Kalea Holkema investigated wave damping possibilities to apply in a slot in a floating structure, such as the Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest offshore construction ship. It landed her the Maritime Talent Award, presented on 6 November at the Maritime Awards Gala in Ahoy Rotterdam.

The Maritime Talent Award is given to recent graduates, PhD students and employees of universities of applied sciences, universities, research institutes and industry. Holkema receives the award in recognition of her high-tech research work, which, according to the jury, is characterised by originality, innovation and practical and commercial feasibility.

This year’s other nominees were:

  • Aldo Hirs Alvarez, who conducted a feasibility study on the use of fuel cells in surface marine vessels.
  • Pedro Rappé, who together with De Boer Marine enables the acquisition of deep maritime insight by enabling the collection, use and sharing of data on board in an accessible way.

Also read: All Maritime Awards nominees revealed

Breakwater for a slot in a floating structure

For Allseas Engineering and TU Delft, Holkema, Msc., investigated how a type of breakwater can be applied in slot in a floating structure such as the ship the Pioneering Spirit. This breakwater prevents strong water jets resulting from straight incoming waves causing damage to structures in the slot.

Winner of the Maritime Talent Award Kalea Holkema (right).
Winner of the Maritime Talent Award Kalea Holkema (right).

Besides damage, the spraying water can also limit the vessel’s deployability. For this reason, it is desirable to prevent this hydrodynamic effect. Plates at different angles and depths have been studied with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It has been shown that a plate, at an angle of 60 degrees to the free water surface, can prevent water jets as a breakwater in the slot.

The distinctive hull shape of the construction vessel Pioneering Spirit enables efficient installation and removal of offshore structures. Similar vessels equipped with such slots are being developed to install wind turbines easily and smoothly. Upgrading these vessels with breakwaters increases their deployability and safety, facilitating safe and smooth installation of wind farms. This contributes significantly to the energy transition and thereby strengthens the Netherlands’ maritime innovation power.

Maritime Awards Gala

Every year during the Maritime Awards Gala, over 900 maritime professionals meet to celebrate the innovative strength of the Dutch maritime sector together with the press, politicians and the nominees for the five maritime awards. In addition to the Maritime Talent Award, the Maritime Achievement Award, Maritime Innovation Award, Maritime Security Award and the Ship of the Year Award are presented. This year, the Gala took place on 6 November at Ahoy Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Also read: Kirsten Odendaal wins Maritime Designer Award 2022