Safety of Maritime operation and sustainable industrial development in the Arctic, 2012–2015 (SMIDA)

The SMIDA project was finished in 2015, but some news, info and future publications will be published here. Please go to the SITRA project site to see our current collaboration work on similar issues.

A scientific Norwegian-Russian exchange programme on higher university education. Sponsored by SIU.

Project number: CPRU-2011/10042
Project period:
Funding: 4000 kNOK

Main partner institution in Norway and host institution: The University Centre in Svalbard
Project leader: UNIS Professor Aleksey Marchenko
Project coordinator: Dr. Nataly Marchenko

Main partner institution in Russia: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Project coordinator in Russia: Professor Vladimir Zhmur

We work in close cooperation with the Centre for Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (SAMCoT) at NTNU and SINTEF, Norway.

Short project summary

The aim of the project in to develop the educational and research cooperation between Norwegian and Russian Universities for the increase of basic knowledge required for sustainable development of Arctic offshore and coastal Technology.

The project study is focused on the regions of offshore and coastal development in the Barents and Kara Seas. Main activities within the projects are the teaching and exchange of MSc/PhD students, increase of communications between academic, technical and administrative staff, synchronization of the teaching procedures in Norwegian and Russian Universities and organizing of joint field works in Svalbard and the Russian Arctic.

The project will focus the following research directions:

  1. Physics and mechanics of ice
  2. Physics and mechanics of frozen soils
  3. Hydrodynamics of ice covered waters
  4. Physical environmental actions on Arctic coastal structures
  5. Ice loads on offshore structures/ships and effects on marine operations
  6. Coastal erosion and ice actions on seabed
  7. Instrumentation for advanced field and laboratory measurements
Full project description (PDF)
Cooperation history (PDF)
Students (PDF)
Alumni (PDF)

Latest news

Dmitry Sharapov 18.11.2015


Dmitry Sharapov has successfully defended his PhD thesis. Dmitry had support from the SafeLot project (SMIDA precursor) during his stay at UNIS 2009–2010.
His further research was related to Arctic Technology.
In 2012, Dmitry received support from the European Commission for his research project.

One of Sharapov’s supervisors was coordinator of SafeLot – Emeritus Prof. Dr. Karl Shkhinek (SPBSTU).

 Russian students November 2015 10.11.2015

The team of Russian students has changed slightly. There are two new students, coming especially for AT-332/832 – Anton Butenko (PhD student in the Institute of Space Research, Moscow – far left) and Irina Arkhipova (Polar Academy, St.Petersburg – fourth from right). Olesia Mikhailova takes AT-209, AT-210 (second from right).

Andrii Murdza (MIPT, third from right) studied at UNIS at SMIDA student in last year. Now Andrii makes his Master project in the Frame of SITRA programme – cooperation with industry.

 Lake ice fieldwork, Svalbard 04.11.2015

Autumn investigation of fresh ice on the lake.
Visiting professors Evgeny Karulin (SMTU), Petr Chistyakov and Alexander Sakharov (MSU) help prof. Aleksey Marchenko (UNIS) in tests and teaching.
MSc student Andrii Murda is involved in the experiments.
Students of AT-332/832 course will soon come to take part in the fieldwork as a part of their studies.
Previous years’ students worked in 4 groups performing indentation test in the lab and in-situ; beam test in-situ, fracture toughness test in-situ, uniaxial compression test in the lab, analysis of thin sections of ice in the lab; computer modelling of beam test in Comsol Multiphysics.
Photo: Preparation to the tests on the lake ice.

 People participating in SMIDA workshop 2015 17.09.2015

The final SMIDA workshop was held 17 September 2015 on the base of State Marine Technical University of St.Petersburg. Participants discussed achivements of the SMIDA project during 3 years and future plans. Vice rector of SMTU Kirill Rozhdestvensky opened the workshop and underlined the fruitful cooperation UNIS–SMTU.
The representatives from the partners (Knut Høyland, NTNU; Irina Kondaurova, MIPT, Alexendr Bolshev and Nikolay Belyaev, SPbPU, Alexendr Frumen, SMTU) showed the place of SMIDA in their institutions.
MSc Marina Verbitckaia, Ekaterina Ignatieva, Dmitry Murashkin (former SMIDA students) presented their MSc projects. MSc student Andrii Murdza told about his experiments at UNIS in spring.

