Mar 03 2015


In our classroom we receive several times a month experts from all over the world. Course members like CSI’s, surveyors or experts from shipping lines or insurance companies.

In the beginning, some are a little uncertain, as they don’t know the competence or education level from the others and some can be very sure of themselves, even cocky. Others are waiting to come out of their shell until they get to know their fellow students. Because our course is very interactive, we try to find out the knowledge level of each course member. As they all have different professions, it simulates quite realistic the world we are working in; a shipping line, supercargo, surveyor and sometimes the insurance company – same as in our classroom.

During our course, I try to get more information about the used standards, criteria’s and regulations but most of all, if you calculate something, how do you do this and what is the idea behind it? The more students in our classroom, the more different opinions we have. Even the real professionals among them differ in their opinions. Even within the same company there are different beliefs. We teach them how cases should be handled and how to give them a guideline. We help companies establish their company policies and teach how to perform it and above all, why.

We’ve learned from the courses that a lot of ‘knowledge’ is based on assumptions. The older foxes prefer to use the “Rule of Thumb”, as that is what them is being taught 20 years ago. But sometimes when we let them calculate some case studies, they see that there is no logic behind this rule. That accelerations go in different directions and need to be counteracted, as such is for some of them completely new.

Assumptions how much force a stopper or bracket can hold for each welded cm or inch varies from 500kgs to 5tons. There are even welding companies who say that they can certify that they weld 1 ton per cm, amazing. If you tell them that there are different aspects in how to calculate a stopper, like length, impact height, weld throat thickness, quality of the steel dims of the stopper etc. all effects the calculations, they look very surprised.

Then again, according what criteria are you holding your outcome? DNV, GL, AISC or DIN are some of your options. When we teach them how to use, calculate and defend their findings and it all becomes clearer. No more assumptions, but everything based on physics.

I met people, working for years in the business, telling me that chains are not elastic. Whether it’s tight or not, nothing in between, only wires are elastic. On my question why the elasticity mentioned on the certificate states, 4%, they have no clue.

Someone told them a long time ago “things will be done like this”. It will be more and more difficult over the years to let them see things differently, but we see a small change in all this. People want to learn. They want to be able to defend their choice, not based on some old heritage or ‘wisdoms’ but on numbers, on physics. We welcome all of them to our side of the line.

The world is changing, finally and thankfully.

Are you a game changer too, or do you use your own wisdom?

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