Ride control systems for high speed catamarans

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Ride Control Systems for High-Speed Catamarans

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Global demand for fast and efficient sea transportation has led to the evolution of large high-speed and lightweight vessels for both commercial and military use. Different types of high-speed craft have been designed to satisfy this requirement, but some factors such as large deck area, relatively large deadweight to displacement ratios, the ability to provide lightweight Ro-Ro vessels (Roll-on/Roll-off vessels capable of carrying wheeled cargo such as cars and trucks) and high hydrostatic and hydrodynamic stability have proven catamarans to be particularly popular.

High-speed catamarans, due to their slender twin hull geometry and high operating Froude number, frequently experience larger heave and pitch motions and accelerations than those of conventional monohulls operating at lower Froude number. The vessel motions are directly influenced by increases in the operating speed, leading to passenger discomfort and potential structural damage when operating in higher sea states and severe sea conditions. A motion control system is therefore required to reduce these large motions, increase passenger comfort and improve the vessel performance.

There have been some prior studies of Ride Control Systems (RCS) relevant to this type of fast ships. The current project aims to continue the study of RCS and the influence of ride control algorithms on the motion and load response of high-speed catamarans by numerical and experimental investigations using an existing 2.5m hydroelastic segmented catamaran model based on an Incat 112m wave-piercer catamaran.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Javad Mehr


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Applicants must be from at least one of the following disciplinary backgrounds:

  • Naval architecture
  • Maritime engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must be the first author of at least two published (or accepted) high-ranked journal papers

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • Hands-on in experimental work specially towing tank testing
  • Computer programming skills

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Javad Mehr, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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