van Hemmen, Rik

van Hemmen, Rik

Rik van Hemmen is the President of Martin & Ottaway, a marine consulting firm that specializes in the resolution of technical, operational and financial issues in maritime. By training he is an Aerospace and Ocean engineer and has spent the majority of his career in engineering design and forensic engineering.

“Welcome to a Dying Industry (1988)”

Oct 12, 2022

While pundits have long proclaimed the U.S. maritime industry dying or dead, the recent delivery of Great Lakes laker Mark W. Barker suggests an innovative future instead.Jacksonville Shipyard was a well-known repair yard that was particularly…

Looking for a Good Deal? Learn to Take Advantage of Interns

May 09, 2022

For the future of the industry, hire interns, both college and high schoolers. And pay them: none of that silly privileged unpaid intern crap that occurs in non-maritime industries.I generally wait until I receive the printed issue to read Maritime Reporter and Engineering News…

Eye on Maritime Design: Can Wind Propulsion Work by Keeping it Simple?

Mar 22, 2022

While it is starting to look like some clever wind/power sail technologies are starting to appear, too often I have looked at the cargo cranes of geared bulkers and wondered if it makes sense to rig some sort of sail on them.I think the fancier approaches fight the “build a little…

Let’s Get One More National Multi Mission Vessel, but Let’s Add Some Grit

Feb 14, 2022

The new maritime academy school ships being built at Philly Shipyard (officially designated as National Security Multi-Mission Vessels) are an exciting development and provide a significant boost to our national maritime educational system.…

Eye on Design: Repair and Conversion Conundrums in Hybrid Propulsion

Jan 11, 2022

I recently built a 35 foot Solar Hybrid Electric Wheelchair Accessible Catamaran for my wife who became wheelchair bound a few years ago. (In typing this sentence, I just realized that this vessel can be referred to as a SHEWAC)It is only a 35 foot recreational vessel…

Eye on Design: The Truth Behind Great Ships

Dec 23, 2021

Last year I provided a list of my favorite historical ships as my contribution to the Great Ships issue. Even though I received some pushback on the list, I see no need to amend it.I created that list to avoid having to judge today’s Great Ships…

Eye on Design: Where Are the Transportation Macro Designers?

Dec 06, 2021

As naval architects and marine engineers we are familiar with the design spiral. While design is not truly a spiral, we use the concept to remind ourselves that all pieces of a ship design interact. The design spiral is not a standard figure and can be simplistic or overcomplicated…

Engineering Ethics, Seaworthiness and the Right of Clients to Kill Themselves

Nov 12, 2020

I had only been working as a graduate engineer for a few years and was minding my own business working for a yacht designer when my boss asked me to get in touch with a person who was looking for engineering analysis. I called the number and arranged for the person to meet me at the office…

Insights: Contracts are Overrated in Maritime

Apr 23, 2020

My company has been around since 1875, and today we actually still do things that were being done in 1875. We still get calls from underwriters to attend on disasters all over the place, and we are still asked to provide values on ships on a moment’s notice…

Ship Design & The Inevitability of Change

Oct 24, 2019

At one time the most powerful lighthouse in the United States was Twin Lights in Highlands New Jersey. Today it is a wonderful little museum and right now it has a very interesting show of paintings by Maarten Platje on the War of 1812. One…

STEM is so 'Yesterday’s News'

Aug 21, 2019

Recently I was attending the United Nations Science Technology and Innovation conference (STI Forum). While I attended to present on Wave Energy Conversion, the main subject at the conference was STEM education and STEM gender inequality. Almost…

Will High-Speed Container Transport Ever Work?

Jul 11, 2019

Every few years I am handed a high-speed container transport proposal. Generally it consists of some type of high speed vessel design that would be able to move containers at high speed and thereby attract a new market by taking a chunk out of the air cargo market and the premium ocean market…

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New Monopile and Tower Fabrication Facility to Open in Maryland

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