School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Professor Richard Birmingham

Professor of Small Craft Design


Roles and Responsibilities

Professor of Small Craft Design 

President of the RINA (the Royal Institution of naval Architects) 2018 - 2020


PhD: Newcastle 1994
BEng: Newcastle 1991
CEng: 1996


Research Interests

Design methodologies applied in the marine environment
Design of small craft, including working craft (such as tugs and fishing vessels), high speed craft and recreational craft
Ecologically sustainable recreational craft
Design for safety applied in the marine environment
Design and production of traditional working craft in developing economies
Sustainable operation of working craft in developing countries
Stability of marine vehicles

Background: Richard Birmingham was involved in all aspects of the small craft sector of the marine industry, including building, operating, designing, and regulating small craft, before joining the School in 1994.

Postgraduate Supervision

Probabilistic damage stability regulations
Safety of high speed craft
Stabilisation of fishing vessels
Ecologically sustainable recreational craft
Safety of escort towing operations
Optimised surface generation procedures
Build of of traditional working craft in Indonesia
Sustainable operation of tradtional working craft 

Esteem Indicators

President of RINA (the Royal Institution of Naval Architects) from 2018 to 2020

Member of RNLI Technical Advisory Panel (from 2017)

Member of Michigan SNAME Advisory Board (from 2016)

ITS International Cooperation Award 2011 - ITS surabaya, Indonesia 

Bronze medal awarded for paper in Transactions of Royal Institute of Naval Archtecture: 'The Application of Artificial Intelligence to Roll Stabilisation for a Range of Loading and Operating Conditions.' International Journal of Maritime Engineering, 2003, 145(A4).

Member of the Board of the MMO, 2010 - 2013

Member of the Board of Trustees, RINA, 2013 

Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects
National Committee participation:

  • Chairman of the RINA Small Craft Committee
  • Member of the RINA Publications Committee
  • Member of the RINA Executive Committee
  • Member of the RINA Council
International Committees

Member of Technical Committee IV.1 (Design Principles and Criteria) of ISSC (International Ship Structures) 

Member of the International Coordinating Committee of IMDC (International Marine Design Conference)
Member of International Coordinating Committee of PRADS (Practical Design of Ships and Offshore Structures Conference)
Coordinator of International Working Group on Student Friendly Software in Marine Design
Corresponding member of the SNAME Working Group on Stability Criteria for Fishing Vessels

Editor: Internatinal Journal of Small Craft Technology (Part B of Proceedings of Royal Insitution of Naval Architects)

Editorial Board Membership

Indonesian Journal of Marine Technology Research
International Journal of Maritime Engineering

Recent Participation in Conference Organisation

Coordinator: SURV V (2000, RINA, Southampton)
Coordinator: Safety of Small Craft (2001, RINA, London)
Coordinator: Sail Training and Other Commercial Sailing Vessels (2002, RINA, London)
Organising Committee: HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design (2002, Amsterdam)
Coordinator: International Conference on Fishing Vessels, Fishing Technology and Fisheries (2005, RINA, Newcastle)

International Coorinating Committee for IMDC 2018 Helsinki Finland, 2015 Tokyo Japan, 2009 Trondheim Norway

Particiapant in collaborative research programms funded by the EC:
Harder, Safety at Speed, Intellistab, Intermodeship, ERASTAR.


Undergraduate Teaching

  • MAR1012: Naval Architecture
  • MAR2017: Further Naval Architecture
  • MAR3036: Small Craft Design
  • MAR3037: Future Marine Projects

Postgraduate Teaching

  • MAR8064: Research and Commercial Skills
  • MAR8069: advanced Naval Archtiecture
  • MAR8105: Working Craft Design
  • MAR8499: Group Project and Report