Research at HZS


The training in Nautical Sciences at our Academy leads to an academic bachelor and master. For this purpose we must obtain the same accreditation as the universities. To make this possible, we had to ‘academise’ this training programme. This means, among others, that at the Academy scientific research must be organised.
To obtain the necessary support in this process of ‘academisation’, the Academy is part of AUHA (Association of University & Colleges Antwerp).


As from 2003, the Antwerp University made means available from its own research fund (BOF) to support scientific research at the colleges of the association. This way dozens of projects could be realised.

So far 7 BOF projects have been successfully completed at the Academy and 2 are still going on.


The seven completed BOF projects are:

  • A simulation model for the run-up procedure in the port of Antwerp
  • Feasibility and efficiency of ultrasonic underwater communication
  • Toxic vapours at which seafarers are exposed on board of tankers during normal operations
  • Efficiency of an OFDM modulation system for acoustic underwater communication
  • Physical disturbance of tide areas by waves produced by ships in the Scheldt estuary
  • Corrosion in ballast tanks on board of merchant vessels
  • The influence of the quality of steel on corrosion in ballast tanks on board of merchant vessels


The new BOF projects (since 2012) are:


Institute for Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders

Another important channel is the IWT (Institute for Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders). IWT facilitates research at colleges with TETRA projects (in cooperation with small and medium sized companies).

The European Commission also is funding a lot of scientific projects. The Academy was partner in a Life-Environment Demonstration Project submitted by Hydrex NV. The LIFE-ECOTEC-STC project started in October 2006 and ended in September 2009.
From October 2009 until September 2012 the Academy was co-partner of an INTERREG IV B North Sea Region project in cooperation with MDK. Title of the project was “BLAST (Bringing Land and Sea Together)”. The overall aim of the project was to improve Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Planning (ICZM&P) in a broad sense, by improving and harmonising the data base and by developing planning and visualisation tools as well as improvement of navigation in fairways and to ports and berthing.

Since the academic year 2007-2008 the professional bachelor degree in Maritime Engineering has started with applied scientific projects (PWO).

  • Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance by means of thermography and vibration analysis (2007-2010)
  • Alternative laminates in PV-panels (2009-2011)
  • Design of a Solar Powered Vessel for the Dutch Open Solar Challenge 2011 and for the Frysian Solar Challenge 2012 (2011-2012)
  • Research on the possibilities of the Mirage drive propulsion system (2009-2010)
  • Optimization of a Solar Powered Vessel for the Dutch Open Solar Challenge 2013 and for the Frysian Solar Challenge 2014 (2013-2014)
    The research team wants to investigate several methods to reduce the weight of the solar powered vessel. Also the team wants to explore if a vessel can be built that, with the minimal power available in the A Class, can sail on foils and still be adequately maneuverable.
  • Research of the effects of biodiesel on a diesel engine (2012-2014)
    Given the imminent lack of fossil fuels, a greener fuel source is desirable, also in the maritime sector. This project wants to assess to what extent biodiesels can attribute to this objective, by comparing their efficiency and combustion products with those of conventional diesels. As a plus, students are taught to deal with these non-conventional fuel sources.



Dr. Marc Vervoort
Co-ordinator Scientific Research
tel. 03-205 64 66


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