Delegates from around the world will be attending two influential Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) events - Engine As A Weapon International Symposium (EAAW VIII) and the Marine Electrical and Control Systems Safety Conference (MECSS 2019).
Being held for the first time alongside each other at the America Square Conference Centre in London on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 July 2019 they have seen delegates register from as far away as Japan, Singapore and the USA; and, closer to home from Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, as well as the UK. Registration and the full programme are at www.eaaw.org.uk and www.mecss.org.uk.
The themes of the two events – ‘Evolving intelligent platforms for the future battlespace’ for EAAW VIII and ‘Inspiring safer systems at sea’ for MECSS 2019 – are self-explanatory and provide an indication of what will be covered in plenary and technical sessions over the two packed days.
AI in the spotlight
The final session on the first day of the joint event will see a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking place under the chairmanship of Bernard Twomey with panellists including Professor John McDermid OBE FREng, Professor of Software Engineering, University of York and Dr Robert Oates, Head of Product Cyber Security (Civil Aerospace), Rolls-Royce plc.
“Our panel discussion ’Trustworthy AI Systems – is this achievable in the maritime sector?’ will undoubtedly help form opinion amongst the defence, naval and maritime sectors,” explains Bernard Twomey. “Trustworthy AI, about which the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on AI has produced ‘Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI’, has three components, which should be met throughout the system’s entire lifecycle:
- it should be lawful, complying with all applicable laws and regulations;
- it should be ethical, ensuring adherence to ethical principles and values; and
- it should be robust, both from a technical and social perspective.
“Each component is necessary, but not sufficient for the achievement of Trustworthy AI. Ideally, all three work in harmony and overlap in their operation. As we see AI being introduced into the marine sector, what needs to be done to ensure it is ‘Trustworthy AI’?
“One of the biggest issues, and one where I foresee some passionate discussion taking place on 2 July, will be demonstrating compliance with the legal and Classification requirements when we do not have a deterministic system. Ethical principles are understood, but would you run over a pirate ship if you were under attack? Would the AI take the same decision as a human? What too does ‘robust’ mean in a marine context? We are in for a highly stimulating 75-minutes with discussion on the subject undoubtedly continuing on the way to, and at, the Evening Reception at Trinity House.”
Trinity House a highly appropriate venue
“Networking is key to all IMarEST events,” explain EAAW VIII’s Chairman Cdr Ian Hassall RN, T45 Deputy Team Leader and T45 Platform Chief Engineer, Ministry of Defence, UK and MECSS 2019 Chairman, Kevin Daffey, Director Application Engineering and Automation, Naval & Marine at MTU and IMarEST President-Elect. “There could be no more appropriate venue than Trinity House, which is just a few minutes’ walk away from the America Square Conference Centre.
“The Evening Reception will take place in the Courtroom, overlooking the historic Tower of London on the evening of Tuesday 2 July, and offers a special opportunity for all participants to visit this magnificent building. The safety of shipping and the well-being of seafarers have been the prime concerns of Trinity House since being incorporated by Henry VIII on 20 May 1514.
“The building houses a remarkable collection of maritime artefacts that bear testament to the prominent role played by Trinity House in the nation’s maritime history. Within the Quarterdeck hangs the Bell from the Royal Yacht Britannia given to HM the Queen by Trinity House on Trafalgar Day 1953 and given back to the House when the ship was decommissioned.
“We look forward to spending a highly enjoyable time with delegates, soaking up their feedback; and meeting old friends and making new ones drawn from a broad representation from across the commercial and naval arenas, before our technical sessions take pride of place on 3 July. These will cover energy storage; more on artificial intelligence; design/visualisation; the green ship agenda; modelling; and power system integration. Delegates can move freely between the parallel technical sessions on the second day, and then come together for our joint closing plenary session featuring both the Type 45 and a T23 frigate power generation and machinery controls update, as well as closing summaries.”
The joint event, organised by FIGS Events on behalf of the IMarEST, is supported by the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT); Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); and the Royal Netherlands Society of Engineers (KIVI). EAAW VIII has Babcock International Group as its major sponsor and is also supported by UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology (UKNEST) and MECSS 2019 is supported by SAFETY4SEA. Naval Forces is a Media Partner and the Official Publication is The Marine Professional. Full information on both events is at www.eaaw.org.uk and www.mecss.org.uk; the Early Bird deadline has been extended to Monday 10 June due to the considerable interest in this event.