The Maritime theme encompasses a wide variety of disciplines across the engineering field and includes:
  • Naval architecture
    Small craft design, characterisation and performance
    Ship hull structure design
    Welding - optimisation of fabrication welding procedures of light weight naval structures to minimise residual stresses and distortion via the application of support design and manufacturing tools that involves the experimental and numerical assessment and application of new welding and joining technologies such as friction stir
  • Experimental and computational analysis on hybrid composite/sandwich construction for  lightweight maritime structures. 
  • Damage analysis of composite structures using quasi static, low and high speed impact scenarios including NDT and vibrational modal analysis.
  • Offshore renewable energy generation and storage covering research activities on:
    Aerodynamics of floating wind turbines using computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel measurements used to assess the influence of wave induced platform motion on the aerodynamic performance and the near wake physics of floating turbines.
    Design of off shore support structures - analysis of deep water structures conducted through the various software packages, enabling design optimisation for Central Mediterranean conditions. Applications include deep offshore support structures for wind turbines and wind measurement masts.
    Offshore energy storage - the implementation of combine wind energy generation of wind turbines and novel energy storage technologies on the floating offshore structures
  • Integrated hydrodynamic design adopting multisystem and multiphysics models for optimisation purposes and experimental design in phenomena of sloshing and cavitation to maximise operational efficiency.
  • Adopting current maritime rules and regulations and accepted naval architecture principles, analyses on historic ships explain maritime events such as the example of why the S.S. Ohio, the Santa Marija Convoy, was unsinkable.

Funded projects

VENTuRE - Virtual and physical Experimental Towing centre for the design of energy efficient sea-faring vessels 
Funded by:   H2020-WIDESPREAD-2018-03, Project Number 856887,  Project Coordinators - University of Malta, Project Partners University of Strathclyde, GB, University of Genoa, IT & Naval Architectural Services (NAS), Ltd, MT.
Date: Jan 2020 to December 2022
Project Leader: Claire De Marco  
Co-investigators: Tonio Sant, Simon Mizzi, Mitchell Borg

MUSICA - Multiple Use of Space for Island Clean Autonomy
Funded by: European Commission in Call H2020-BG-2019-1, Project No. 862252.
Coordinator: University College Cork, Ireland
Date: January 2020 - December December 2024
Principal Investigator: Tonio Sant
Co-investigators: Robert N. Farrugia, Luke Aquilina
In collaboration with:  University College Cork (Coordinator); Heriot-Watt University, University of the Aegean , Municipality of Chios, Coral Ltd, International Consortium of Research Staff Associations, Network of Sustainable Greek Islands DAFNI, Platforma Oceania de Canarias, Plocan, Innosea , Aquabiotech Ltd, NeoDyne Ltd, SinnPower Gmbh, INSB Class International Classification Society and Forkys

ELACAPA - Exploiting Local Agave Plants  
Funded by: Maritime Seed Award (2018) 
Date: Jan 2019 to April 2020
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco
Co-investigators: Martin Muscat, Aaron Meilak, Duncan Camilleri, Sandro Lanfranco

SmartPvB - Smart Design Software for Cost Optimisation of Pressure Vessel Bundles for Offshore Hydro-pneumatic Energy Storage (SmartPVB)
Funded by: the TakeOff and Malta Maritimma Agency, MarSA
Date: Oct 2019 to date
Principal Investigator: Tonio Sant
Co-investigators: Charise Cutajar, Robert Farrugia

REpLACE  - Renewable, sustainable & Eco-friendLy Agave CompositEs
Funded by: Internationalisation Partnership Awards Scheme PLUs – IPAS+ Part B – 2019 , IPAS-2019-001 
Date: August 2019 to September 2020, 
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco 

Light Weight Structures for Maritime Applications – Design, Fabrication, Characterisation, Testing & Simulation
Funded by: University of Malta Research Fund Committee
Date: Jan 2015 to date
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco

Spar-Type Floating Wind Turbine Platform with Integrated Deep Seawater Storage for reducing carbon footprint of LNG liquefaction
Funded by: the TakeOff and Malta Maritimma Agency, MarSA
Date: Oct 2017 to date
Principal Investigator: Tonio Sant
Co-investigators: Federica Strati, Daniel Buhagiar, Robert Farrugia

Development of a Hydro-Energy Storage System for Offshore Multi-Purpose Floating Platforms, FLASC
Date: Jul 2016 – Jun 2019
Funded by: Malta Council for Science and Technology Fusion Programme, 2015.
Principal Investigator: Tonio Sant
Co-investigators: Daniel Buhagiar, Robert Farrugia
In collaboration with: Medserv plc

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in the Strait of Sicily - BioDiValue
Funded by: Italia-Malta 2007-2013 project 
Date: Jul 2012 – Jan 2015
Principal Investigator: Martin Muscat
In collaboration with: ARPA (Agenzia Regionale per la protezione del'Ambiente), Consorzio Plemmirio Area Marina Protetta, International Ocean Institute - Malta Operational Centre (University of Malta), ISPRA (Istituto Superiore Protezione Ricerca Ambientale), Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie Sindaco del Comune di Lampedusa e Linosa, Gal XLOKK, Universita` degli Studi di Catania, Green Life Soc. Coop. a.r.l.

