Replacement of the existing R.R.S. Discovery (D3) for the natural environment research council (NERC), UK

In 2008 whilst working as Technical Director for Keel Marine Limited Dr. Read was appointed deputy technical advisor to the NERC for the Replacement of Royal Research Ship Discovery.

This project was run on similar lines to the R.R.S. JAMES COOK project. The initial project stage involved the preparation of the Statement of Requirements and in this Dr Read had an active and important role assisting and supporting the Robin Williams in writing and developing the SOR for the NERC. This included much investigative work on bubble sweep‐down issues first experienced on RRS James Cook and how to mitigate them on Discovery. He further assisted in preparation of the shipyard pre‐qualification documentation and helped in advising on shipyard returns for shortlisting.

The second stage of the project involved Dr Read in the preparation of the tender documents for the chosen shipyards and the development of the technical marking scheme which was developed based on each section of the SOR. During the tender period Dr Read then assisted with the answers to bidder’s questions and participated in the bidder’s conference. On receipt of tenders, Dr Read was part of the team who reviewed and scored the tenders for their technical content, providing commentary on any non‐compliance with the SOR and highlighting any technical deficiencies.

After shipyard selection, Dr Read participated in final contract negotiations attending the shipyard with the project team, helping with advice on technical issues related to the negotiations.

On start of the submission of plans from the ship designer Dr Read participated as a member of the plan review team, reviewing and commenting on a range of calculations, designs and drawings and assisting the Technical Advisor in his overview of all the plans. Ensuring the builder’s proposals conformed to the requirements of the shipbuilding contract, the SOR and the relevant regulatory bodies/authorities. Ensuring they were in accordance with good engineering and current good shipbuilding practices and that all relevant requirements of NERC were incorporated in the plans. During this design phase Dr Read also attended model testing, preparing a report on the results and highlighting any necessary improvements.

From start of construction in the shipyard in Spain Dr Read attended the yard on a regular basis as part of the construction supervision team, inspecting steel and aluminium construction, outfitting, machinery, winches and over‐side handling equipment installation. Ensuring that all work was carried out in accordance with the contract and with the construction drawings. Additionally, liaising with the other members of the team dealing with specialist aspects of the construction such as electrical engineering, ventilation and winches and over‐side handling and liaising with the classification and flag state surveyors during their inspections.

On a monthly basis Dr Read drafted a construction progress report outlining the general status and progress of construction and highlighting any particular concerns associated with the build, including photographs showing progress and detailing surveys and tests carried out during the previous month. He also reported directly to the project manager on estimated weight of steel erected and percentage figures for construction progress.

In his role he additionally provided support to the project team for project progress meetings and government audit body presentations and he was in daily consultation with the lead Technical Advisor providing technical advice on all aspects of design and shipbuilding practices.

This shipbuilding project, very close to £68m (2010 prices) in value, was delivered by the shipyard, Construcciones Navales P. Freire, S.A. of Vigo, Spain, to NERC in July 2013, on time and price, with extras to contract only 0.35%, a relatively small value for such a complex project.