Solange van der Werff graduated from TU Delft, Marine Technology and started her first job at the Trials & Monitoring group at MARIN. For her first project ‘Ships in Ice’ she went into the Arctic onboard the research ship James Clark Ross. “It is fascinating to experience that theory and practice really can come together”.
A rather new field within MARIN involves ships and floating structures in ice. New tools are being developed to support clients in their preparations for Arctic operations. With these tools the performance of floating structures in ice can be tested and evaluated. “And by extending our ice simulation capabilities, we can offer special bridge simulator training programmes to vessel crews for practicing navigation and operations in ice-covered waters”.
Knowledge and experience
“It is important that these simulations are close to reality.” For this reason, Solange joined the ice strengthened research vessel James Clark Ross on a journey from Iceland, via the east Greenland coast, to Spitsbergen. The team encountered a whole range of ice conditions, from the mildest, with only a few ice particles, to thick sheets of ice of over a metre thick that had to be broken by the ship. Sometimes these included ridges (extremely thick ice features embedded in ice sheets).
All of these situations require careful handling of the ship. Solange: “I was impressed by the crew’s expertise in steering and manoeuvring the ship.” The observations are used in the development of numerical models for ice load prediction. Additionally, they will contribute to getting a better idea of the required skills and techniques needed for a safe passage and operations in ice and how these can be applied to bridge simulator training.
Working at MARIN
Each year, MARIN gives students the opportunity to gain work experience or to complete their final year project. And quite some of them start their first job at MARIN.
Working at MARIN gives you a great amount of independence. Personal initiative is welcomed and people are expected to be innovative. You will be involved in the most recent developments in this field of study.