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Society of Maritime Industries Donald Maxwell Award 2012

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James Temple (right) receiving his certificate from Mr Archie Bethel CBE.

At the Society’s AGM Luncheon this year’s Donald Maxwell undergraduate award was presented to James Temple, who has recently completed a MEng in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

James received a cheque for £1, 000 and his certificate from the President of the Society Mr Archie Bethel CBE .

The award is given for the best final year degree project from a UK resident student undertaking their study on a degree accredited by The Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST).

Judging was undertaken by SMI Vice Chairman Mr Duncan Cunningham and member Mr Phil Green.  The paper which most impressed the judges was Iain’s on the topic “Impact study of a revised sulphur content in marine fuels of 0.5% throughout the SECA (SOx Emission Control Areas) in 2015”.


1.    The imminent sulphur regulations are an important topic in the current debate about ship emissions.  With the shipping market currently predicted to be the largest emitter of sulphur oxide globally by 2020, action is   needed.  The scheduled 2015 IMO MARPOL Annex VI amendments are set to drastically cut the current emissions by 90%, this has caused dispute throughout the EU, as impact studies forecast the increase in operating costs could have potentially disastrous effects for the EU short sea shipping market.

The study aimed to test the hypothesis that the relationship between a decrease in sulphur emissions and an increase in operating cost is pivotal when complying with a 0.5% sulphur allowance.  Calculating cost breakdowns for both land and sea methods of travel, found the worst hit routes and corridors and the potentially vital role a 0.5% sulphur content could play in the future of EU shipping.

James observed the use of 0.5%S marine fuel makes a 50% decrease in sulphur emissions with only a 5% increase in fuel price, whereas Marine Gas Oil increases base prices by around 20% for a 90% decrease in emissions – four times the cost for less than twice the benefit.  The outlook suggests that 90% decrease is achievable, over a longer period of time and without such a large cost to the industry.

2.    Donald Maxwell was the first Secretary and Director of the Society’s predecessor organisation the British Marine Equipment Council.  Following his death in 1978, the Donald Maxwell award fund was created and in 1989 the funds were transferred to the IMarEST for administration.

3.      The Society of Maritime Industries is the voice of the UK’s maritime engineering and business sector promoting and supporting companies which build, refit and modernise commercial and naval vessels, and supply equipment and services for all types of ships and underwater vehicles, ports and terminals infrastructure, offshore oil & gas, maritime security and safety, marine science and technology and offshore renewable energy.  www.maritimeindustries.org

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