Croatian Talent Creates Boat Prototype, Crushes Competition in Switzerland

Lauren Simmonds

As Morski/Jurica Gaspar writes on the 15th of September, 2019, a positive story from Croatia was proverbially penned recently by a talented Croatian team from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture in Split.

Five years ago, the Hydros Foundation launched an invitation to students around the world, inviting them to participate in an international environmental competition, aimed at creating the vessel of the future. The Croatian FESB Hydro team is now back from the international competition held between the 2nd of September and the 8th of September, 2019 in the Swiss city of Yverdon-les-Bains. Despite very strong competition from 10 university teams from 6 countries, the Croatian team achieved some remarkable results.

”Since 90 percent of the world’s traded goods are shipped by sea, maritime transport is a major economic and environmental challenge. The quantity of goods has quadrupled since the 1970s, as shipping by sea is the cheapest means of transporting large quantities over long distances and connecting the continents.

Based on the distance travelled, the ship produces 58 times less CO2 per tonne travelled than an aircraft does. Considering this scale, shipping by sea is classified as the fifth largest source of atmospheric pollution in the world – but it can be made more efficient. Each individual percentage of fuel saved by the world’s fleet represents an annual drop of 42 million tonnes of CO2 into the environment. The potential is huge,” says the Hydrocontest-X project manager, Matej Dević, who explained the purpose of the competition recently held in Switzerland.

”The principle is simple: to sail as fast as possible, for as long as possible, all while consuming as little energy as possible.

Equipped with the same electric motor, the teams have a year to use their imaginations and come up with some innovative solutions on how to design the best prototypes possible. The only limitations are: mandatory maximum dimensions (2.5m x 2.5m x 2m) and battery power (7Ah).

The teams compete against each other in two categories that have been developed to align with industrial applications (but in reduced dimensions). These categories are:

Mass transport (container ships, tankers, bulk cargo) with a ballast of 200 kg. Light transport (pleasure boat, express boats for people etc.) with a load of 20 kg. The cargo is of standard dimensions, with a hollow rectangular section measuring 500 mm x 120 mm x 100 mm, and weighing 10 kg. In the transport of heavy cargo, it’s necessary to transport 20 such cargoes and for the light category, 2 cargoes,” explained Dević.

The Croatian team from FESB in Split have every right to be extremely proud of their excellent results. If, after college, they don’t leave Croatia in search of work elsewhere, we can freely consider them as minds for the future of modern Croatian shipbuilding. Here are the more than impressive results of their efforts:

A place in the heavyweight category

A place in the lightweight category

A place in the category of heavyweight efficiency

A place in the place in the category of lightweight efficiency

”The boat we designed was designed solely for the heavyweight category, we entered the lightweight category purely for a laugh. Its dimensions are 3.55 m in length, 0.61 m in width, 0.45 m in height,” explained the Croatian team.

From the very beginning, the Croatian team acted as a team of students of shipbuilding only, however, there was a need for developers, and subsequently two computer science students from Split’s FESB joined the project. Ultimately, the team consisted of 12 shipbuilding students (with mostly 3 years of undergraduate study) and 2 computer science students (both with 2 years of undergraduate studies in computer science).

The team of Croatian students who participated in the project are as follows: Ante Buble, Duje Fržop, Luka Galić, Filip Raič, Milivoj Papec, Jure Bebic, Ines Tokić, Ela Kalinić, Karlo Vučić, Jure Penga, Mateo Sikirica, Jana Vojnović, Ana Puljić and Matej Dević. All of them worked under the mentorship of professors from the FESB Department of Naval Architecture.

”All of the professors assisted us in designing the project. Their advice greatly helped us in designing and building the boats for this competition. Professors: Dario Ban, Branko Blagojević, Josip Bašić, Boris Ljubenkov and Martina Andrun,” Matej Dević noted..

”As far as finances were concerned, FESB covered the cost of accommodation during the competition for all students. At the tender of the University of Split in the second month, we reported the cost of materials needed for the project, however, out of the reported 35,000 kuna, we received only 13,000 kuna which, unfortunately, wasn’t sufficient for the procurement of the materials and the construction of the ship, so we had to manage through other means through various sponsorships and donations. At the competition of the Student Union of the University of Split, we applied for travel expenses in the amount of 30,000 kuna, but we received 20,000 kuna. In the end, we were able to fund our participation in this competition.

Of course, it’s necessary to emphasise the importance of our numerous sponsors and donors without whom this project would simply not have been possible. If it weren’t for those good people who are willing to help us out as students, this project would have been difficult to complete,” stated Dević.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.


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