For Martin Friebe, opening a door that he designed was a hugely exciting experience - because it was no ordinary door.

“My first task ever as a naval architect was designing a machinery room door of the 214 class submarine, which was composed of 300 different parts.

“I saw the submarine door being modelled on computer, and eventually could open it myself- it was really exciting.”

Martin is studying his PhD in Naval Architecture at the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime College.

“I think the AMC here in Launceston is the one of the best faculties in the world for naval architecture.  It has lots of testing facilities.

My PhD is about trying to increase naval ships’ survivability by trading off different design measures on ships, and how to do that in the most cost efficient way.

“The case study I am developing is being supported by project is defence contractor and ship building company Austal. They are providing me with a case study covering what systems they want to assess, and a ship design.

“My US collaborators who are advising me on how to analyse it and draw the right conclusions.”

 “We are looking at combat scenarios and how to increase that survivability by passive or active measures.

“A passive measure could be adding a fire-proof wall so a fire on the ship couldn’t spread. Active measures are things like crew response, or adding a radar system,” he said.

These design measures are well known, but before the recent development of software, it was hard to estimate the different factors that affect survivability.

Martin’s design concepts need to address a lot of points.

What does this ship need to do in real combat? How long would it survive an attack? If it gets hit what are the critical functions you need to be able to use? We are trying to derive those requirements from our analysis.

Martin has worked on defence projects in both Germany and Korea before coming to Australia.

“It is well known that Australia is nowadays trying to replace their former ships by new designs and that the government is investing in research. I was searching for universities that would allow me to join some of the Australian projects, which was my main reason for starting a PhD.

“There are just 20 people working over the whole world in this area. We are really at the forefront. I’m learning a lot every day.

I enjoy Tassie a lot. It’s really fun to meet locals here. They are very relaxed and easy to get along with.

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