WFSA Announces Winners of Student Ferry Design Competition


The first award-winning design from the Hochschule Bremen, City University of Applied Science (WFSA)

Posted on Jul 16, 2021 5:23 PM by

The maritime executive

The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA) has announced the winning teams for its annual Safe and Affordable Ferry Design Competition. This year’s competition called for submissions meeting a set of specific local requirements, as well as items safe for COVID.

“This year, the students were tasked with designing a ropax ferry to carry around 300 passengers – many of whom prefer to use outdoor hammocks – as well as vehicles and cargo on the Amazon River between Manaus and Tefé,” said Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director of WFSA. . “Due to the continued spread of COVID-19 in Brazil and its transmission by river transport, student teams have been asked to include features to prevent viral transmission. “

Twelve teams from academic institutions from South America (1), North America (3), Europe (2) and Asia (6) submitted their designs. The judges were extremely impressed with the high quality of the submissions. Ultimately, the judges decided that the first place prize ($ 5,000) would go to the Bremen Hochschule team; second place ($ 3,000) to the ITS Surabaya team; third place ($ 1,000) to the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology team; and a special prize to tackle Covid ($ 750) in UAE Manaus.

The 2021 competition also saw the collaboration of students and professors from several universities. Dr Roberta Weisbrod described this as “a happy and positive effect of 2020, reflecting the need for interactions at a distance”.

For the past seven years, the competition has awarded $ 10,000 per year to student teams, with the top prize being $ 5,000 each year. For previous years, competing teams designed an inter-island ropax for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, an inter-island ropax for Indonesia, a ropax for the Gulf of Winam region of Lake Victoria in Kenya, and passenger ferries to Bangkok, the Singapore Strait, the Bangladesh River System, and the Pasig River to Manila.

The first winning design (picture above) was a 60 meter catamaran hull with an innovative airbag system to provide additional reserve buoyancy in the event of damage. The design was accompanied by detailed manufacturing and operating costs based on data from local shipyards. The Bremen, Germany team was led by Sonja Winzler, with teammates Michael Janssen, Bernadette Knauer, Florian Kokert, Peter Partheil and Mats Steinschulte, along with educational advisor Gregor Schellenberger.

The second place design was submitted by a joint international team from the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology and the Hochschule Wismar (above). It featured a hybrid propulsion system powered by biodiesel and was fitted with solar panels. Uniquely, it was designed with a hub for loading vehicles, as well as convertible bridges that can be modified to accommodate changes in operations during an outbreak.

A joint team design of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University took third place (above). Its catamaran hull was paired with an aluminum superstructure to reduce weight, and it was fitted with a LIDAR system to detect and avoid obstacles in the river.

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