My experience of Maritime UK's finalist reception

Hi, my name is Frederik! I recently completed my MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance at Bayes Business School.

In the final term of my master's, I chose to write a dissertation as part of the course and was fortunate enough to be selected for the unique opportunity to represent Bayes Business School in Maritime UK's Maritime Master's programme. I recently attended the Maritime Masters finalist reception to present my research to the senior policy makers and business leaders and would love to share my experience with you.

Frederik at the Maritime UK Masters finalist reception

What is the event?

The Maritime Masters programme is an effort to strengthen links between the UK industry and academia. Student finalists are chosen through internal processes at the various universities participating in the programme and present their research before an expert panel where one is voted the winner. The event is held annually in London and is an excellent opportunity to test your ideas and findings. It also allows you to you network with other students, academics and professionals from the industry.

My research

I presented my research on how the UK short sea shipping risk/return profile could be optimised through the green transition. We were allocated 5 minutes to present, so naturally, it was at a very high level.

I introduced the challenges we face and how alternative fuels are needed to meet climate goals and regulations to decrease emissions to limit global warming. Carbon emissions are a large part of the problem, and investment in innovation is needed to find alternative fuels that do not emit carbon dioxide. Shipping companies are not ordering new ships because uncertainty on future regulations means they may order vessels that may become obsolete before their economic lives end. So, everyone is wondering what the fuel of the future will be.

I explained how Vanadium Redox Flow Battery technology can already be used and is profitable for inland shipping, more so, even than carbon fuel. Yet, it is hardly mentioned in literature. The literature and current discussions seem to favour hydrogen and ammonia as potential solutions. I think both shipping companies and authorities may be missing out on perhaps the best opportunity. Therefore, my dissertation included scenario analyses on the cost/benefits for the business cases of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries, Ammonia and Hydrogen as fuels in short sea shipping and potential social cost savings. I presented my methodology and results in broad strokes, which indicate that investment to modify Vanadium Redox Flow Battery technology for use in short sea shipping has the best cost/benefit ratio, despite modest consideration. Trillions of dollars are needed to decarbonise shipping, so the risk is enormous. I explained the economic implications in simplified terms and in a way the audience could hopefully relate. Finally, I summed up with the main conclusions of my dissertation, including that Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries should not only be part of future investment decisions but also possibly be the larger part.

Several other presentations covered timely and exciting topics, including carbon capture, which I think is absolutely necessary in the race to reach climate goals.

Frederik presenting research at Maritime Master finalist reception

The experience

After my presentation, I was happy to be asked many good questions, which indicated that the research was indeed useful. It was a fantastic experience to be able to contribute my research to this valuable industry and share it with leading experts. It was nice to see my research piqued the audience's interest, and though I didn't win, I think it reached the right audience, which it might not have if it weren't for this event.

Preparing for this event helped get the maximum out of my research, allowing more time to synthesise and reflect on its meaning and significance. It also allowed for feedback from a wider audience, so I encourage this year's students to inquire and try to participate in this most rewarding programme!