Human Performance Benefits Arising from the use of the Nauti-Craft Suspension System

Location: Dunsborough, WA

Interstate applications are accepted with the potential to work remotely in consultation with the Business Development manager. 

Duration:  5 months

Start Date: ASAP

Keywords: Human Performance, Human factors, Body Vibration, Multidisciplinary, Data Analytics

Please Note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply for this project. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

Project Background

The impact of whole of body vibration on high speed vessel operators has been identified as generating a significant occupational health and safety risk. These risks range from short term injury through long term spinal damage and operator fatigue.

Nauti-Craft has created a unique vessel suspension system specifically designed to reduce these risks by reducing the magnitude of the vessel impacts.  Studies conducted by Nauti-Craft personnel using relatively simple measurement techniques and equipment have identified that impacts can be reduced by greater than 75%. These measurements have however focused on the transmission of forces through the mechanical components of the vessel and have not focused on the human performance benefits.

Further to this, a brief review of data and techniques associated with measuring operator fatigue arising from high speed vessel transit has identified no clear quantitative measurement technique. Given that special forces personnel regard vessel transit as qualitatively the most fatiguing element of operational deployment, Nauti-Craft would like to be able to provide demonstrable evidence of the benefits associated with its unique suspension system.

Nauti-Craft is seeking an experienced researcher capable of developing, conducting and reporting on the human performance benefits available to high speed craft operators when using a Nauti-Craft equipped vessel. The primary reason behind the work is to provide compelling, independently generated and credible data demonstrating that the Nauti-Craft system is the best performing technology for managing whole of body vibration risk in high speed craft.

Given that Nauti-Craft’s workforce are predominantly engineers, the requisite expertise is likely to come from someone with human factors qualifications and experience. Nauti-Craft can provide mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and control systems support around instrumentation however are lacking in the ability to translate these measurements into valuable human factors data.

Research to be Conducted

Nauti-Craft would like to focus on three key outcomes:

  • Quantify the benefits to operator fatigue associated with a reduction in whole of body vibration. There don’t appear to be any solid metrics associated with fatigue, so this could be a significant study and is the primary focus.
  • Quantify the benefits to operator occupational health associated with a reduction in whole of body vibration. This can be associated with the current ISO 2631-5 standard for Whole of Body Vibration but needs credible independent assessment through a qualified researcher.
  • Quantify the benefits to operator safety (injury risk reduction) associated with a reduction in shock loading transmitted to the operators.

It should be noted that all competitive technologies in this space utilise suspension seating which does not provide any assistance to standing or prone personnel. The Nauti-Craft system offers the same benefits regardless of whether operators are seated, standing or prone and these benefits need to be quantified in the study.

Skills Required

For this project, we are looking for PhD students with:

  • Experience, background and knowledge in:
    • Human factors
    • Human performance
    • Whole of body vibration (desirable)
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team
  • Strong writing skills to deliver technical and non-technical reports

Expected Outcomes

The deliverables are likely to be reports, or a singular report, to be used for marketing purposes. The target market is the military sector, however there are also numerous commercial applications.

The end results are likely to stand alone.

There is a very strong chance that the intern and mentor could generate published papers on the outcomes of the work to further the marketing reach desired by the industry partner.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 50% of their time on-site with the industry partner. The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

To participate in the APR.Intern program, all applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a PhD student currently enrolled at an Australian University.
  • PhD candidature must be confirmed.
  • Applicants must have the written approval of their Principal Supervisor to undertake the internship. This approval must be submitted at the time of application.
  • Have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency.
  • Internships are also subject to any requirements stipulated by the student’s and the academic mentor’s university.
Applications close 

22 August 2018

INT – 0380