parts of maritime systems provide promising opportunities, but also give rise to new risks. The geopolitical tensions create diverse safety and security threats as well.

While the maritime sector is struggling with the above challenges, it should not be forgotten the other blue sectors have high expectations for the use of the sea space too, including renewable energy producers, fisheries and aquaculture sector, mining and drilling companies, as well as the tourism sector and recreational users. Simultaneously the underwater life is severely threatened due to the pressures caused by the human activities. Just recently the UN member states agreed on a treaty to conserve 30% of the world’s high seas by 2030. Accordingly, there is a growing pressure to reconcile the maritime operations with the other forms of sea exploitation in a sustainable manner.

Due to all the aspects mentioned above, it can be stated the framing and structure of maritime systems, as well as their operative environments and “risk landscapes”, are undergoing radical changes in these days. Adapting to the situation and ensuring a sustainable transition to sustainable operations requires close interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration among actors with different roles in the society, including policymakers, authorities, infrastructure and service providers, companies, researchers, educational institutes, and the common public.


For questions or additional information, please contact merikotka@merikotka.fi
The organizer reserves right to make changes to the plans.

Scientific committee 

Research Director Annukka Lehikoinen
Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Assistant Professor Floris Goerlandt, Dalhousie University
Associate Professor Spyros Hirdaris, Aalto University
Professor Tommi Inkinen, University of Turku

Professor Sakari Kuikka, University of Helsinki
Associate Professor Jakub Montewka, Gdańsk University of Technology

Assistant Professor Mashrura Musharraf, Aalto University
Professor Gunnar Prause, Tallinn University of Technology
Assistant Professor Osiris Valdez Banda, Aalto University

Professor Mary Wisz, World Maritime University

Organizing committe

Executive Director Anna Kiiski
Kotka Maritime Research Centre

Tiina Jauhiainen, Research Manager, South-Eastern University of Applied Science
Ketki Kulkarni, Research Fellow, Aalto University
Annukka Lehikoinen, Research Director, Kotka Maritime Research Centre
Liangliang Lu, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki
Eunice Olaniyi, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Turku

Interested in algorithms and probability distributions? – Contact us, we are recruiting

Kotka Maritime Research Association is seeking a qualified and motivated


to automate the translation of expert-elicited causal mental maps to quantitative probabilistic Bayesian Networks (BN) as part of the Academy of Finland-funded project GYROSCOPE. The generated code will be used in a participatory foresight modelling process to help maritime stakeholders better understand their situational picture and identify key risk or resilience factors.

Key tasks are

  • Reviewing and potentially updating the current translation algorithm.
  • Constructing the R or Python code needed to generate conditional probability tables, following the agreed logic.


The ideal applicant will be someone who:

  • can contribute to the algorithm design and independently produce the code (R or Python).
  • is familiar with the concepts of conditional probability distributions and discrete variables.
  • has previous knowledge of Bayesian inference and Bayesian networks.
  • can contribute to the writing of a scientific manuscript concerning the method.

The position is available from 1 September 2023 to 29 February 2024 (6 months), with the possibility of part-time work. Salary for this position will consist of a task-specific component and a personal salary component based on the applicant’s qualifications and experience, as per the contract terms.


Submit your application no later than 21 May 2023 by email to Executive Director Anna Kiiski (anna.kiiski@merikotka.fi) with “Gyroscope coder” as the subject line. The application should consist of a short (max 1 page) motivation letter with a statement of the desired salary level, and a CV.


Please address any inquiries to Research Director Annukka Lehikoinen.
Email: annukka.lehikoinen@merikotka.fi
Phone: +358 50 5519288

Read full job advetisement here (PDF)


Article: Well-organized sewage management advances comprehensive sustainability of boating and marinas

A new article from the Kotka Maritime Research Network recently came out in the international science journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. The article is based on data collected during the 30MILES project, that focused on sustainable development of the marina network in the Eastern Gulf of Finland.

While analyzing the answers of queries and interviews, the researchers noticed the aspects most frequently commented by boaters in connection to sustainability of marinas  were the waste management issues – especially those related to boat-sourced sewage management. Recreational boaters in the study area often seemed to face boat-sourced sewage management issues that the port actors were not aware of. A literature review indicated similar issues are faced by boaters in other parts of the world, too.

