DNV GL Award for Young Professionals: Towards safer, smarter and greener shipping

DNV GL Young Professionals Award 2015
Tor E. Svensen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime (far left), with the winners of the 2015 DNV GL Award for Young Professionals (from left to right, Alexander Iley, Eva Herradón de Grado and Damien Ducasse).

DNV GL rewarded three engineers for their scientific research at Nor-Shipping today and presented them with the DNV GL Award for Young Professionals. This year’s theme was finding innovative ideas for increasing safety, efficiency and sustainability in shipping. As well as seeking out the best new research, the award aims to support young professionals in the maritime field and demonstrates how varied and interesting the engineering profession can be. Overall, more than 30 people from 16 different countries took part in the competition.

DNV GL Young Professionals Award 2015_350

“We have a lot to learn from young professionals. Their fresh and innovative ideas help us find new ways to address and overcome the challenges the industry faces today and in the future,” says Tor E. Svensen, CEO DNV GL – Maritime, who presented the awards to the winners in a ceremony at Nor-Shipping today.

The prize in the category “Safer” and 1,000 Euros went to Alexander Iley from the University of Southampton in England. Iley won the award for his third-year thesis “Embarkation Modelling for Improved Lifeboat Design”, which demonstrates how modern simulation technology can make cruise ships safer by considering realistic variations of scenarios. It is the first to use computer modelling of the internal flow of people during embarkation to lifeboats in order to improve embarkation times. The simulations provided a wide range of data on the factors which affect lifeboat embarkation and consider a full cross-section of society, from elderly and frail to young and active passengers. 

Eva Herradón de Grado’s paper “Predicting Added Resistance in Wind and Waves employing Artificial Neural Nets” won the award in the category “Smarter” and 1,000 Euros. The master’s student at the Polytechnic University of Madrid prepared her winning paper for an international conference. Wind and waves slow vessels down and increase their fuel consumption. Therefore, Herradón de Grado’s approach holds great potential for improving methods to better quantify this effect during the early stages of ship design. Her formulas to predict wind resistance convert the traditional tabular approach, which is based on international standards for wind resistance coefficients, into a form that allows easy programming and predictions for arbitrary directions. For predicting added resistance in waves, she made use of so-called artificial neural nets – this technique is already known for its use in pattern matching, for example in fingerprint identification. 

The award in the category “Greener” and 1,000 Euros went to Damien Ducasse, who won it for his master’s thesis “Theoretical and Numerical Analysis of Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Devices”. Until today, the devices used to harness wave energy face significant operational challenges – they need to become more efficient and robust before they can make tangible contributions to our energy supply. Ducasse investigated in particular a so-called attenuator-type wave energy converter, which is made of 40 oscillating water column (OWC) chambers that move together in the waves. Ducasse’s simulations demonstrated how the wave energy device could be optimized to increase each chamber’s energy absorption – making the device significantly more efficient. 

The submissions for next year’s DNV GL Award for Young Professionals can be handed in between the 1st of January and the 31st of March 2016. The range of topics includes shipbuilding and design as well as vessel operation and marine technology – once again, the theme is “Safer, Smarter, Greener”. The entries will be judged by their quality, complexity and their impact on society. All papers must be written in English and are not allowed to be more than three years old. The jury will announce the winners in May 2016. 

For more information, please visit the DNV GL Award for Young Professionals webpage. Entries shall be submitted to

About DNV GL

Driven by its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. Operating in more than 100 countries, the company’s 16,000 professionals are dedicated to helping their customers in the maritime, oil & gas, energy and other industries to make the world safer, smarter and greener. For more information visit