Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) has appointed Mihkel Kõrgesaar as Professor in Naval Architecture at Estonian Maritime Academy Centre for the Blue Economy.

The purpose of the professorship is to lead R&D in the fields of naval architecture and hydrodynamics.

“There will be a real naval architecture R&D innovation hub on Saaremaa, and in cooperation with local companies and the municipality, it will hopefully lead to even greater international recognition for Estonian shipbuilding,” said Roomet Leiger, Director of the Estonian Maritime Academy.

The newly appointed professor considers the job to be full of challenges. One of his main goals is to develop a simulation laboratory in TalTech’s Small Craft Competence Centre (SCC),

“The biggest challenge facing shipbuilding is energy efficiency and related changes in design. New structure solutions require the successful integration and synergy of different fields of research. Utilizing new solutions necessitates their thorough validation through tests and simulations.

The SCC materials laboratory and towing tank are the perfect combination for studying new structure solutions. As an extension, I anticipate a simulation laboratory where virtual testing is conducted. Virtual testing is fast; however, reliable simulations also require experimental validation.”

Professor Kõrgesaar’s research focuses on plastic deformation and ductile fracture of metals. Simply put, he studies possibilities for creating lighter, safer and more energy-efficient hulls. Professor Kõrgesaar successfully defended his doctoral thesis on modelling ductile fracture in ship structures with shell elements at Aalto University in 2015.

Ductile fracture of metals is a current research topic in R&D centres around the world as work potentially results in safer, lighter and thus more energy efficient transportation devices. In 2014, Professor Kõrgesaar’s research was noticed by the field’s leading research group in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who invited Kõrgesaar to be the speaker at their annual seminar, attended by the world’s largest automotive and aircraft manufacturers.