Mark Stoddard, PhD Candidate

Making Sense of Surface Ship Incident Response in Polar Waters using Network Analysis

Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)

Date: Wednesday 17 October, 2023
Time: 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Venue: In-Person, Online


Navigation in polar waters follows standard navigational practice, with special consideration for the presence of sea ice. Experienced polar ship operators rely on timely access to authoritative sea ice analysis and knowledge of the safe operational limits of their ship to determine the navigability of polar waters. Several sea ice risk assessment frameworks exist to assist ship operators with on board decision making, most notably, the Polar Operational Limits Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS). The result from POLARIS is referred to as the Risk Index Outcome (RIO). By adjusting ship speed in response to the RIO value, it is possible to account for sea ice risk in the estimation of ship transit time in polar waters. In this talk we will discuss the use of network analysis techniques that utilize risk-adjusted ship transit times to determine the fastest route between two locations in the arctic. We use these same methods to compute incident response service areas and response isochrones for different times of year and types of ships. The network analysis results indicate that incident response is heavily influenced by the location of the incident, time of year, and type of ship responding to the incident. Despite these strong influences, the results provide several valuable insights into the spatiotemporal variability of incident response time in polar waters. The use of service areas and isochrones to visualize incident response provides decision makers with a useful tool to possibly help plan and coordinate incident response in polar waters.

Speaker Biography

Mr. Stoddard is in the final stages of completing his PhD in Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University. His current academic research is broadly focused on development and application of geospatial analysis techniques to enhance arctic maritime risk assessment and decision making. His past academic research focused on the development of new operational research moethods for long-term planning and strategic decision making with uncertainty. Mr. Stoddard also works as a defence scientist at Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), where he leads the Operational Analysis and Systems Integration Support (OASIS) group at the DRDC Atlantic Research Centre.

Contact Person:
Prof. Floris Goerlandt

General Enquiry:
Ms. Susan Russell McGrath
Tel: 902.494.3125