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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute


+44 (0)2380 592 316


+44 (0)2380 593 299



Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute
Building 176, Boldrewood Campus
University of Southampton
SO16 7QF
United Kingdom


Research, education, training, technology development, science, engineering, law, business, social science, humanities, arts, medicine and human health, reserchers, facilties, expertise, policy development

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Director of the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute


The SMMI provides an open gateway to the large community of ocean-facing researchers at the University of Southampton tackling major scientific, engineering, and societal challenges across the breadth of the marine and maritime.


Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) is a unique, internationally recognised centre of excellence for research, innovation and education. Our work spans both the natural ocean environment – "Marine" and human use of the sea – "Maritime". We are a community of more than 300 academic scholars from across the University of Southampton, whose interests and research are linked to the marine/maritime realm. By working across the traditional disciplinary divides, we can better address some of today’s global marine & maritime challenges.  Our research endeavours are emcompassed by four overlapping themes:

Trade and Transport

Trade and transport is transforming the safety of ships, the goods they transport, and for crew and passengers too. Our work encompasses technological aspects, working towards safe shipping and ship designs, legal instruments governing shipping management, logistics and supply chain management and the underlying impact of the maritime trade driven economics on the nation states’  welfare. Areas include autonomous underwater vehicles; 3D ship hydrodynamic modelling; anti-fouling coatings; cable system testing; damage and corrosion assessment; design testing; lightweight and high performance marine structures; low carbon and energy efficient shipping; noise and vibration; ship safety; supply chain management; and tribology.

Energy and Resources

Energy and resources is developing ways to utilise the ocean to provide us with new forms of energy, mineral resources, food and even medicine. Our interests range from understanding of the basic sciences influencing the search for energy and seabed resources, the technology for managing and extracting them and the legal instruments for exploiting such resources. Areas include anthropogenic (man-made) noise; cliff and coastal erosion; carbon capture and storage; deep sea mineral resources; energy harvesting; flood modelling and defence; marine ecosystems; oil and gas; offshore energy systems; oil spill research; satellite oceanography; sea levels; seabed management; sediment dynamics; sonar system development; spatial technologies and 3D modelling; and tidal turbines

Climate and Environment

Climate and environment explores the oceans and how our environment is influenced by climate and by man’s activities in the oceans. Our expertise covers the basic sciences exploring the behaviour of the ocean environment and in particular the response to climate change, to the legal instruments defining the use of the maritime and ocean space. Areas include biogeochemical cycles and modelling; climate change; coastal oceanography; data capture and management; geochemistry; Geographic Information Systems; global ocean circulation models; hydrographic surveys; marine ecosystems; ocean modelling and forecasting; underwater acoustics; and waste management.

 Society and Governance

Society and governance focuses on understanding and preserving cultural heritage, and homes and communities around coastlines. Our expertise in this domain includes issues relating to governance and planning in coastal regions owing to climate change patterns, technological innovations to ensure the safety of people, tourism and leisure activities, to the historical evolution of societies in port cities. Areas include heritage management; human factors; information technologies; logistics; maritime archaeology; maritime history; maritime law; maritime sport performance enhancement; port development; risk research and transportation infrastructure.

Co-located with the Lloyd’s Register Global Technical Centre on the University’s Boldrewood campus, SMMI’s facilities include:

3D Chirp - surface-towed sub-bottom profiling system capable of imaging the sea bed in 3D

Computer science facilities - most powerful academic supercomputer in England, world-leading computational fluid dynamics excellence, plus software and hardware capabilities

Experimental fluid mechanics - towing tanks and largest wind tunnel complex within any UK university available for commercial use. New facilities under development include: boundary layer wind tunnel, matched refractive index tunnel, anechoic wind tunnel and the largest academic hydroscience towing tank in the UK

Human factors - motion simulators and human–machine interfaces

Imaging - largest high-energy micro-CT scanner in Europe, world’s first commercial helium microscope, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction

Laboratories - coral reef laboratory, pressure laboratory, research aquaria and mesocosms, plus others

Marine core scanning - home to the UK’s national deep-sea core repository

Ocean chemistry - elemental analysis and stable, organic and radiogenic isotope mass spectrometry facilities

Operational research - logistics optimisation and supply chain management

Research vessels - variety for commercial hire

Reverberation and anechoic chambers - world leading facilities for noise testing

Seafloor controlled source electromagnetic prospecting – seabed mining support

Tribology and materials - high-speed erosion and wear testing

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