Project IMAGINE is an exciting collaborative research and development project between Southampton Solent University and Rolls-Royce. IMAGINE (Innovation in MArine enGineering dIagnostics aNd fEedback) supports the unmanned and partially autonomous operation of marine vessels.

Rolls-Royce is currently leading research in the field of commercial unmanned/un-crewed/autonomous shipping. Whether this future ship is a new build or retrofit, one of the major requirements and challenges is to keep the ship running.

Aims and objectives

The project aims to identify how the engineering crew of a commercial seagoing vessel currently determine the state of the ship and identify problems, and assess ways this information could instead be communicated to a shore-based location through a synthetic or ‘virtual’ (VR) environment.

In addressing these challenges, IMAGINE aims to investigate and identify the role of digital immersive environments in shore based management of engine room machinery, for purposes including inspection, small interventions, and diagnosis/prognosis.

There are many other challenges and barriers to the future adoption of autonomous systems in the commercial maritime sector, but these remain beyond the scope of this project.

Title of project:

IMAGINE – Innovation in MArine enGineering dIagnostics aNd fEedback

Start/End date:

Sep 16 – July 2018


Solent University/ Rolls-Royce


Solent University, Warsash Maritime Academy, Rolls-Royce.

People involved:

Gordon Meadow  PI, Professor Chris Barlow CI, Eshan Rajabally Project Lead Rolls Royce/CI Dr Tychonas Michailidis RA, Dr Sara Braganca RA, Louis Arrigoni and Emma Broadhurst, John Gouch


Poster, conference