The École Centrale de Nantes (ECN), one of France’s top engineering universities, and the classification society Bureau Veritas have joined forces to create a new International Chair in research on Hydrodynamics and Marine Structures. The aim is to improve the safety and performance of vessels of the future.

The research programme also includes HydrOcean, part of the BV Group, a key provider of CFD-based optimisation services and Nextflow Software, a start-up dedicated to fluid dynamics software.

According to BV, the new Chair will make possible technical innovations for the conception, design, performance, safety and environmental friendliness of ships and offshore structures.

“This chair is concrete evidence of the desire of Bureau Veritas to link with the innovation and research of one of the top engineering faculties to create new services which will help our clients to improve the safety and environmental friendlessness of their fleets,” said Philippe Donche-Gay, head of the Marine and Offshore division, Bureau Veritas.   “This next step in our long collaboration in maritime matters allows us to go further together and to harness the power of numerical simulation to develop better ships,” commented Arnaud Poitou, director of Centrale Nantes.

David Le Touzé, professor at Centrale Nantes, will be the first holder of the new Chair. He leads a 20-person research group at ECN hydrodynamics laboratory and is said to be known for his numerical simulation expertise.

The work of the Chair will be focussed on three complementary areas: the development of numerical simulation tools; their validation in the testing facilities of École Centrale de Nantes, which claim to be among the best in Europe; and developing efficient methodologies for dealing with hydrodynamic and hydro–structural problems.