Passenger vessel hull optimisation

Investigation into the parameters influencing the hull resistance and propulsion of future battery electric passenger vessels

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

This project seeks to investigate the parameters influencing the hull resistance and propulsion of future battery electric passenger vessels. Parameters of interest include the variation of distance between each hull according to different speeds and the depth of water to determine overall vessel resistance. This is a critical aspect of the design with new battery electric vessels due to the limitations of on-board stored energy capacity based on current lithium-ion battery technology. By identifying hull parameters using CFD to reduce hull resistance this has a direct effect on the speed and distance that can be achieved thus having a global impact on these types of vessels through improved transport efficiency. This means with reduced hull resistance, these vessels can travel further for longer based on the same stored energy capacity. Alternatively for vessels along a specific and known route, the battery size and capacity can be reduced meaning there is more space available for passengers and cargo thereby reducing the environmental foot print through improved design. The hull resistance represents one aspect of the work with the CFD methods and results produced influencing the design of all types of battery electric vessels world-wide. The other important consideration is the design of the propulsive system with consideration to water jets or propellors based on a new electric power train. This has a direct impact on the hull design of the vessel based on the packaging of the new components but in addition and more importantly consideration needs to be made with regard to the interaction of the water jet and propellor design with the hull and free surface. To this end the CFD will be extended to simulate different configurations of propulsion system to understand the interaction with the hull to identify the most efficient system for reduced energy cost and maximum efficiency.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Jason Ali-Lavroff


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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:

  • BE in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering or equivalent BE in mechanical engineering

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with marine vessel research. Masters degree by coursework or research preferable

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Jason Ali-Lavroff to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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