Since 2005, discharging boat-sourced sewage in the Finnish coastal areas has been banned by law. The contents of the boat-toilet should be stored in sewage holding tanks for later disposal at sewage pump-out stations. In Finland, the pump-out stations are usually located either in natural harbours or built marinas. In natural harbours, floating stations are maintained most often by an environmental association (Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association). Shore stations located in marinas are maintained by marina operators in accordance with the marina municipalities. Boat-sourced sewage is still often dumped in the sea, locally contributing to the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The article of the KMRC researchers explains the reasons and suggests improvements. (Photo: Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, HL-Metal Oy / Erik Saanila)

The researchers conducted an actor-network theory -driven analysis to understand and describe the mechanisms through which boat-sourced sewage management plays a role in sustainable marina development of the study area. The article presents a comprehensive description of one socio-eco-technical system, in which the various identified actors and factors, in interaction with each other, can either advance or hinder the manifestation of sustainable port operation and recreational boating. Sewage pump-out stations installed in the marinas are recognized as core marina services, valued by boaters. At the same time, they serve as so-called governance artefacts, steering the boaters’ environmental behavior in marinas, but also at sea, which simultaneously affects the sustainability of both marina operation and boating.

The results of the article indicate paying special attention to waste management services in marinas is likely to put forward a positive sustainability loop. This virtuous circle produces synergies between objectives of environmental management, local well-being, and economic development. Adequate environmental management preserves the ecosystem services that are part of the tourism product and prevents them from turning into disservices that would likely make visitors to abandon the site and its surroundings in the long run. Waste management connects concerns of both visiting boaters and locals, enabling the first group an environmentally conscious and legal way of action, at the same time sustaining the good environmental state in the home locality of the latter group.

The article provides evidence-based ideas and recommendations for improving the boat-sourced sewage management, as well as the sustainable development of marinas in general.


Original article:

Renne Vantola, Emilia Luoma, Tuuli Parviainen and Annukka Lehikoinen (2021). Sustainability manifesting as a multi-material and -sited network effect: How boat-sourced sewage management facilities serve as governance artefacts advancing sustainability in nautical tourism. Marine Pollution Bulletin 173, Part B. (Open access link)


Written by: Annukka Lehikoinen

Doctoral dissertation on the use of AIS-data for vessel collision risk analysis

Mr. Lei Du defended his doctoral dissertation on 1 October 2021 at Aalto University, in the field of marine technology. The opponent was Associate Professor Rafał Szłapczyński from the Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. Assistant professor Osiris Valdez Banda – a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s management group – was the supervisor of the doctoral thesis.

The thesis, titled as Maritime Traffic Risk Analysis in the Northern Baltic Sea from AIS data, consists of five scientific articles and a summary section. It reviews and develops framework and methodology of maritime traffic risk analysis to support decision-making for the prevention of and response to accidents, particularly ship collisions.

The focus of the thesis is in advancing the latest methodology of utilizing non-accident critical events, in other words near misses, detected from AIS data, as the basis to risk assessments. AIS refers to Automatic Identification Systems tracking the ship movements, being commonly used by vessel traffic service (VTS) centres worldwide.

”Through this work, we can identify the waters where dangerous encounters happened frequently and provide evidence for the identified causes of serious ship encounters,” Mr. Du says.

He continues by telling the results can help developing preventive measures to reduce the ship collision probability, or to minimize the negative consequences of ship collisions by allocating more reponse resources to the most risky areas. The expected end-users of the results include the authorities responsible for maritime traffic planning and management, as well as pollution prevention and response agencies.

The thesis summary can be downloaded from the Aaltodoc publication archive.


Written by: Annukka Lehikoinen

Oil Spill Response in the Northern Baltic and Arctic Areas-Twitter conference 14.1.2021

Three EU funded Research projects, all developing countermeasures against oil pollution, will have the joint Twitter conference 14th January 2021, at 10:00 am – 2.00 pm (UCT+2).

ACBR (Arctic Coast Bioremediation) will show some of the latest results how to use biotechnology for comprehensive remediation of oil-contaminated marine coastal areas in the Arctic.

SIMREC (Simulators for improving Cross-Border Oil Spill Response in Extreme Conditions) will highlight effort s to use simulators as novel platforms for training and research to develop joint procedures for the cross the border co-operation in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland

OILSPILL (Enhancing oil spill response capability in the Baltic Sea Region) will focus on the oil spill response capability on the Baltic Sea region.

Join us in January: #BAOIL21