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Ulstein Bridge Concept



What if we could redefine the whole bridge environment and change everything from the room layout to furniture design, and from the fundamental interaction techniques to details on the screen? This is the scope for the researchers, designers and engineers developing the Ulstein Bridge Concept (UBC) project. Together we aim to create research and designs that can direct the development of the future ship bridges of offshore service vessels. More »

This project has been completed

UBC featured in Ship & Boat International

Following the presentation of the paper ‘Mapping of work areas in a platform supply vessel: a case study’ at the RINA conference Human factors in ship design and operation on the 17th of November 2011, the UBC project was featured in the acknowledged publication Ship & Boat International.

The paper presented at the RINA conference describes how the UBC project has used images to speed up the design team’s familiarisation with the wheelhouse and bridge equipment. An extensive image database consisting of 1300 images captured during a field study onboard Bourbon Mistral has proved valuable for quickly getting new designers with no experience from the maritime domain up to speed on what a ship’s bridge is, and what kind of equipment it comprises.

The presentation given at the Human Factors in Ship Design and Operation conference by Sashi Komandur of the UBC project got a lot of attention, and the Ship & Boat International followed up the conference with a three pages long in-depth article in its January/February 2012 issue. The article describes the ideas behind the use of images in the design project, how the images were collected and made available to the team, and plans for a future development of the image database. The authors of Ship & Boat International pinpoints some weaknesses with the current image database, e.g. that the images don’t cover rough weather and potential security issues with making the image database publicly available. However, the article concludes in a positive manner:

“Still, in developing a potential interactive tool for designer / operator newbuilding negotiations, and in giving some budding trainee architects their first glimpses of precisely what the bridge entails, Oslo School of Architecture and Aalesund University are to be congratulated on at least opening up the topic for discussion and looking beyond the usual paper-based formats.” (Ship & Boat International, January/February 2012 p. 14)


Anders Kittilsen testing out the binoculars on-board the Bourbon Mistral.

Christoffer Lange and one of the crew members.

The following paper was presented at the Human Factors in Ship Design and Operation conference:

Nordby, K., Lange, C., Komandur, S. & Kittilsen, A. ‘Mapping of work areas in a platform supply vessel: a case study’.


About RINA

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) is an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Members of RINA are widely represented in industry, universities and colleges, and maritime organisations in over 90 countries.

About Ship & Boat International

Ship & Boat International is a RINA publication which gives a detailed coverage of small craft and small ship design, construction and operation. The publication also provides news items together with specialised features and technical descriptions of selected new vessels, including fast ferries, tugs, offshore support vessels, patrol craft, pilot launches, and coastal cargo ships.

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2 responses so far:

  1. Ed Verbeek says:

    I am not sure where I can post questions/remarks about the new bridge design, so I’ll just use this opportunity 🙂
    I am very impressed about your thinking, making use of the present posibilities and I very much want you to succeed.
    To succeed means that the bridge needs to work in the normal operating conditions: a (heavily) rolling and pitching ship where the operator has problems to stand and needs to find balance (including all the uncontrolled movements that this involves) Has attention been given to operating the equipment under these conditions? (the video show only North Sea during exceptional nice summer weather conditions 🙂 I know it is mentioned that the operator should be able to sit or stand as he likes, even during heavy seas, but in these conditions, whether sitting or standing, the operator makes a lot of relex movements, unplanned and uncontrolled, which should not trigger any response of the equipment, and is it hard to make deliberate, precisely controlled movements, if these are required to operate the equipment.
    In modern shipping, more and more attention goes to operating in a team environment. I know that for offshore supply vessel this is less of an issue (mostly the “old-fashion” one-man operations), but this might change in future. Have team operations, in the form of Navigator – CoNavigator (even in the form of a pilot at port approach), been a consideration in the bridge design?

    • Sigrun Lurås says:

      Dear Ed,

      Thanks a lot for your feedback and interesting remarks! We are definitely concerned with the operation of equipment under different weather conditions. As you suggest, in modern offshore shipping, especially the more advanced vessels used for complex operations, teamwork is very much an issue. We also address this in our project. Please feel free to contact our project manager Kjetil Nordby directly if you have further questions.

      Best regards,
      Sigrun Lurås, project member, the Ulstein Bridge Concept

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