Russian students at UNIS autumn 2015  01.09.2015

New students for autumn 2015 have started this semester.
They are nine now. 2 students are from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), 2 students are from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and the largest group from Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University. It is the new name of former St.Petersburg State Politechnical University and they gradually change acronym SPBSPU till SPbPU.

On the photo, bottom left: Ivan Marchenko and Anna Abramova (MSU); The girl in the middle at the top and the student bottom right: Maria Parfenova and Viсtor Nachev (MIPT); All the rest, from left to right: Aleksandr Karelov, Ilia Grabko, Valeriia Efimova, Artem Nesterov and Pavel Kuznetcov (SPbPU).

SMIDA participants at POAC2015 17.06.2015

The SMIDA team took part in the POAC2015 conference.

Anton Agafonov 05.05.2015

Anton Agafonov (master student at Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University, SMIDA external master student at UNIS).
Anton first came to Svalbard in winter 2014, and took bachelor and master courses AT-205, AT-211, AT-301, AT-327, AT-332.

The topic of his master thesis was: Deformation of quay sheet pile wall under the effect of ice and ice-rich soil thermal expansion in conditions of high north.

During this spring, Anton has done some fieldwork in Kapp Amsterdam, Svea and in Longyearbyen harbor. He has also conducted experiments in the UNIS cold lab modelling thermal expansion of frozen soil inside a sheet pile wall.

UNIS supervisor: Professor Aleksey Marchenko.

Read about Anton’s Master project here (PDF).

Daria Ksenofontova 30.04.2015

Daria Ksenofontova (master student at Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University, SMIDA external master student at UNIS).

Daria first arrived on Svalbard in January 2014 and took AT-205 and AT-211 courses. Then, in autumn she took AT-301, AT-327, AT-332. Now she came as external student to work on her master thesis “Thermodynamic consolidation of broken ice and ice ridges”.

The main aim of her master’s thesis was to create a 3D model of ice ridge and analyze the process of consolidation and melting of the ice ridge during its drift along a predetermined path.
UNIS supervisor: Professor Aleksey Marchenko.

Read about Daria’s Master project here (PDF).

Andrii Murdza 25.04.2015

Andrii Murdza is Master student at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and external Master student at UNIS for the SMIDA project.

He took AT-301, AT-327 and AT-332 in autumn 2014; AT-211 and AT-307F in spring 2015. In spring 2015 he also worked on his master project “Investigation of ice strength properties from in-situ experiments and numerical modeling”. During that period he participated in “Svea expedition” and scientific cruise on board the vessel “Bjorkhaug”.

UNIS supervisor: Professor Aleksey Marchenko.

Read about Andrii’s Master project here (PDF).

Participants on AT-211 on scientific cruise with MS Bjørkhaug north of Spitsbergen, April 2015. 20.04.2015

UNIS students and supervisers on the AT-211 course were on a scientific cruise on MS Bjørkhaug (10-17 April). Our traditional research vessel Lance is involved in special project and drifting, frozen into the ice far north of Svalbard. So it was new experience with overfilled cabin, but skillful captain, who could attack and tow icebergs.
They worked on fast ice in an unusual place – Palanderbukta (Wahlenbergfjorden), investigating sea ice properties.
It was the 9th cruise for cruise leader Prof. Aleksey Marchenko. SMIDA professor Petr Chistyakov (MSU) made a personal record, participating in four UNIS expeditions during one year.

Here on the photo is the Russian team (from left): Postdoc Aleksey Shestov, Prof. Petr Chistyakov, MSc student Dmitry Murashkin, Prof. Aleksey Marchenko, students Maria Parfenova, Fedor Alekseev, Andrii Murdza; and Iliya Teslyaruk (sitting).

Ilya Teslyaruk made a video from the cruise, including work, fun, swimming and surviving in a storm. Watch it here.

Fieldwork in Svea, March 2015. 21.03.2015

The Svea expedition has come home safely. Despite of illness ( flu) which alternately striked the team, researchers have done a lot of interesting new experiments. They repeated last year’s experience, worked out a methodology and received valuable results that will be presented at upcoming conferences.

Sebastian Sikora made a video with the help of a quadrocopter. Watch it here.

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