PhD Defense WP4.3 on March 19

PhD Defense: March 19 – Lars Ivar Hatledal – NTNU Aalesund

Lars Ivar Hatledal has for his defense of the PhD degree at NTNU, handed in the following thesis:

“Protocols and Standard for Co-Simulation – For demanding maritime operations”

The opponents of the thesis are:

Associate Professor Tiina Komulainen, OsloMet, Norway
Professor Agris Nikitenko, Riga Technical University, Latvia
Associate Professor Henrique Gaspar, NTNU (Administrator)

The trial lecture took place on March 19, 2021, at 10:15 on the following topic: «Co-simulation toolbox – How to implement co-simulation in an industrial environment».

The actual defense took place on March 19, 2021, at 13:15.

Both the trial lecture and the defense were public.

The main supervisor has been professor Houxiang Zhang at NTNU Aalesund. Co-supervisors have been professor Geir Hovland at the University of Agder and university lektor Arne Styve at NTNU Aalesund.

There is a strong demand for innovation and efficiency within operations, life cycle services, and design of maritime systems. Modern vessels operate increasingly autonomously through strongly interacting sub-systems. These systems are dedicated to a specific, primary objective of the vessel or may be part of the general essential ship operations. The sub-systems exchange data and make coordinated operational decisions, ideally without any user interaction. The task of designing, operating, and integrating life cycle services for such vessels is a complex engineering task that requires an efficient development approach, which must consider the mutual interaction between the inherent multi-disciplinary on-board sub-systems. Digitalization thus has become a key aspect of making the maritime industry more innovative, efficient, and fit for future operations.

However, no one simulation tool is suitable for all purposes and the plethora of modeling tools within different disciplines exists for very good reasons. Issues related to integration of heterogeneous systems and hardware, memory, and CPU utilization makes implementing complex-cyber-physical systems, like vessels, in a monolithic or centralized manner undesirable.

Co-simulation alleviates this issue, allowing different sub-systems to be modeled independently, but simulated together. Co-simulation refers to an enabling technique, where different sub-systems making up a global simulation are being modeled and run in a distributed fashion. Each sub-system is a simulator and is broadly defined as a black box capable of exhibiting behavior, consuming inputs, and producing outputs. A crucial point is that it allows users to simulate models exported from different tools in a unified manner. Compared to more traditional monolithic simulations, co-simulation encourages re-usability, model sharing, and fusion of simulation domains.

Co-simulation can be expanded into the realm of digital twins by feeding sensor data measured from the real world into the models, which in turn closes the loop by providing actionable feedback. A digital twin can be defined as a virtual representation of a physical asset enabled through data and simulators for real-time prediction, optimization, monitoring, controlling, and improved decision making. As the digital twin mimics its physical counterpart, it can be used to estimate a vessels performance before running any tests in the real world. This not only offers flexibility, but also cuts down costs to a great extent. These proxies of the physical world will help companies in the maritime industry in developing enhancements to existing products, operations, and services, and can even help drive business innovation.

This dissertation aims to drive adoption of co-simulation standards and development of use-cases by providing software that makes co-simulation simpler and more intuitive. This includes enabling technology for building standard-conforming models and systems, and subsequent tools for simulating them. The case studies presented show the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

From left to right: Co-Supervisor Arne Styve, main supervisor Houxiang Zhang, Dr. Lars Ivar Hatledal who successfully defended his PhD thesis, and Co-Supervisor and centre director of SFI Offshore Mechatronics Geir Hovland.

Webinar: Presentation about ONNX

We have observed a trend with an increase in use of AI and ML as part of the research in SFI Offshore Mechatronics. A few examples where AI/ML is used is fatigue prediction (WP3), prediction of remaining useful lifetime of fiber ropes (WP5) and machine vision based people tracking (WP3). 

Interoperability and standardization of AI/ML is crucial for industrial adoption and to efficiently bring inference models from the lab and into realistic industrial environments.  

ONNX is an example of a standardization efforts with extensive industry support. Beckhoff is one of the companies with support for ONNX. In our webinar on the 18th of March, Fabian Bause, Product Manager at Beckhoff will tell us more about this. You will find information on how to join the webinar in this page.

