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The focus areas to conduct research in Estonian Maritime Academy are tightly connected to the taught specialties.

To support the high quality research, we also use the numerous possibilities offered by our Simulator Centre. These include planning optimised and safe journey, testing the suitability of different port structures, pollution response and SAR operations.

Take a look at our Research and development annual report 2016.

Maritime Transport

Maritime transport includes both, carrying cargo and passengers. Almost 90% of the goods is transported on seas and oceans. The raising demand for maritime transport supports the developments in the field of supply chain management to maintain competitiveness and sustainability. Besides traditional maritime transport, terminal and warehouse services, agency and chartering, etc., also undergo major developments that are all connected to the digitalisation of the maritime sector and need changes in education.

The specialists in EMARA Centre for Maritime Studies have up-to-date knowledge and practical experience that combined allow us to provide research-based services to the maritime sector in order to make maritime transportation and port management activities more efficient. To develop that field in Estonian Maritime Academy, a tenure of Maritime Transport is being set up.

Naval Architecture and Hydrodynamics

Research in Naval Architecture and Hydrodynamics focuses on seakeeping, ship safety and sustainable marine engineering. Researchers also contribute to Marine Engineering education.

In the field of ship safety, computational methods are studied and created to evaluate the behaviour of ship structures at accidental and ultimate limit states. Such knowledge is especially important for assessing risks linked to collision and grounding accidents. The traditional simplified methods used in shipbuilding do not include all relevant factors. An effective computational method is a user-friendly tool that allows justified simplifications to quickly design big and complex structures. It is the job of scientists to define the scope of the simplifications.

Leading the field is Professor Mihkel Kõrgesaar. His Naval Architecture and Hydrodynamics Research Group work at the Small Craft Competence Centre (SCC) which was added to the Estonian Research Infrastructures Roadmap, a list of nationally important research infrastructure units, by government decision on 14 February 2019.

In Hydrodynamics, the focus is on fluid-structure interaction. Put simply, researchers try to improve small craft seakeeping and reduce fuel consumption by working on issues in hull design. Currently, a project on spray rails is underway, using both model tests and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to develop high-speed small craft.

Maritime Safety and Security

The Baltic Sea has one of the highest maritime traffic densities in the world, where there is about 2000 ships at any given moment. To save lives of humans and marine animals, prevent marine pollution and socio-economic damage from happening, as well as deal with different consequences in a more efficient way, it is important for EMARA to deal with different fields supporting the achievement of that. These fields are human factor in shipping, ships' workflow, bridgework and resource management, navigational systems, the development of methods for the prevention of marine pollution and pollution response equipment, waterways' safety management. Besides research in the mentioned fields, EMARA is actively contributing in the development and implementation of maritime legislation and strategic development documents.

Digitalisation and autonomous shipping

Vast developments in the IT-sector have raised the potential and the need for the digitalisation of shipping sector. A major part of the ships' work is carried out on paper. This is about to change as the IT-solutions and e-systems help to gather and distribute the information more easily. E-navigation through electronic charts and information systems, e-documents in the form of certificates and shipping bills and e-ports with real-time information and announcements need updating standards and regulations, as well as changes in management and education.

Autonomous ships have the capability to perform different tasks on the sea, whether it is towing or surveying, carrying goods or passengers. Although the technological capability already exists, the national and international legislation is not ready to adopt unmanned or autonomous vessels. to ensure the safety and security of unmanned or autonomous vessels and make them more economic, this bottleneck needs attention. According to the developments, changes have to be  made in the education, as well.

To further develop this field in Estonia, a tenure of Marine Technology was created in 2017.