Save the date!

Dissertation upcoming, finally. It’s been a long journey. Back in 2013 I presented my licentiate thesis – a Swedish half-way-to-PhD-thesis, one can say. Two 6-month parental leaves (explained by a Briton) and three years later I’m finally almost finished…

On the 8th of April I will be defending my PhD thesis with the tentative name “In search of maritime energy management”. Professor Lars J Nilsson from Lund University will be the faculty opponent. The committee will consist of Professor Kevin Cullinane of Gothenburg University, Professor Jenny Palm of Linköping University, and Professor Aykut Ölcer of World Maritime University. As deputy member, Associate Professor Henrikke Baumann of Chalmers University of Technology.

Proper invitations will be sent out later.

The thesis will be available in print early March. I am about to finish writing the introductory kappa. The following papers will be appended to it:

  1.  Johnson, H., Andersson, K., 2014. Barriers to energy efficiency in shipping. WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs.
  2. Johnson, H., Johansson, M., Andersson, K., 2014. Barriers to improving energy efficiency in short sea shipping: an action research case study. Journal of Cleaner Production 66, 317-327.
  3. Johnson, H., Styhre, L., 2015. Increased energy efficiency in short sea shipping through decreased time in port. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 71, 167-178.
  4. Johnson, H., Johansson, M., Andersson, K., Södahl, B., 2013. Will the ship energy efficiency management plan reduce CO2 emissions? A comparison with ISO 50001 and the ISM code. Maritime Policy & Management 40, 177-190.
  5. Poulsen, R.T., Johnson, H., 2016. The logic of business vs. the logic of energy management practice: understanding the choices and effects of energy consumption monitoring systems in shipping companies. Journal of Cleaner Production 112, 3785-3797.

Though I still have material for more papers to write based on this project, I am very much looking forward to the next one. I’ve just finished the paperwork to transfer the funds that I received last year to Gothenburg University, to enable a three-year post doc at the Gothenburg Research Institute. If all goes well, I’ll also be able to stay as visiting researcher for an extended period at the University of Tokyo to conduct field research on shipping and innovation in Japan.


Presentation @ Seminar about Vessel Performance Management & IT challenges

Having been invited by Niels Gorm Rytter of Aalborg University for a one-day seminar on vessel performance management, I made a presentation on my research on this topic.

Niels presented his research project on vessel performance management carried out in collaboration with Torm, Lauritzen, VPS Solutions and FORCE Technology. Marie Lützen, Lars Mikkelsen and Signe Jensen gave a presentation of their similar project, like Niels’ financed by Blue Innoship.

Also presenting were my colleagues Martin Viktorelius, who is working on an ethnography of energy efficiency onboard ferry vessels, and Josefin Borg, who is researching sustainability collaboration in the Swedish shipping industry.

New paper on energy consumption monitoring systems in shipping companies

A new paper by Dr. René Taudal Poulsen of Copenhagen Business School and me was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Cleaner Production. We use the extensive field material gathered by René to show how the requirements and the logic of best energy management practice – in particular energy consumption monitoring – may clash with common business practices in shipping companies, such as outsourcing and short term vessel charters.

Email me for a copy if you don’t have science direct access!

Taudal Poulsen, R. and Johnson, H. (2015) The logic of business vs. the logic of energy management practice: understanding the choices and effects of energy consumption monitoring systems in shipping companies. Journal of Cleaner Production. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.032.

Abstract as follows:

A major part of the world fleet of more than 47,000 merchant ships operates under conditions that hamper energy efficiency and efforts to cut CO2 emissions. Valid and reliable data sets on ships’ energy consumption are often missing in shipping markets and within shipping organizations, leading to the non-implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Policy makers are aiming to remedy this, e.g., through the EU Monitoring, Verification and Reporting scheme. In this paper, current practices for energy performance monitoring in ship operations are explored based on interviews with 55 professionals in 34 shipping organizations in Denmark. Best practices, which require several years to implement, are identified, as are common challenges in implementing such practices—related to data collection, incentives for data misreporting, data analysis problems, as well as feedback and communication problems between ship and shore. This study shows how the logic of good energy performance monitoring practices conflict with common business practices in shipping companies – e.g., through short-term vessel charters and temporary ship organizations – which in turn can explain the slow adoption of energy efficiency measures in the industry. This study demonstrates a role for policy makers or other third parties in mandating or standardizing good energy consumption monitoring practices beyond the present requirements.

Picture above from consumption measurements meticulously done by a captain on a vessel that was part of my previous projects, in order to produce speed-consumption curves.

Received 3-year research grant to continue energy efficiency research

I was recently awarded a large grant from the Swedish Energy Agency and their research programme “Strategic energy systems research” (In Swedish: Strategisk energisystemforskning). I will be the project leader/principal investigator of a three year study of energy efficiency in ship procurement, starting after my dissertation in February 2016. The plan is that I will be partly based at the Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI), School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University.

The Swedish Energy Agency has also funded my PhD project, with professor Karin Andersson as project leader. It was great to know that I am able to compete for funding on my own. The programme – which has a social science focus and is directed towards all the Energy Agency’s areas of interests – received more than 80 submissions this year and I think 10 were granted funding.

More info will come. Picture above from their project database where my project just showed up.

Presentation @ SENIX conference, Stockholm

On the 26nd of May, I presented a paper now in peer-review, written by René Taudal Poulsen and myself, on energy consumption monitoring in shipping companies. The paper is based on the large field study performed by René in the Danish shipping sector. The SENIX conference gathered international researchers to discuss issues around the role of social sciences in a low-cargon energy mix.

Picture above from a presentation by Gilles Lequeux, European Commission, Directorate – General for Research & Innovation on including social science and humanities in European energy research.

[EDIT 2015-08-30: Paper now available here.]