HILDA – High Integrity Low Distortion Assembly
Funded by: European Commission in Call FP7-SST-2012-RTD-1.
Date: Sep 2012 – Aug 2015
Principal Investigator: Duncan Camilleri
Co-investigators: Pierluigi Mollicone, Daniel Micallef
In collaboration with:  Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, U.K. (Project Coordinator), Centre de Recherche en Aeronautique ASBL (CENAERO), Belgium, The Welding Institute (TWI) Ltd., U.K., Lloyd’s Register EMEA, U.K., Center of Maritime Technologies e.V. (CMT), Germany, Naval Architecture Progress, Greece, GeonX sprl, Belgium

Damage Analysis on Marine Vessels due to Impact and Grounding
Funded by: University of Malta Research Fund Committee
Date:  Jan 2012 – Dec 2014
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco

FLAMES - Fabrication of Lightweight Assemblies - Modelling, Experimentation and Simulation
Funded by: University of Malta, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, U.K.
Date: Oct 2007 – Sep 2014
Principal Investigator: Duncan Camilleri

Fabrication of Advanced Hybrid Composite Sandwich Panels - Testing & Simulation – FACTS
Funded by: Malta Council for Science and Technology, MCST: R&I-2011-002,
Date: Oct 2011 – Sep 2013
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco
Co-investigators: Duncan Camilleri, Pierluigi Mollicone
In collaboration with: Buccaneer Boats Ltd, Gudja Malta

Design and Analysis of an Innovative Offshore Wind Turbine for Deep Water Applications in the Maltese, DOW
Funded by: Malta Council for Science and Technology Programme, 2009. MCST: R&I-2009-003
Date:  Nov 2010 – Sep 2013 
Principal Investigator: Tonio Sant
Co-investigators: Martin Muscat, Pierluigi Mollicone, Duncan Camilleri
In collaboration with: Global Renewable Energy Ltd, HoneyComb Services Ltd

Ship Design, Sea Keeping and Ship Damage Analysis on Impact and Grounding
Funded by: University of Malta research Fund Committee
Date: Jan 2009 – Dec 2012
Principal Investigator: Claire De Marco

Selected publications

  • Song, S., Demirel, Y.K., De Marco Muscat-Fenech, C.,  Atlar, M., (2020). 'Fouling effect on the resistance of different ship types', Journal of Ocean Engineering, Volume 216 (2020), article 107736,
  • Bonnici, C., De Marco Muscat-Fenech, C., Ghirlando, R., (2017). 'Analysis of a WWII T-2 Tanker Using a Virtual 3D Model and Contemporary Criteria', International Journal of Maritime Engineering, Vol 159, Part A4, pp 355-366, DOI:10.3940/rina.ijme.2017.a4.430
  • Buhagiar, D. and Sant, T., (2017). 'Modelling of A Novel Hydro-Pneumatic Accumulator For Large-Scale Offshore Energy Storage Applications', Journal of Energy Storage, Elsevier Volume 14, Part 2, December 2017, pp 283-294
  • Sant, T. and Cuschieri, K., (2016). 'Comparing Three Aerodynamic Models for Predicting The Thrust and Power Characteristics of Yawed Floating Wind Turbine Rotors', ASME Journal for Solar Energy Engineering, 138(3), 031004, SOL-15-1241, February 2016
  • Camilleri, D., Micallef, D. & Mollicone, P. (2015). 'Thermal Stresses and Distortion Developed in Mild Steel DH36 Friction Stir-Welded Plates: An Experimental and Numerical Assessment', Journal of Thermal Stresses, vol. 38, no. 5, pp 485-508
  • Sant, T., Bonnici, D., Farrugia, R. and Micallef, D., (2015). 'Measurements and Modelling of the power Performance of a Model Floating Wind Turbine under Controlled Conditions', Wind Energy, May 2015, Vol.18(5), pp 811-834
  • De Marco Muscat-Fenech, C, Cortis, J, Cassar, C (2014). 'Characterising QSLVII Damage of Composite Sandwich Hulls'. Procedia Engineering, 88 (2014), pp 141 – 148, Elsevier, Science Direct.
  • De Marco Muscat-Fenech, C, Cortis, J, Cassar, C (2014). 'Impact Damage Testing on Composite Marine Sandwich Panels.  Part 1: Quasi-Static. Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials, 16 (4), 2014, 341-376, DOI: 10.1177/1099636214529959.
  • Martin Muscat, Mark Formosa, German. A. Salgado Martin, Rosario Sinatra, Alessandro Cammarata, (2014). 'Design of an Underwater Towfish using Design by Rule and Design by Analysis, Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Pressure Vessel & Piping conference, July 20-24, 2014, Anaheim, California, USA
  • Gray T G F, Camilleri D and McPherson N, (2014). 'Control of Welding Distortion in Thin Plate Fabrication: Design Support Exploiting Computational Simulation', Woodhead Publishing Limited ISBN-10 085709047X, ISBN-13: 978-0857090478.

Theme members

Prof. Duncan Camilleri
Prof. Claire De Marco
Prof. Robert Ghirlando
Dr Simon Mizzi
Prof. Martin Muscat
Prof. Michael Saliba
Prof. Tonio Sant