The maritime sector is at a crossroads with on the one hand the demand from society for safer and cleaner ships and on the other hand the technological developments regarding sensors, data collection, and data processing. The Maritime Innovation Techniques (MIT) lectorate of the Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz (MIWB) conducts practical research with regard to technological innovations in the ship building and shipping industry.

Within the lectorate, close cooperation is sought with students, companies and other educational and research institutions – always with safety, knowledge and innovation by applying new technologies as a linking pin.

Maritime Safety

In 2015, the lectorate initiated the ‘RAAK-PRO’ project “Maritime Safety”, the objective of which is to research how maritime safety in the North Sea may be enhanced. By conducting research, the project team develops and realises innovative solutions for the prevention of collisions on the busy shipping routes in the North Sea. This research is aimed at the expansion and deepening of the knowledge and skills regarding shipping incidents and the possibilities to avoid these, and is subdivided in three focus area’s:

  1. Technical and nautical, including research of shipping incidents, the relevant laws and regulations, the application of augmented reality and virtual reality for the sake of a safe journey.
  2. Safety aspects of autonomous navigation.
  3. Simulation, such as the research of a fire and evacuation simulation and the development of a simulator which may be used by students to practice the use of a free fall lifeboat.

The knowledge that is developed in this project is collected and the results, which are in fact able to improve safety, are embedded in educationand in the training of both students as well as the professional practice.


Simulation is a spearhead of the MIWB, which operates some state of the art (computer) simulators on the island of Terschelling. These include inter alia bridge simulators and an engine room simulator. This simulation culture is continued with the future development of a new simulator for the loading of a ship, to which the lectorate will also contribute. Furthermore, at this very moment, research is being done into a game that is aimed at learning aspects of ship stability. The research question is whether the use of a game could make the stabilisation education more efficient or effective.

Who Do We Work With?

The Dutch maritime sector contains a number of large companies and a large number of small businesses. That structure results in a great level of cooperation and co-creation; after all, few companies are large enough to deal with everything in-house. The cooperation also stretches to knowledge and educational institutions, including the MIT Lectorate. Besides, there are prolific associations with branch organisations, such as the KVNR (Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Reders, the Royal Dutch Shipowner Association), NMT (Netherlands Maritime Technology), the Association of Dutch Suppliers in the Oil and Gas Industry and Offshore Renewable Industry (previously IRO) and the Water Builders Association (Vereniging van Waterbouwers). In the educational sector, there a good collegial contacts with other Dutch maritime educational institutions, and closer to home, we cooperate with sister lectorates such as Computer Vision, Agile Craftsmanship, Serious Gaming, Data Science and Maritime Law.


NHL Stenden Hogeschool
Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz


The MIT lectorate works on the development of new techniques for maritime professionals on a daily basis, by conducting research with a multidisciplinary team, within the Smart Sustainable Industries focus of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

The Maritime Innovation Techniques is led by lector Herbert Koelman.

Team Members

  • H.J. Koelman MSc Ph.D.

Lectoral Address Mr. Herbert J. Koelman MSc Ph. D.

"It's time again to determine what it's all about."

 3.93 MB (.PDF)