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Safer and more efficient "Ship-to-Ship" operations

Sondre Sanden Tørdal disputerer for ph.d.-graden med avhandlingen “Real-Time Motion Compensation in Ship-to-Ship Load Handling“ tirsdag 19. mars 2019. (Foto: Privat)

In the same manner as the automobile industry, the offshore industry now faces increased demands for autonomous solutions and more robotization in order to meet future needs for efficiency and safety.

Sondre Sanden Tørdal


In his doctoral thesis "Real-Time Motion Compensation in Ship-to-Ship Load Handling" Sondre Sanden Tørdal has been researching a new system for assistance which the crane operators can use when they are loading containers between ships in high wave-conditions off-shore.

Sondre Sanden Tørdal has followed the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science with specialisation in Mechatronics. The PhD-research are financed through the UiA Centre for Research-based Innovation - SFI Offshore Mechatronics.

Summary of the thesis by Sondre Sanden Tørdal:

Safer and more efficient "Ship-to-Ship" operations

So-called "ship-to-ship" load transfers have been carried out around the world in the last decade.

During such operations, offshore cranes are used to transport shipping containers, crew and other goods from one ship to another while both ships are constantly being affected by random and varying wave conditions.

Big risks requires special crew

This type of load transfer usually requires a special crew with a lot of experience and expertise in safety and other dynamic factors.

Of course, such operations have a high risk, and, therefore, it is in the offshore industry's interest to utilise new methods and technology that may assist such operations exactly for reducing the risk and increasing efficiency in the future.

Increased demands for autonomous solutions 

In the same manner as the automobile industry, the offshore industry now faces increased demands for autonomous solutions and more robotization in order to meet future needs for efficiency and safety.

This PhD study is focused on explaining and mathematic modelling of the load transfer process between two ships at sea.

Developing a new assist system

Usage of advanced regulation technology, sensory testing and state estimation of space have been central topics for developing a new assist system for crane operators during "ship-to-ship" operations.

The research has been heavily focused on experimental methods where the Norwegian Motion Laboratory in Grimstad has been used for continuous verification of the newly developed technology.

Because of this, there will be a demonstration in the laboratory as a part of the thesis presentation.

Disputation facts:

The Candidate: Sondre Sanden Tørdal (1988 Porsgrunn). Ba and MA in Mechatronics at the University of Agder.

Before I started my academic career I finished a certificate of completed apprenticeship as a carpenter. I constructed residential buildings and renovated old houses in Telemark, before I started as a student at the University of Agder, where I soon saw Mechatronics as an interesting field.

The trial lecture and the public defense will take place at Room C2 040, Campus Grimstad Tuesday19 March 2019.

Professor Andreas Prinz, UiA will chair the disputation.

Trial lecture at 10:15 a.m.

Public defense at 12:15 p.m.

Given topic for trial lecture

Tittel på avhandling: “Real-Time Motion Compensation in Ship-to-Ship Load Handling“ 

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder. The thesis will also be available at the University Library, and some copies will also be available for loan at the auditorium where the dissertation takes place.


First opponent: Professor Svante Gunnarsson, Linköping University, Sweden

Second opponent: Professor Jan Tommy Gravdahl, NTNU, Norway

Professor Joao Leal, UiA, are appointed as the administrator for the assessment commitee.

Supervisors were Professor Geir Hovland, UiA (main supervisor), Professor Olav Egeland, NTNU and Associate ProfessorIlya Tyapin, UiA supervisors)