German bulk carrier operator Oldendorff Carriers has signed a research agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), to explore new ship designs and propulsion methods that can aid in reducing carbon emissions.
The programme will initially focus on improving hydrodynamic efficiency, building on work CBA has already been doing with the aerospace and automotive industries. Anticipated research areas include morphing structures, hydrodynamic cloaking, moving boundary layers, and alternative energy sources.
CBA’s digital material technology is based on digitising both designs and the construction of materials, to create new structures with alternative material properties, integrated heterogeneous functionality, automated lifecycle assembly and disassembly, and reduced environmental footprints.
Since 2013, Oldendorff has invested US$3 billion in 90 new eco vessels built in China, Korea and Japan, which have fuel-efficient and reduced greenhouse gas emissions engines and a number of fuel saving devices to reduce consumption and carbon emissions.
Today over 95% of the Oldendorff fleet, and most of its chartered vessels, are eco type vessels. The average age of the 116 vessels of the owned and bareboat chartered fleet is 4.09 years.
“We recognise that clean oceans and clean air are vital for our survival, both as a company and as individuals. With less than 10 years to implement a fundamental shift on how ships are powered in order to achieve the GHG reduction mandates, Oldendorff Carriers is partnering with MIT’s preeminent experts in technology research to forge the way ahead,” said Oldendorff CEO, Peter Twiss.