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Design Errors in Ship Design

Andrews, D; (2021) Design Errors in Ship Design. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering , 9 (1) , Article 34. 10.3390/jmse9010034. Green open access

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There is a problem in coping with design errors in ship design. Ships are generally very large and often very complex. Yet, we rarely invest in full-scale prototypes so design errors are frequently revealed once ships are at sea and certain errors can be catastrophic, others lead to many ships having shortened useful lives. The paper starts by considering the nature of design errors and failures in large-scale engineering enterprises. This is followed by looking briefly at some lessons from maritime history concerning how design errors arise and can even lead to ships sinking. A specific well-documented case of calculation error in sizing a new ship design is reviewed and lessons drawn. The relevance of general approaches to avoiding engineering errors and ever-greater emphasis on risk mitigation procedures and applying safety regimes alongside ethical guidance is reviewed. The changing nature of ship design practice is discussed, with ship designers between the horns of the dilemma of ever greater ability provided by computer driven precision and the demands for their designs to be seen to perform effectively in an increasingly uncertain and complex world. Final thoughts consider the basis for judging what might be good or bad ship designs, how errors can be addressed, and the ultimate safety role of the naval architect as the overall designer of complex vessels.

Type: Article
Title: Design Errors in Ship Design
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/jmse9010034
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010034
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: design of complex vessels; Hunt Class Escorts; haddon-cave report; design authority; safety case; duty holder; “good” and “bad designs for service vessels
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120988
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