Author: Rik van Hemmen

The Big Maritime Thing(s) in 2019

I actually enjoy taking stock of a past year in its last few days. The office tends to be quiet and a few moments of introspection can be interesting. This year I did not have any real innovations or significant developments in mind as far as 2019 milestones are concerned. I wondered if 2019 was… Read more »

Marmaduke Redux

Marmaduke Surfaceblow was a much beloved character in a monthly column in the trade magazine Power Magazine. I very much enjoyed reading the stories. Marmaduke was a fictional character who was a ship’s engineer who became an engineering consultant. Marmaduke traveled the world and solved various power problems. The problems probably were actual technical problems… Read more »

Solar Math Update

I installed roof top solar on my house in July 2017 and wrote a blog about it promising to provide an update in a few months. I did not get to it until now, but after more than two years of operation it is even more fun to revisit the project to see how it… Read more »

Liberty Meats

By a weird coincidence my sister, Annemarie, came across this story that my father,  Henk van Hemmen, wrote on Veteran’s Day in 2004. “Liberty” Meats Looking into the history of warfare and battle ground victories it is a well-known fact that in general terms, the army that is well-fitted out and well-fed will have a tremendous… Read more »

Barbados: The Goldilocks Approach to Sustainability

Mathematically, worldwide sustainable energy is a real possibility, but it will require a very significant change in thinking, attitudes, efforts, and financial commitments to accomplish. All over the world we are encountering experiments, trials, and even significant changes in human attitudes, but, so far, we cannot point at an integrated success story of societal change…. Read more »

Environmental Game Theory, A Story About Endangered Birds

The wreck had spilled some heavy fuel oil and wildlife had been affected. The wreck was on the beach, waves were about 12 feet high and it was unlikely we would get a tow wire out to the tug offshore that day. I had asked a DEP employee to lay out an area of about… Read more »

The Mechanics of a Tank Barge Explosion

If there is a marine explosion, chances are Martin & Ottaway gets a call. An explosion investigation is hard work and requires a huge amount of data collection. It can be an exhausting and often confusing task. Today there are great tools to quickly build a model, but even with the best tools (drones, laser… Read more »

OHMSETT, A Hidden Technical Asset

Maritime is too easily defined as ships passing in the night, and most of our maritime lives we work to make sense of the darkness. Sometimes you know the ship is there, but since it does not appear to be a danger you don’t pay attention. In many ways that is poor form. There is… Read more »

The Jeep Stick; I’ll Take Accidental Perfection Any Day

This will be a longer story, but it tells how random timing, the passage of time, weird coincidences, sticking with what works, and a sense of fun, can result in overall near perfection. The story starts in 1995, and Martin & Ottaway had just moved from New York City to Red Bank. The move to… Read more »

New Carissa 20 years later.

  That’s me in the yellow foul weather gear. Twenty years ago I was standing on this beach. I was working as a Salvage Naval Architect for SMIT, and we had just connected the tow wire to the tug offshore. It was a crazy project that I think of very fondly. Undoubtedly it was the… Read more »