Conferencing & Events Blog – Sailing In To Strathclyde

We kicked off a busy October by welcoming 340 delegates from 18 countries for the 14th International Naval Engineering Conference and Exhibition (INEC 2018) and the International Ship Control Systems Symposium (ISCSS).

The events were a unique opportunity for naval engineers from all sectors to meet and debate the latest thinking and discuss themes including Inspiring Naval Engineering and Revolutionary Technology Inspiring Ship Control. INEC’s aim was to increase the academic influence on the technical programme so hosting the conference here, at the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) – the University of Strathclyde’s £90M research hub in the heart of Glasgow – was the perfect fit!

Reminiscing about the River
Glasgow is renowned as a centre of engineering excellence, with a rich heritage of naval architecture and shipbuilding spanning more than 300 years. To this day, many of the new additions to the Royal Navy’s fleet are built on the banks of the Clyde, so it was fitting for the conference to be held in our fantastic city. Our own Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering department dates back over 100 years, and works closely with industry to help address important challenges in the sector.

Encouraging young engineers
Currently, there is a skills gap for highly-qualified engineers with a forecast of 257,000 new engineering vacancies to be filled by 2022. The University has helped address this challenge by setting up an Engineering Academy, funded by Scottish Funding Council and Students Awards Agency for Scotland, to meet employers’ needs for engineering graduates with appropriate work experience and practical skills. It offers a holistic solution to providing industry with the workforce that they need to flourish, both in terms of numbers and skills. These messages were very much the crux of the welcome address from Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Strathclyde’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, who outlined the importance of attracting young people into the profession.

INEC and ISCSS’s contribution to the Year of Engineering, was a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) day, aiming to inspire the next generation and help address the skills shortage. 50 pupils from five local schools joined workshops run by the Royal Navy, Primary Engineer and the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) and competed in Lloyd’s Register’s ‘Float the Boat’ challenge.

INEC’s Conference Chairman Captain Matt Bolton RN, said: “STEM is what drives the Royal Navy – whether it is the mathematics used to design our ships and submarines, the engineering expertise to keep them running and at sea, the science that underpins the awesome range of capabilities, or the advanced technology which makes the Royal Navy one of the foremost navies in the world – all of it relies on a detailed knowledge of STEM subjects,” he explains.

“During the Year of Engineering, Royal Navy STEM teams have engaged with thousands of students and teachers, highlighting the importance of engineering in our world today and for the country’s future prosperity and success.”

Running a tight ship!
The conference had a jam-packed schedule – with over 100 technical papers presented, our Conference Rooms were in high demand! Keynote addresses in the Main Auditorium were given by Rangesh Kasturi of L3 MAPPS; Rear Admiral Paul Methven of the Royal Navy; and Captain Paul Flos RNLN presenting on behalf of the Chief Naval Engineering Officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Our foyer spaces were a hub for exhibitors, with Principal Sponsor L3 MAPPS alongside Rolls-Royce, BMT, Babcock International Group all using shell scheme stands – something a bit different for us which really demonstrated just how flexible our spaces are!

Of course, no event would be complete without networking. A civic welcome was hosted by the City of Glasgow in our Foyer at the end of the first day, while the second evening saw delegates gather in the Riverside Museum. This award-winning transport museum is located on the banks of the River Clyde, where ships were once launched from the slipways of J&A Inglis’ shipyard at Pointhouse. With more than 3,000 objects on display, from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams, velocipedes to voiturettes, this museum records Glasgow’s important maritime history. The Tall Ship, the Glenlee, a 19th-century sailing ship, is moored on the adjacent quayside, and proved to be a popular backdrop for souvenir pics.

Celebrating success
The conference culminated in an awards ceremony for the Sir Donald Gosling Award, which showcased the work of young authors highlighting the exceptional talent amongst aspiring young engineers and innovators.

Delegates attend INEC conference in TIC
We were delighted to play our part in such a prestigious event, welcoming a new audience to the TIC and the University, as well as working hand in hand with Professional Conference Organisers, FIGS Events. It was a pleasure to welcome a conference which recognised the importance of encouraging the younger generation to consider a career in this sector – something the University is very keen to support. We hope to welcome you all back soon!

If you would like to find out more about our conferencing facilities, email Conference Glasgow or call 0141 553 4148.