You as a PhD candidate will participate in the 21-partner H2020 project “NOVIMOVE: Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively”. Within the framework of this project, you will be able to work on state of the art methods in a dynamic context with logistics operators, ports, system-developers and research organisations from 4 EU member states.
Inland Waterborne Transport (IWT) advantages as low-energy and low CO2 emitting transport mode are not fully exploited today due to gaps in the logistics system. Inland container vessels pay 6-8 calls at seaport terminals with long waiting times. More time is lost by sub-optimal navigation on rivers and waiting at bridges and locks. In addition, low load factors of containers and vessels impact the logistics systems with unnecessary high numbers of containers being transported and trips being made. NOVIMOVE strategy is to “condense” the logistics system by improving container load factors and by reducing waiting times in seaports, by improved river voyage planning and execution, and by facilitating smooth passages through bridges and locks. Close cooperation with logistic stakeholders, ports and water authorities along the Rhine-Alps route: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Duisburg, Basel is part of this project. NOVIMOVE technology developments will be demonstrated by virtual simulation, scaled model tests and full-scale demonstrations.
In this project, you as a PhD candidate will specifically investigate how to design smart river navigation agents for inland waterway (IW) transport vessels and dynamic scheduling agents for bridges and locks. The smart river navigation agents optimize in real time the voyage plan and speed of the vessels with respect to maximum cargo capacity allowed by the river water depth, fuel consumption and emissions, desired time of arrival at bridges and locks, etc. The optimal voyage plan and speed will be proposed to the vessel captain to decide the voyage plan. The dynamic scheduling agents estimate the traffic density of the selected IW (R-A route) in a distributed manner, and optimize the opening/closing time periods of the IW bridges and locks taking into account among other vessel arrival times, water depth, road traffic through the bridges. The computed opening/closing time periods support the decision-making of the authorities of the bridges and locks.