PCiH (Port City Innovation Hub) has recently welcomed Matthew Calveley from the University of Liverpool to the team. With over 10 years of experience in providing material science and engineering advice as well as founding a maritime-focused lab and inspection unit.
We are delighted Matt will now be working to bring together a range of services to support SME’s looking to develop or expand their maritime links.
We caught up with him to ask more about his experience and what he brings to PCiH:
How did you get your start in the maritime industry?
After completing my degree (forensic engineering) about 15 years ago I started my first proper job at a local fabrication unit in Birkenhead, Atlantic Engineering Ltd (AEL), where I carried out marine and industrial based failure investigations. AEL had a long history in maritime and worked with many local and national maritime companies carrying out weld testing for local businesses and propeller shaft repair (by spiral welding). They often had representatives of class societies on site to witness and sign off testing.
After AEL, I briefly joined a company in Sheffield which made nickel alloy components for offshore applications. It was a fantastic opportunity to experience large-scale manufacturing, including the forging and heat treatment of steel that Sheffield is famous for.
In 2010 I joined Brookes Bell, a marine scientific and technical consultancy that was founded in Liverpool over 100 years ago. I worked at Brookes Bell as a surveyor for more than ten years, traveling all over the world to investigate failures and claims related to ships. I also spent two years in their Singapore office and got to travel across Asia visiting some of the large shipyards in China, and conducting ship inspections across Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
When did you become involved in maritime innovation?
Around 2018 I got the opportunity to develop a Wirral based laboratory service with Brookes Bell, which included services for bunker fuel testing, materials failure investigation, and non-destructive testing (NDT). The Lab was set up in Bidston with the aim of serving the global maritime sector (and other industries) with a wide range of inspection services. The Lab was opened in 2020 and is just in the process of introducing brand new, world-first services.
It was during the process of building The Lab I became fascinated in the process of innovation and how businesses, big and small, deal with the complexities of creating and successfully developing new products or services as part of their business-as-usual operations. I also became interested in how to market these services and the difficulties scientific and engineering companies have in communicating their value proposition.
The maritime sector, like many other industries, has both big, societal problems to overcome but also a wealth of opportunities in technology and knowledge to utilise. I wanted to be part of the process of discovery and change. Initiatives such as the Port City Innovation Hub (PCIH) provide a great opportunity for the maritime industry to come together to tackle issues together.
How will you be representing PCIH at the University of Liverpool?
The role of the University of Liverpool within the PCIH is to help link academic study with the wider maritime industry. We have already set up master’s projects to help investigate alternative energy solutions, sustainable operations, digital infrastructure, and testing air quality within the port infrastructure.
I act as a liaison between industry and link them up with the right academics or student resources. This provides an opportunity for academia to see the problems affecting the industry and for local businesses to have sight of the scientific advances that they may be able to utilise.
What opportunities are there still for businesses to get involved?
We are now almost fully subscribed for the masters' projects; however, we are still very keen on working with local maritime companies on short and direct projects. The University can offer student interns, who can work on short work packages. This could be in science, engineering, and technology disciplines or we can utilise support from our school of management to help with marketing and communication. This could be the opportunity to work through a particular problem or opportunity, which could then be developed into a bigger project at a later date.
How do I get in touch and learn more?
You can register your interest on the PCIH website or I’m also happy to be contacted directly via email: email@example.com or LinkedIn. The Innovatory Team I’m part of works across several areas and you can read more about those here: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/environmental-sciences/the-innovatory/