Doctoral thesis: A novel toolbox for risk management in maritime remote pilotage

Sunil Basnet, a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s research community, will defend his doctoral dissertation on 15 December 2023 at Aalto University in the field of marine technology. The opponent will be Professor Ioannis M. Dokas, from the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. Mr. Basnet has conducted his thesis work as part of the Research Group on Safe and Efficient Marine and Ship Systems, led by Assistant Professor Osiris Valdez Banda, who also holds one of the Merikotka (KMRC) professorships.

The thesis, “Managing risks in maritime remote pilotage using the basis of the Formal Safety Assessment”, consists of four scientific articles and a summary section. Pilotage is a safety service intended to prevent ship accidents, providing navigational assistance by experienced pilots who know the local conditions. Remote pilotage is a relatively new concept, in which the pilot assists the ship crew from a remote location at the shore.

”The idea behind remote pilotage is to improve both safety and cost-effectiveness of the operation”, Sunil Basnet tells. “However, the implementation requires adoption of novel data and information sharing technologies both on ships, fairways, and pilot stations. The entity becoming more complex, this may lead to new emergent risks, requiring updates also in the prevailing safety control system”, he continues.

The thesis of Mr. Basnet presents a novel, improved risk management framework that provides a systematic protocol with practical analysis tools, applicable to the modern remote pilotage systems. The framework is fully compatible with the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) process developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), widely used in risk assessment and management in the context of maritime operations.

“This study lays strong and comprehensive foundations for effective risk management in the evolving field of remote pilotage, where there haven’t been existing risk management framework so far”, Sunil Basnet states and continues: “Method-wise, presenting a novel approach of integrating advanced systems modelling techniques, my thesis even fills some common gaps in the application of the Formal Safety Assessment. This is important for advancing the overall safety of maritime systems and operations.”

The public defense is organized 15.12.2023 at 12:00 – 16:00 in the address Otakaari 4, Espoo (auditorium 216). The event can be followed also online via Zoom.

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


Written by: Annukka Lehikoinen