A pilot study on modelling of the human body loading as a function of ship motion for crew safety in seakeeping
Research Project, 2024

The safety of crew and passengers on board a ship is an elementary aspect of ship operation, especially for fast ships. Seakeeping is the ability of a ship to maintain its motion stability and maneuvering during the operation in different sea conditions. And one of the main concerns in seakeeping is the impact of ship motions (e.g., pitching, rolling, and heaving) on the human body.
To minimize the risk of injury and fatality, most of previous studies have been limited to subjective assessments or statistical analysis of injury and accident data, and only a limited set of human body parameters were considered. More importantly, to the applicants’ best knowledge, no research or database generation (either numerically or experimentally) has been performed regarding the mechanical process of a human body reacting to ship motions. There is also a lack of a detailed finite-element human body model specifically proposed for seakeeping.
The proposed project aims to initialize the development of a human body modeling system for crew in seakeeping. The impact of ship motions on human bodies in hazardous sea conditions will be simulated, specifically for loads on the spine in fast ships. A further aim is to reach a preliminary understanding of how the human body reacts to motion-induced stresses and strains, which can be used to identify injury measures. This study will contribute to understanding the effects of seakeeping on human comfort and safety, regulating an ergonomic working environment and procedure for crew behaviors, and optimizing ship design accordingly. The knowledge can also be used to define measures for injury prevention.
The Swedish marine transport has been boosted in developing fast electric ships because of the use of new hydrofoil technology, which is featured in low energy consumption and fast speed, e.g., Mantaray Hydrofoil Caft AB and Candela Technology AB. But the health and safety for crew members on this type of ship are still unknown. Similar issues are also noticed for military ships, as well as sailing yachts for the Swedish Olympic team. The applicants are engaged in organizing Chalmers Formula Sailing, where knowledge on safety and injury prevention is needed in education.


Mats Svensson (contact)

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Safety

Johan Davidsson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Safety

Johan Iraeus

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Safety

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Huadong Yao

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology


AoA Transport

Funding Chalmers participation during 2024

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


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Basic sciences


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