Nicolas Verkant starts his professional career thanks to the Hydrocontest

Nicolas Verkant, involved in the 2015 edition of the Hydrocontest, explains us his mission within Hydros, in collaboration with ABB.

Set up as an international innovation laboratory, another of the HYDROCONTEST’s declared vocations is to join forces with professionals and to co-develop « Industrial Challenges ».

At the initiative of the Hydros Foundation is the involvement of ABB which is be offering participants the opportunity to carry out a mission on the hydrodynamic optimisation of its Azipod® propulsion system for container ships, ferries and tankers, developed by the company with a view to improve energy efficiency.




Nicolas was selected to take care of this task. He is working at the Hydros Innovation offices to complete this project.



5 questions to Nicolas Verkant :


-       What motivated you in participating to this 2015 Hydrocontest ?


First of all, it was an incredible opportunity to implement the topics I used to study at the university. It is an exciting and very rewarding extracurricular project. I had the chance to join Southampton and a highly motivated team, composed of students from 5 different countries which brought a great diversity of opinions. The environment was quite challenging by the available resources we had (machinery, shipyard from a sponsor, but also professors and researchers ...)



-       What is the ABB Challenge  ?


ABB was partner of the HydroContest 2015 and proposed to the teams whose work had caught its attention, an industrial project in partnership with Hydros Innovation. This is a 6 months R & D mission at the Hydros Innovation design office,  to optimize the form of a propulsion unit (used on passenger transport and / or goods vessels) in order to reduce energy consumption. 



-       Which element was crucial during your recruitment for this project?


The great determination of the Southampton team was the first asset to this selection. Our performance at the 2015 HydroContest was certainly not the best, but the ship has demonstrated a great potential. Furthermore, the reputation of the University of Southampton is in my opinion a pledge of very good quality in the naval field.


-       What kind of missions do you realise for this project today ?


I am working on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic), which is a simulation of the water flow around a ship when in operation. I then change the shape of the propulsion pod and start the simulation on the computer in order to improve performance and energy efficiency.





-       Do you have any tips for the participants of the 2016 edition of the Hydrocontest?


I think Hydrocontest is an incredible adventure, including the spirit that prevails (knowledge sharing, mutual aid, good atmosphere, ...), and this is why I encourage anyone to invest his participation as much as possible. Participating in this contest can also be a chance to create professional opportunities. Good luck for this new edition, give everything because it's worth it!


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