Low Carbon Shipping & Shipping in Changing Climates

A Research Led Consortium on Sustainable Shipping



The long-term viability of the shipping industry is dependent on its various interconnections with ecological, environmental, economic and human systems. Currently, the industry is facing scrutiny on issues ranging from air pollution to noise pollution and from human safety to marine biodiversity. Perhaps the most pressing issue for the industry is climate change and its mitigation. The sector is commonly cited as the most environmentally friendly form of transport but this will be a challenge in the future as it current contribution (around 3% of global CO2 emissions) is expected to increase to around 20 – 25% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 2050 as other sectors under national inventories decarbonise. The industry has adopted ‘first of its kind’ international regulation in its efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions, but the impact is estimated by some to be around a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions on business as usual by 2050, far from the reductions required if the industry was to be sustainable. The LCS consortium through its research activities such as the SCC project aims to inform the policy making process by developing new knowledge and understanding on the subject of the shipping system, its energy efficiency and emissions, and its transition to a low carbon, more resilient future.

The important questions facing the industry are; How will the mandated introduction of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) in 2013 lead to changes in the fleet; will ships fit sulphur scrubbing technology or switch to distillate fuel in 2015 (MARPOL); will Selective Catalytic Reduction and Exhaust Gas Recirculation technology be compatible with scrubbing solutions to allow continued use of heavy fuel oil in Emissions Control Areas from 2016 (MARPOL); will Liquid Natural Gas become a mainstream fuel; will wind power see a renaissance and will ships remain slow or speed up again?

The consortium in the LCS project has provided some of the first tools for scenario analysis and exploration of how external drivers may influence mid to long-term trends in the shipping industry. To date, this research has investigated the sector’s fundamentals in detail (technology, operation, logistics, ports, economics, demand and policy). More about LCS

In the longer term, whilst the wider mitigation and adaptation rhetoric still focuses on avoiding a 2°C temperature rise, implementation to achieve this lags far behind and the current global energy consumption levels put the Earth on a trajectory to warm by 6°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Shipping is no exception: although dialogue about its decarbonisation role and responsibilities exists at the IMO, EU and UK, no carbon policies have yet been implemented. Indeed, the EU recently suspended plans to introduce regional CO2 legislation for shipping, preferring for the time being to focus on monitoring, reporting and verification. The rapidly shifting landscape that the changing climate has the potential to create (either directly or indirectly) has implications for wider energy, food and economic systems in which shipping plays a major role: emphasising the need for strategic and long-term planning.

The consortium in the SCC project seeks to understand the scope for greater energy efficiency of the supply side, understand the demand side drivers and understanding the supply and demand interactions in shipping. To research these themes the consortium utilises its access to ‘big data’ and modelling to understand real performance trends and drivers, validate assumptions, computational simulations and models and verify whole systems results. More about SCC


Our vision is to create an enduring, multidisciplinary and independent research community strongly linked to industry and capable of informing the policy making process by developing new knowledge and understanding on the subject of the shipping system, its energy efficiency and emissions, and its transition to a low carbon, more resilient future.



Prof. Paul Wrobel: Principal investigator for the SCC project and the LCS project. FREng (MoD Chair of Naval Architecture). He has led large projects as a Design Integration Manager at MoD; as a Technical Director at Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd during the TRIDENT development, led a multi-national team for the newly formed Thales Naval Limited winning the competition for the Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) design; and at QinetiQ as the Director of Naval Programmes. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and member of Council.

Dr. Tristan Smith: Director of the SCC project and co-ordinator of the LCS project. He is a Lecturer in Energy and Transport has, since 2010, grown a substantial shipping focused energy research group (5 post doctoral research assistants and 7 PhD students). He is also the principal investigator on the Energy Technologies Institute Heavy Duty Vehicles programme and the Virtual Centre for Ship Energy Efficiency.

Dr. Kayvan Pazouki: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. Teaching Fellow, formerly seagoing marine engineer, has expertise in engine monitoring tools through physical and inferential measurement systems. He is a co-investigator in CNSS on energy efficiency management & ship emission prediction. He is the PI of a KTP with Royston developing computer-based marine engine performance monitoring & emission prediction tools.

Prof. Joanne Scott: Involved in theme three of the SCC project. She is a Professor of European Law, Her interests are European Union Law and WTO Law, particularly law and new modes of governance, environmental law and policy and the intersections between different sub-national, national and international legal orders. She holds a Major Research Fellowship with the Leverhulme Trust (2012-2014) to undertake a project on ‘The Global Reach of EU Climate Change Law: A Game-Changing Strategy?’ She was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2009-2011).

