WFSA Professional Program Awards: Ferry Design Competition Winners


Following the WFSA Professional Program Awards, held virtually on May 18, 2022, were awarded to the finalist teams in the WFSA Ferry Design Competition, now in its ninth year.

Dr Roberta Weisbrod, executive director of the WFSA, said the specifications of the design ferry were designed to be more and more difficult from year to year, but the aim for this year – to create a safe and affordable ferry to transit the Brahmaputra River in India, “that the river itself has created the challenges. As WFSA Board Member Captain Nurur Rahman (a ferry veteran now based in Australia) pointed out the river (flowing from the Himalayas to eastern India) has a lot of siltation, varies greatly in depth, width and current with the seasons and the monsoon.

The student teams each gave their video presentations which can be found on the WFSA YouTube playlist for the event. Naval architect John Waterhouse, of Elliott Bay Design Group, led the questions, but members of the student team also answered additional questions.

Captain Rahman, a member of the WFSA board, whose previous positions included director of the Papua New Guinea Shipping Department, is a highly sought-after and well-respected international maritime consultant, and served as a judge in the competition since its creation. He noted the profound importance of the design competition to enhance critical skills as well as human-centered approach. He praised the 12 student teams for completing credible design submissions for the extremely challenging specifications and said he regretted that only four teams were able to receive awards.

In the competition, the ships were to be designed to carry 150 passengers, eight vehicles, as well as bicycles, motorcycles and cargo (including agricultural products) across the Brahmaputra River, which descends from the Himalayas in the east. from India. Savvy readers might find a pattern among the winners; all of the winners were from the Pacific, and three of the four were from Indonesia, sometimes known as the “sea continent”.


The first prize goes to the Surabaya ITS team whose design had multiple positive features. The aluminum vessel, which could be built in Cochin India, has diesel electric motors with a biofuel generator, fuel filtration, with a double sea chest for engine cooling. The vessel named Lashmi (Goddess of Wealth and Good Fortune in Hindi) has side and front ramps for multiple docking processes. As for safety features, the vessel uses sensors for obstacles and navigational issues, urethane foam to maintain buoyancy in the event of a hull. breach, has a good safety and evacuation analysis plan (sea evacuation slide system), covid prevention plan). The report contains a good ROI analysis.

Second prize

WFSA Awards 2nd Place Winner

The second prize goes to the PoliBatam team for their monohull, the MV Shankara (the god Shiva) which also has many assets. The ship uses Azimuth thrusters for maneuverability. Solar panels can meet the ship’s electricity needs. Navigation safety is assisted by a vessel traffic management system working with shore assistance and by LIDAR sensors to avoid obstacles. Loading and unloading is done via side ramps, and the vessel is equipped with a turntable in the vehicle area, to speed up parking. There is a good safety and evacuation analysis and a flexible pandemic design.

Third prizes (there are two)

The UBC team ship is a catamaran with side ramps. Design features include separate spaces for vehicles and passengers, and a good design of the navigation bridge for better visibility. The vessel is fitted with standard sonar for depth changes, with searchlights for night operations. The outboard motor is intriguing. Construction at a local shipyard was considered.

Third prize

WFSA Awards 3rd Place Winner

The Universitas Indonesia team’s MV Triwitono is equipped with an electric propulsion system and uses biodiesel. The vessel has fully enclosed deck spaces for cargo and passengers. Security measures include radar and GPS for the navigation system. The design report contains an in-depth analysis of affordability among its good operational calculations.

During the virtual awards ceremony, around seventy participants from all over the world connected through the virtual platform. In the words of Dr. Weisbrod, “Participants were people interested in ship design and construction and, of course, maritime safety. They deepened their knowledge of marine design and construction and were inspired for future projects.

Graphics of the drawings are attached. For more information, please contact Dr. Roberta Weisbrod at [email protected]

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