PhD Defense at NTNU Aalesund, Feb 3rd

Thiago Gabriel Monteiro will defend his PhD-thesis on February 3rd. The title of his thesis is “A Cross-Modal Integrated Sensor Fusion System for Fatigue and Awareness Assessment in Demanding Marine Operations”

The trial lecture will be held at 10:15 of the given theme:
«What other models and methods than data driven can be used to study mental fatigue in maritime operations? Discuss the advantages, disadvantages and applicability to maritime operation situations, and describe situations for which the various methods are recommended. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these methods in linking mental fatigue to operator and system performance, and discuss the challenges with internal and external validity of the methods presented».

The public defense will be held at 13:15.

Both the trial lecture and the defense are open for all that are interested. Due to the pandemic situation, this will be done online. You can participate through the link below.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 928 2581 9123
Passcode: 000122

Join by SIP

Join by H.323 (US West) (US East) (India Mumbai) (India Hyderabad) (Amsterdam Netherlands) (Germany) (Australia) (Singapore) (Brazil) (Canada) (Japan)
Meeting ID: 928 2581 9123
Passcode: 000122

Join by Skype for Business

Webinar: Introduction to the Julia programming language

The topic of our webinar on February 18th (13.45-14.15 CET) is the Julia programming language. The webinar will be presented by Mattias Fällt which is about to finish his Phd degree at the department of automatic control, Lund university. The Julia programming language has in recent years gained a lot of traction and popularity for scientific computing but also industrial applications. Not to be covered in this webinar, but it is worth mentioning that the Julia community is very active in the area of Scientific Machine Learning (SciML). SciML is an active research area concerned with bridging scientific computing (e.g. physical modeling and simulation) with machine learning. Use this link to join.

Webinar: Real-time containers

The topic for our webinar on February 4th (13.45-14.15) is real-time containers. The topic will be presented by Florian Hofer which is in his last year of his phd project at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. His research is related to using (Linux) containers (e.g. Docker) for real-time industrial control applications.

Florian will present some of the motivation for this approach, introduction to important considerations for real-time Linux and containers as well as experimental results. Florian has recently been a visiting researcher in the iCyPhi project co-funded by Siemens, Toyota and Denso. You can find one of his most recent publications here.

Use this link to attend.

WP7 Workshop / Webinar

Work-Package 7 (WP7) organizes a workshop / webinar on Monday. December 7, 10:00 – 11:30.


  • Support schemes for spin-offs and entrepreneurs, and Innovation Norway’s accelerator and Green Platform programs, Ivar-Jo Baunbæk Theien, Senior Advisor, Innovation Norway
  • The European Green Deal andt he impact on applications and support schemes, Isabelle-Louise Aabel, EU Advisor, GCE NODE
  • Digital Innovation Hub Ocean Technology (DIH OT) –Content, status and the way forward, Anne-Grete Ellingsen, Project Manager, NORCE
  • The management of digital business model innovation, Marius Kristiansen, WP7 PhD Candidate, SFI Offshore Mechatronics

Practical information
Free participation for all invited guests
Register within 7 December at 09:00
The event will take place on the Webinar application Zoom.
The meeting will only be made available for pre-registered attendants.

Register here:

See also the PDF file at this link:

Rigid-Body Kinematics, October 8

Rigid-Body Kinematics is the topic of the first presentation in our webinar series. The topic will be presented by professor Olav Egeland from NTNU and SFI Offshore Mechatronics work-package leader (WP2 & WP4). The presentation will be hosted on Microsoft Teams on October 8th, 12.15-12.45 (CET) Use this link to join.

The rotation of a rigid body like a ship, a crane load or a robot gripper can be described with Euler angles, quaternions and rotation matrices. Each of these representations have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. In this seminar the basic results for different representations of rotation will be discussed. This will be further developed for applications like estimation of rotation and translation from IMU data, the computation of the average rotation from multiple camera observations, and the calculation of a rotation from vector observations. MATLAB scripts will be made available.

Docker, Git and Python, November 19th and December 3rd

Working in Mechatronics is increasingly concerned with software. You may have experienced that you may run into problems concerning packages, versions of software an libraries, integrated development environments, tools and more.Christian Auby at University of Agder will give two presentations related to the use of Docker, Git and Python.

  • November 19th, Why use Docker, Git and Python. Use this link to join.
  • December 3rd: How to use Docker, Git and Python. Use this link to join.