Dr. Alan Murphy: Involved in the theme one of the SCC project. He is a Senior Lecturer, formerly seagoing marine engineer. Expertise includes mitigating shipping exhaust emissions & reducing fuel consumption; mitigating technologies; alternative fuels; engine modelling & simulation and emissions indexes. He is a CI in Low Carbon Shipping and PI & steering committee member in the (~€4M) INTERREG (EU) Clean North Sea Shipping (CNSS) project. He also has JIPs, e.g. reducing emissions from ships with Svitzer UK.

Prof. Kevin Anderson: Co-investigator in the SCC project. He is also the Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre and holds a Chair in Energy and Climate Change within MACE. He is also a principal investigator and co-investigator on the RESNET and the SPRing project. His research has focuses on integrating Tyndall’s broad range of expertise to provide a systems level and interdisciplinary appreciation of climate change.

Dr. Alice Bows: Theme two lead of the SCC project. She is a MACE Senior Lecturer in Energy & Climate Change, linked to the Tyndall Centre and embedded within the Sustainable Consumption Institute. Alice has an international track record in conducting system-level climate change and energy research with a base in the physical sciences and principal investigator on the High Seas Project.

Dr. Usman Turan: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He has research interests in ship design, operation, and human factors, and leads the Human Factors WP in the current LCS project. He is active in a wide range of international projects in areas of drag reduction, human factors and ship operation.

Prof. Richard Bucknall: Theme 1 lead for the SCC project. He is also the Chair of the Marine Research Group and Professor of Marine Power Systems led the MRG effort in the above EPSRC project. He has also managed academic research worth in excess of £4M and published some 100 academic papers.

Prof. Andreas Schafer: Professor of Energy and Transport, and lead author of Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World, MIT Press, 2009, has extensive experience of directing multi-disciplinary research teams through his role as Director of the Martin Centre at Cambridge University and co-director of the Institute for Aviation and the Environment at Cambridge University.

Prof. Sandy Day: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He is the director of the Kelvin Hydrodynamics Laboratory, with wide experience in computational and experimental marine hydrodynamics applied to ships, offshore structures and marine energy devices. He is leading WP2 on technology for low carbon ships in the LCS project. He was a member of the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC) committee on Ship Resistance for six years, and currently chairs the ITTC Specialist Committee on Hydrodynamic Testing of Marine Renewable Energy devices, tasked with setting testing standards for large hydrodynamics facilities worldwide.

Prof. Robert Nicholls: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. Professor of Coastal Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment and co-lead for the ‘Cities and Coasts’ theme of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. (currently PI on ESPA Deltas and ICOASST projects and Co-I on Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium)

Dr. Susan Hanson: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. She is a research fellow in the Energy and Climate Change Division, works on UK and EU-funded projects on flood and erosion management and on costs and global impacts on port cities as part of World Bank, OECD and AVOID projects.

Dr. Alistair Greig: External relations in the SCC project. He has expertise in Marine Engineering and is active at IMO, in EU funded marine projects, and a member of IMarEST Council.

Dr. Paolo Agnolucci: UCL lead on theme two of the SCC project. He is an economist and statistician with experience in a number of disciplinary fields, over 20 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and several consultancy projects.

Dr. Paul Gilbert: Involved in theme two of SCC project. He is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Sustainability in MACE and directed the technical aspects of research within High Seas Project.

Prof. Atilla Incecik: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. He is a Professor of Offshore Engineering.

Dr. Rachel Pawling: Involved in theme one of the SCC project. She has expertise which includes ship design and modelling.

Dr. Nick Bradbeer: Theme one project manager. He is a naval architecture Research Associate at UCL.

Miss Melanie Landamore: Co-investigator in the SCC project. She has a MEng, MBA degrees. Her expertise includes research into sustainable shipping, through life environmental, economic and social accounting of vessels, innovative concepts for European short sea shipping and impacts of human factors on ship design and operation. She also coordinates a number of FP6&7 projects.

Miss Amrita Sidhu: Theme two project manager. She is PA to Prof. Kevin Anderson. 

Mr. John Calleya: Will shortly complete a PhD in low carbon ships

Miss Solmaz Haji Hosseinloo: Involved in theme two of the SCC project. She is research associate at UCL Energy Institute and her speciality is transport modelling.