of Ireland to help complete the Irish National Seabed Survey. An influential ocean technology cluster, called OceansAdvance, has naturally developed from the province's historical and cultural attachment to the sea and Billard draws on this expertise -- the engineers, simulation experts, the ice and harsh weather gurus -- to create a product that pushes the boundary between the real and virtual world. "Although it's built using similar tools as a computer game, a simulator has a focused purpose. This is much more than a computer game," says Billard, who's designing a lifeboat simulator for the Marine Simulation Center in St. John's, and a fast rescue craft simulator for the Canadian Coastguard Auxiliary in Victoria, British Columbia. As a master's student in engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2003, Billard was recruited to work on an offshore safety project headed up by a Memorial engineering professor. The project's mission at that time was to look at evacuation systems, from their performance in extreme conditions, to the training of lifeboat operators who must launch in rough offshore conditions. With a talent for math and physics, Billard was given the job of figuring out the equations of motion for developing realistic simulation models, and very quickly he recognized the practical applications of this work. "It is motivating, knowing that you are creating something that, when used, will have an impact. Having a lifeboat simulator can potentially save lives. What more can you ask for?" Along with rough weather, Newfoundland and Labrador even has its own iceberg alley. Now that can make things The bridge of the full mission ship simulator at the Marine Simulation Center in St. John's. www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 45
You don't have Macromedia Flash Player installed.
This content requires the Macromedia Flash Player.