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Record breaking attendance for European Simulator User Conference

Paal Aalmaas

The European leg of the Kongsberg Maritime Simulator User Conference 2014 (UC 2014) attracted a record breaking 180 delegates to the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead hotel, September 23-25. Co-hosted by long-standing KONGSBERG simulator customer South Tyneside College (STC), the UC 2014 program featured papers by some of the maritime training community's leading experts, in addition to parallel sessions designed to explore specific areas of maritime, offshore and naval simulation in-depth.

With events in Europe and North America annually and the Far East biennially, Kongsberg Maritime's Simulator User Conferences seeks to explore the technology and application of maritime simulation, through the sharing of experiences and ideas in a public forum. With delegates drawn from the colleges and shipping companies that base their training curriculums on KONGSBERG simulation technology, the conferences foster a uniquely open environment, that contributes significantly to improving training, efficiency and safety for the entire industry.

Delegates at UC 2014 were treated to a diverse range of papers, presented by established maritime training experts. A key topic during the conference was Crew Resource Management (CRM) with the challenges and benefits of whole vessel training using linked simulators (engine room and bridge for instance) being discussed by a number of customers. A presentation by Per Larsen, the Senior Instructor at Maersk Training in Svendborg, Denmark, demonstrated how his organisation uses the advanced K-Sim® Offshore simulator for Integrated Crew Training. Continuing the theme, Mike Wilkinson, a Human Performance consultant followed with a look at Technical/Team Training.

Per Larsen

A total of 14 customer presentations were held throughout the conference, with other topics including a detailed introduction to how K-Sim® Engine is used at STC by John Christie, STC's Senior Marine Engineering Lecturer; Subsea Operation Simulation by Eleanor Lock, Test Manager at Fugro Subsea Services Ltd; and Simulator User Experiences and Pedagogics by Mogens Rasmussen from the Royal Danish Naval Academy. Kongsberg Maritime's simulator experts also took to the stage in the plenary and parallel sessions, detailing new developments in KONGSBERG navigation, engine room, offshore and cargo handling simulators along with more detailed presentations on technical subjects, such as developments in R&D and Database Modelling by simulation Database Product Manager at Kongsberg Maritime, Richard Fenner.

As co-hosts of UC 2014, STC welcomed all 180 delegates to its premises – South Shields Marine School – for a full tour of its simulation and engineering training facilities on 24th September. The co-host tour is a regular feature of Kongsberg Maritime's user conferences, welcomed by delegates as it provides an opportunity to see how other users of KONGSBERG simulators apply them to their training programs.


"Delegates from Europe and as far afield as Canada and Australia made it to UC 2014 in Newcastle," comments Paal Aamaas, Vice President Simulation, Kongsberg Maritime. "The number of delegates and the distance some of them travelled is testament to the quality of the presentations and the organisation of the event, but it also reflects the strength of the community that has grown up between users of our simulation products. The knowledge and expertise at the conference is second to none, making it an important event for not just KONGSBERG customers, but the maritime training sector as a whole."

The next Kongsberg Maritime Simulation User Conference is the Americas leg, which takes place in Houston, Texas, on October, 12-15.