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Engine as a Weapon International Symosium VI…

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Olly Simmonds

Olly Simmonds


Next week more than 100 delegates from six countries will gather in Bath, UK for Engine As A Weapon VI (EAAW VI) the international symposium being held by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) at the University of Bath on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 June 2015.

Speakers from Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and USA will be addressing a range of topics at the event with its overall theme of ‘Total Ship Integration?’ Chaired by Lt Cdr Ian Hassall RN, Senior Engineer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, EAAW VI will see keynote addresses delivered by Vice-Admiral (Ret) Xavier Païtard, Senior Defense Advisor, MBDA, France and Cdr Dr Cara Grupe LaPointe USN, Deputy Program Manager, PMS 320 Electric Ships Office, US Navy. Full information is available at www.eaaw.org.uk.


Discussion already under way
The event is already causing discussion on the IMarEST LinkedIn site with Oliver Simmonds CEng,  Lead Engineer, Naval at GE Marine, and Vice-Chairman of EAAW VI and Chairman of its ‘Total Ship Integration’ session, starting the discussion ball rolling by asking “Who is the Integrator?”

In his post he explains: “Historically power and propulsion systems on ships were a very separate affair and relatively simple! Diesels or even steam turbines would drive the propellers either directly or via a reduction gearbox, which gave the ship propulsion. Power would come from a number of generator sets running at fixed speed and producing electrical power for ship’s services. The amount of load would dictate how many generator sets were turned on, and power management was pretty basic. The propulsion demand was separately controlled simply by how fast the prime movers were run at, and apart from using the same fuel (or steam/boilers) there was no link between the two systems. In these platforms the integrator of the power system and the propulsion system could be two completely different organisations.

“Relatively recently, in the history of marine propulsion, the concept of IFEP came along. Integrated Full Electric Propulsion is generally accepted as a power and propulsion system whereby all the electrical generators supply power for both ship’s services and electrical propulsion. Not to be confused with Full Electric Propulsion where we are just talking about all the ship’s propulsion being electric, IFEP adds complexity to the power management system as now a high demand for ship’s service loads could affect the availability of power for propulsion and hence limit the ship operationally.

“IFEP brought together the two systems, and often a single organisation would take responsibility for integration of the combined (and integrated) power and propulsion management system. Taking this a step further Advanced Hybrid systems aim to combine the best of both….”  He poses a series of questions for discussion online and at EAAW VI: Who is the integrator of a modern integrated platform? Is there just one, or do there have to be many? Is it something the shipyard has to take up, however their technical resources may be limited in these areas with new and emerging technology?

Active support from sponsors
EAAW VI is sponsored by GE Marine; BMT Defence Services; and Babcock International Group, all of whom play an active role.

“This is a key conference because it pulls together two disparate areas, the weapons and the marine engineering side.  GE Marine is particularly well placed to helping tomorrow’s Navies to build complex integrated solutions”, affirmed Oliver Simmonds, Lead Engineer, Naval at GE Marine and Vice Chairman of EAAW VI.

“Engine As A Weapon provides BMT with the perfect platform to discuss issues pertinent to the industry with a broad range of customers, partners and suppliers. We value the knowledge gleaned from these interactions and couldn’t do this without the help of events such as this, ” explains BMT’s Head of Naval Engineering, Tim Hardy.

While Babcock explains that they consider EAAW to be the premier warship design and naval capability event in the UK for 2015 for engineering and design professionals.  “As such we are delighted to support EAAW through presenting papers and sponsorship.  Our delegates are looking forward to learning about the latest developments in naval weapons, the challenges with integration and ideas for improving efficiency.

“We will be presenting papers on OPV propulsion design with a view to reducing maintenance costs and on the challenges of integrating new capability onto the T23 Frigates.  The discussion sessions are always challenging and informative and the conference gives a great opportunity to meet fellow engineering professionals in both formal and informal surroundings.”  They also value having a stand at EAAW VI as it provides an opportunity to take forward ideas debated during the formal sessions in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Networking is key
EAAW has long been known for its networking, and this year will be no exception. “We start the night before the Symposium with a Welcome BBQ in the grounds of the University of Bath, ” explains Lt Cdr Hassall. “Then the Symposium Reception at the end of the first day’s deliberations will be aboard the magnificent Penny Lane boat which will journey along the River Avon past the glories of the City of Bath.”

Further information and registration
Further information on, and registration for, EAAW VI is online at www.eaaw.org.uk, and available fromeaaw@figsevents.co.uk.
EAAW VI Background

The first EAAW Symposium in 2004 was established by IMarEST to bring together and inform the marine and combat systems communities to ensure opportunities would be exploited and challenges overcome.

Since then developments in high energy weapons and marine power system technologies have advanced apace.  The Royal Navy has introduced to service the Type 45 class of destroyers with Integrated Full Electric Propulsion whilst the US Navy’s highly innovative DDG-1000, USS Zumwalt, was launched on 28 October 2013 and is expected to be commissioned in 2015.

Ten years on from the first Symposium, the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft Carrier represents the largest Integrated Full Electric Propulsion warship ever built in the UK.  In addition, Navies across the world are challenged more frequently with retrofitting new equipment as technology refresh is required to keep pace with ever demanding capability requirements.

EAAW VI seeks to review the technological advances in platform and combat system design that have taken place over the last decade and explore the progress towards total ship integration.

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