Dr Andrea Grech La Rosa was the lead researcher on a Newton Fund project that won the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) Maritime Safety Award. ‘Kora Kora’ is a mobile application that helps fishers understand whether their vessel is stable and alerts users when it isn’t. This application does not require any additional hardware or resources to operate and is ideal for countries like Indonesia or the Philippines that unfortunately have very high fisher fatality rates. By using the sensors readily available in the mobile phone, the application is able to estimate a vessel’s stability and conveys the outcome using a traffic light approach. No internet or telephone signal is required for the application to function.
Dr Grech La Rosa studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Malta between 2007 and 2011 taking all the ship related modules that were available at the time, including his final year Individual Project. He later did an MSc in Naval Architecture at University College London (UCL) where his curiosity in ships continued to grow. He has recently achieved Chartership Status through the Engineering Council and completed his PhD at UCL which investigated a ship hull form feature known as the bulbous bow. This is the large nose like characteristic at the ship’s bow, beneath the waterline.
He currently works as a Research Associate in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Office at UCL where he primarily supports the MSc courses in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with particular focus on ship and submarine design. As part of his role, he manages the UCL Towing Tank and provides guidance to a wide range of students doing practical design and build projects. Andrea is now working on advancing ‘Kora Kora’ further as well as doing underwater acoustic tests of bubble curtains. He is also working on sustainability led projects related to circular economies.