Review of risk-based design for ice-class ships

P. Kujala*, F. Goerlandt, B. Way, D. Smith, Ming Yang, F. Khan, B. Veitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


The growing interest for Arctic and Antarctic shipping activities due to the decreasing ice cover will also increase the risks of accidents on these waters. The design of ships for ice has traditionally been based on the practical experience without a clear link to the physics of the ship-ice interaction. The rules are, however, getting more towards the goal based approach, which require good knowledge of all the various element important for design. Risk based ship design (RBSD) is also widely applied e.g. for the passengers ships. Therefore, the scope of this paper is the review of the knowledge necessary for RBSD for Arctic conditions. The main focus is on ice loads and ship structures. Accident prevention and environmental consequences of oil spills are also discussed, but more briefly. In risk analysis, there is a recent focus on the treatment of uncertainty, or conversely, the strength of knowledge underlying the risk quantification. In light of this, the review is performed with specific focus on the strength of evidence of the different fields of knowledge needed to perform RBSD in ice conditions. The results indicate that the risk based design for Arctic operations is challenging as the ice environment, together with all the possible ship-ice contact scenarios, are complicated to define properly, especially on proper probabilistic terms, The main challenges are still related how to describe the ship-ice interaction parameters such as ship-ice contact characteristics, pressure distributions, and load levels in all the various ice conditions. In addition, the possible environmental consequences of the accidents need further research. Finally, human factors need to be incorporated in risk analysis techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-195
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Structures
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Risk-based ship design
  • Uncertainty
  • Strength of evidence
  • Maritime safety
  • Ice environment
  • Ice load
  • Structural limit states


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