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Pentti Kujala named winner of Transportation Research Award 2020 

Improving the safety of ships operating in ice-covered waters. 
Professori Pentti Kujala

Professor Pentti Kujala has won the Transportation Research Award 2020 in the field of waterborne transportation for his extensive track record of projects aimed at improving the safety of shipping in ice-covered waters of the Baltic Sea as well as Arctic and Antarctic waters. These projects were funded by the European Commission, the Lloyd's Register Foundation and the Finnish government. 

Kujala’s scientific impact can be measured through the roughly 200 publications he authored or co-authored during this period, with about 2 500 citations. His key impact to policy development is the validation of a new risk-assessment system for voyages into Polar waters, POLARIS, which uses ice load and ship strength analysis methods together with extensive full-scale data (7 years) from the Arctic and the Antarctic. 

The TRA competition is held to recognise and celebrate leading researchers who have recently contributed to EU-funded projects in the field of transportation, demonstrated excellence and have made a proven impact in their field of research.  

The first project coordinated by Kujala was Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project SAFEICE (Increasing the safety of icebound shipping, 2004-2007), which aimed to create a scientific basis for ice class rules (ship hull strength) and for placing requirements on ice classes with partners from Europe, Canada, Russia and Japan.  

This work continued in the FP7 project SAFEWIN (Safety of winter navigation in dynamic ice, 2009-2013), which studied the influence of dynamic, moving ice on ships and worked to develop an operational ice compression prediction system. At present, this research continues as part of the H2020 project SEDNA (Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions: the Arctic case). 

Other key projects related to the same topic have been funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF). Kujala worked to launch and afterwards, as its chair, managed the Centre of Excellence CEARCTIC (Scenario based risk management for arctic shipping and operations, 2013–2018), which aimed to develop holistic risk analysis methods for the design of ships for arctic operations and transport. 

The work continues in the new LRF-funded Centre of Excellence, CEPOLAR (Recommended practice of scenario-based risk management for Polar waters). Its aim is to prepare recommended practices for safe and economic ship design and operations for Polar waters. 

Nationally funded projects include funding from TEKES and the Academy of Finland to instrument the Finnish-built ship Agulhas II for full-scale ice load measurements in Antarctica (2012–2018) as well as the recent Baltic Sea BONUS projects STORMWINDS and BALTIMARE, which include studies on the safety of winter navigation in the Baltic Sea. 

All these efforts and projects have resulted in a remarkable impact to improve the safety of shipping in ice-covered waters.  

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