UCL Energy Institute


Shipping in changing climates

17 July 2013


UCL-Energy lecturer Tristan Smith is to direct a £4 million multi-disciplinary research collaboration with UCL Mechanical Engineering, UCL Laws, and nine external partners. The project, that will begin in November 2013, will develop new knowledge on the subject of the UK and international shipping industry and its challenges to adapt in an era of changing climates.

These challenges will consist of both changing regulation, anticipated to have impacts on shipping’s transport costs, as well as the commodity trade, particularly trade associated with energy commodities, which form the majority component of shipping’s global payloads, but also a redistribution of the centres of agricultural production due to the effects on climate and the modification to the infrastructure crucial to shipping’s operation related to changes in sea level.

The project, predominantly funded by the RCUK Energy Programme, brings together the UCL researchers with Manchester, Southampton, Newcastle and Strathclyde, in close collaboration with a core industry stakeholder group of Shell, Lloyd’s Register, Rolls Royce, BMT and Maritime Strategies International, but drawing on the expertise and connections of over 35 companies and organisations worldwide.

The components of the research carried out at UCL Energy Institute, will combine existing expertise in modelling energy systems with datasets and models developed to understand the commercial dynamics around investment and operation strategies of the shipping industry. As with all the research across the consortium, the work will benefit from continuous dialogue with the project’s broad ranging stakeholder community. Outputs will include both published data and models, a number of further research collaborations, and also extensive further interaction in the policy spheres (IMO, EC, UNFCCC and UK).

The research consortium will be directed by Tristan Smith, Lecturer in Energy and Transport at UCL-Energy, and sees the progression of a number of research activities initiated in the RCUK Energy programme project Low Carbon Shipping which focused on understanding the mitigation potential of the international shipping industry and concludes this year with the conference “LCS 2013”, part of London International Shipping Week

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