Fugro receives the world’s first professional certificate to operate unmanned surface vessels

Fugro personnel from its Middle East office have completed the world’s first Maritime Autonomous Surface Systems (MASS) professional certified training delivered by SeaBot XR at their training academy CEbotiX, the National Centre for Operational Excellence in Marine Robotics based in Southampton.

MASS Training

This certification marks a landmark step in the development of a recognised training programme that ensures qualified marine personnel acquire the skills needed to safely and effectively operate MASS.

Fugro and SeaBot XR have been working together since 2019 to develop the skills required by the connected mariner.  This initial training course, designed uniquely for Fugro personnel, adds to the existing skills of their qualified mariners to ensure a safe transition from sea to shore. Focus is placed on critical topics such as mission analysis, situational awareness, cyber security, and resource management.  The training is based on experiential learning, where trainees are provided with an in-depth theoretical knowledge, before taking a staged approach to the command-and-control process.  Candidates are able to apply their newly acquired skills directly to the working environment allowing them to deal with the challenges associated with emerging technologies.

Gordon Meadow, CEO at SeaBot XR, said: “It’s exciting to see this first cohort of MASS professionals complete this phase of training which lays the foundation for MASS operations. This is the start of their journey where trainees will complete additional modules as they advance in the profession. We will continue to roll out the broader MASS certified professional training scheme throughout 2022 and 2023 as the complexities of the vessels and the tasks they complete increases. The training and skills required will continue to evolve to ensure people and technology can coexist in maritime.”

Hannes Swiegers, Fugro Director IRM Services and Remote Operations, said: “Whilst remote and autonomous technology will revolutionise the way we conduct business, the continued success of Fugro rests on the skills of our personnel. By investing in our people and ensuring that long-established industry standards are upheld, Fugro can confidently assure clients and regulators that our high safety and operational standards will remain as we develop our global network of remote operations centres and autonomous vehicles to support the maritime industry for a safe and sustainable world.”

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