Professor Bjørn Egil Asbjørnslett is part of the Marine System Design research group at the Department of Marine Technology at NTNU. Currently he is involved in research related to greenhouse gas emissions from vessels, human factors in ship design, risk taxonomies in maritime transport systems, risk assessment in fleet scheduling, vessel fleet size and mix planning, and studies of vessel accident data for improved maritime risk assessment.
Reduction of CO2 emissions from shipping
In our research we have particularly studied how speed reductions or increased vessel sizes (Economy of Scale) could contribute to reduced CO2 emissions, and have found that both measures would contribute to CO2 emissions at negative abatement costs. Hence, speed reduction based emission reductions are based purely on lower speeds and can in part be performed now, while increasing the size of the vessels in the global vessel fleet might take as long as 25 years, so the reduction in emissions may be achieved gradually as the current fleet is renewed.
Fleet size and mix
A key issue in ship-owner/ship-operator planning is the strategic planning of the size and mix of the fleet of vessels, known generically as fleet size and mix problems (FSMP). FSMPs are dominated by uncertainty in several dimensions, given fluctuating and changing market demands, changing opportunities that may become open for different types and sizes of vessels, redesign of transport networks, as well as upcoming or changing physical or regulatory “bottlenecks”. In our research we have recently started a research project that seeks to establish improved insight, methods and tools to address fleet size and mix issues for questions as: “Given transport demand and network, how may our current fleet be utilised in the best possible and/or emission effective way, and how should our fleet be developed to meet future market and network opportunities, as well as emission regulations?”.
Risk and vulnerability management of maritime transport
In our research we have tried to establish an overview of risks and vulnerabilities of the maritime transport system in performing its transport mission. Further, we research to learn more about robustness measures and sea-margins in route and fleet scheduling, for instance to move from static voyage-margins to dynamic voyage-margins dependent on route and season. In all, this research will provide knowledge about how to plan for and act when disturbances happen, as well as establish knowledge that can be used to plan routes and schedules using better route information, giving better insights into the risk of seeking given opportunities, for instance the risk of taking an additional port call in a route system.
The human element is a crucial part of safety, security and environmental protection within maritime transportation, and is together with its organisational parallel said to be accountable for approximately 80% of maritime transport related accidents. In our research we are conducting a comparative on-board survey of human factor issues on two different offshore supply vessels of different designs. This research seeks to establish a basis for several human factor issues in shipping as being addressed by EU’s seventh Framework Programme for Research.
Vessel accident data
The use of risk analytical approaches as Formal Safety Assessment to improve maritime safety depends on accurate and comprehensive statistical data, in practice based on recorded data of ship accidents. Our research tries to estimate the degree of underreporting of vessel accidents, based on a study that collected and compared casualty data from 2005 to 2009, from IHS Fairplay and a set of flag-states. The considerable scope of underreporting uncovered in the study, indicates that users of statistical vessel accident data should assume a certain degree of underreporting, and adjust their analyses accordingly.
Book chapters accepted for publication:
Asbjørnslett, B.E., H. Lindstad and J.T. Pedersen (TBP 2012). Information technology in maritime logistics management. In Song & Panayides (eds.), Maritime Logistics – Contemporary issues, Emerald Publishing Group Ltd.
Lindstad, H., B.E. Asbjørnslett and J.T. Pedersen (TBP 2012). Green maritime logistics and sustainability. In Song & Panayides (eds.), Maritime Logistics – Contemporary issues, Emerald Publishing Group Ltd.
Peer-reviewed journal articles:
Hassel, M., B.E. Asbjørnslett and L.P. Hole (2011). Underreporting of maritime accidents to vessel accident databases. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43 (2011), pp. 2053-2063.
Berle, Ø and B.E. Asbjørnslett (2011). Failure modes in the maritime transportation system – a functional approach to throughput vulnerability. In Maritime Policy and Management, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (in press).
Lindstad, H., B.E. Asbjørnslett and A.H. Strømman (2011). Reductions in Greenhouse gas emissions and cost by shipping at lower speeds. In Energy Policy Journal, 39 (2011), pp. 3456-3464.
Berle, Ø., B.E. Asbjørnslett and J.B. Rice (2011). Formal Vulnerability Assessment of a Maritime Transportation System. In Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 96 (2011), pp. 696-705.
Asbjørnslett, B.E. and O.T. Mørkve, 2011. Risk acceptance of GHG emission and energy consumption (GEEC) in maritime logistics chains. In Emerging Themes in Supply Chain Risk Management, J.Ross Publishing, Fort Lauderdale.
Asbjørnslett, B.E., 2008. Assessing the Vulnerability of Your Supply Chains and SCM. InSupply Chain Risk: Assessment, Management and Performance Implications. Springer, New York.
Peer reviewed and published conference articles:
Asbjørnslett, B.E., M. Hassel and L.P. Hole, 2010. A comparative study of vessel accident databases from a risk management perspective. In Reliability, Risk and Safety: Theory and applications – Ale, Papazoglu & Zio (eds.), Taylor & Francis Group, London.