Master of Science in Maritime Science
The programme is built on a methodical framework, consisting of two course types: compulsory courses (39 CP) and optional courses (6 CP). The compulsory courses represent the core of the programme, while the optional courses offer students a way of exploring possible future (career) paths and allow for specialization in a certain aspect of the maritime world. The three pillars are represented in both course types. The courses are supplemented by the submission of a master’s thesis on a maritime or transport oriented topic (15 CP). In this written dissertation, students prove their ability to analyse a specific topic thoroughly and independently. At an oral presentation, students have the opportunity to clarify their research and defend their findings.
The technical-general content of the programme covers the typical technical infrastructure and facilities in ports, the scientific and technical principles that govern ships and contemporary problems ports may encounter.
– Ship Technology
– Port Technology
– Contemporary Port Problems
– Study Trip and Field Trips
– Spatial Analysis of Maritime
and Port Development
– Port Planning
– Port History
The legal content of the programme aims at gaining an in-depth knowledge of the legal aspects of maritime transport.
– Law of the Sea
– Maritime Law
– Maritime Transport Law
– Law of the Sea: Special Issues
– International and European River Law
– Transport Law
– Transport Insurance Law
– International and
European Environmental Law
– Air Law
The economic-logistic content of the study programme intends to familiarize students with the unique economic character of maritime transport, which is
a global phenomenon with very specific dynamics. Therefore it is crucial that students learn about the economic principles that govern and affect port
authorities, shipping companies and transport firms.
– Transport Economics and Policy
– Maritime and Port Economics
– Supply Chain Management
– Urban Mobility and Logistics
– Transport Business Economics
Kristiaan Bernauw is professor of Transport Law (all modes), Insurance and Transport Insurance Law at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University. He graduated from Ghent University Law School in 1981, holds a Master of Laws degree from the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law (Montreal, 1986) and obtained a PhD in law at Ghent University in 1986. Currently, he is director of the Institute of Transport and Insurance Law at the Faculty of Law, Ghent University. He is auxiliary judge at the Ghent Court of Appeals and practices law at the Bar of Dendermonde. Kristiaan Bernauw holds a commercial pilot’s license, is reserve-officer (rank colonel) serving in the Transport Wing of the Belgian Air Force and fulfilled missions as consultant/expert in transport facilitation for international organizations since 1989.
Maritime Tansport Law
Transport Insurance Law
Luuk Boelens holds a PhD in Regional and Urban Planning (1990) and is specialised in post-structural planning, actor-network theories and co-evolutionary economic geographies. Among other items, his research focuses on port-city interfaces and the need to extend those investigations to relational planning within the Eurodelta of the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt. He has worked several years as planning practitioner on behalf of the Dutch Province of South Holland (1984-1990), the Randstad Department of Spatial Planning (1990-1998) and Dutch Railways (1998-2002), during which he had also started his own consultancy firm Urban Unlimited (since 2001). He was appointed as professor and director of the Centre of Spatial Planning and Mobility at Ghent University in 2012.
Spatial Analysis of Maritime and Port Development
An Cliquet is professor of international environmental and biodiversity law at Ghent University (since 2004). She has a Master in Law and an Advanced Master in Port and Maritime Sciences (Ghent University). She became Doctor in Law on the subject of “Nature conservation in the marine and coastal environment, with specific reference to the Belgian marine and coastal environment”. The research of An Cliquet is situated in the field of international, European and national biodiversity law, encompassing both marine and terrestrial biodiversity law. An Cliquet currently teaches courses on international and European environmental and biodiversity law and a specialized course on law and ethics on the conservation of aquatic systems.
International and European Environmental Law
Christian Koninckx holds a master degree in History (ULB/VUB, 1968-1970) and successfully defended his PhD in History in 1975. He worked in several positions at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and became full-time professor in 2000. He was secretary-general of the International Commission of Maritime History (1985-1990) and chairman of the Royal Marine Society of Belgium (1993-2002). After a very busy career, professor Koninckx retired in 2013, but he is still very actively involved in the academic world. His main topic of research concerns maritime history.
Port History (VUB)
Marc De Decker holds a master degree in Law (1984) and a graduate in Maritime Sciences (1993). He became Doctor in Law in 2003 on the subject of “Legal aspects of codification and harmonisation of European international river regimes”. He is working as a lawyer at the Antwerp bar since 1984 and is president of the Belgian Inland Navigation Federation. He is specialised in maritime and river law and published many books and articles on maritime and river navigation and transport insurance. For his monograph on European International River Law (2014) he recently obtained the prestigious triennial award of the François Genicot Foundation.
International and European River Law
Erik Franckx is full-time research professor, president of the Department of International and European Law and vice-dean for Internationalization at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is appointed by Belgium as an expert in maritime boundary delimitation to the International Hydrographic Organization, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an arbitrator under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and a member of the national Commission for the Reform of Private and Public Maritime Law. He served as a consultant to governments, international, supra-national and non-governmental organizations. He is at present legal counsel on behalf of the Netherlands in the Arctic Sunrise Arbitration against the Russian Federation. He has published widely in the area of the law of the sea.
Law of the Sea: Special Issues (VUB)
Mia Wouters works as a counsel at LVP Law. She represents the interest of airlines and regional airports in all aspects of their operations. Mia is director of the European Aviation Club, former chair of the Aviation Law Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA), one of the founding members of the International Aviation Women's Association (IAWA) and serves on the committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). In 2009, Mia was appointed professor at Ghent University, teaching courses in air transport law. She has also been involved in several reports drawn up for the European Commission and has received numerous mentions as a leading aviation expert in Belgium.
Cathy Macharis is professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She teaches courses in supply chain management and sustainable mobility and logistics. She is specialised in the assessment of policy measures and innovative concepts in the field of sustainable logistics and urban mobility. She is head of the research group MOBI (Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology) and the department BUTO (Business Technology and Operations. She is the chairwoman of the Brussels Mobility Commission.
Supply Chain Management (VUB)
Frank Maes is master in Diplomatic Sciences (Ghent University, 1984), Shipping Law (UFSIA, Antwerp, 1986) and Doctor in Law (Ghent University, 1996). He is professor at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University, head of the Department of European, Public and International Law, director of the Maritime Institute and president of the Educational Commission of the MSc in Maritime Science. His research is focused on international environmental law, law of the sea and maritime spatial planning.
Study Trip and Field Trips
Law of the Sea
Since January 2016, Theo Notteboom holds the Port of Ghent Chair at the Maritime Institute of Ghent University. He is council member and former president of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), was president of ITMMA and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Belgian Institute of Transport Organizers (BITO). Theo published extensively on port and maritime economics and management: his work is widely cited and he has received many prestigious awards for his study of ports. He is a rapporteur/expert to leading organizations in the field and has been involved in various academic research programs and consultancy studies on the maritime industry and logistics topics. He is also editor of different academic journals and co-director of PortEconomics, a knowledge dissemination platform on port studies.
Maritime and Port Economics
After his studies at Ghent University, Daan Schalck started his professional career in 1988 in the field of drinking water. Between 1995 and 1999, he was advisor on economics and port related issues to the civic officer in Ghent and from 1999 to 2004, he was member of the Belgian federal parliament, where he specialized in government-owned companies and mobility. In 2004, Daan Schalck moved to the private sector and started working for Ernst & Young. However, the maritime world remained a great interest: in 2007 he became general director of a company in the port of Antwerp and in 2009 he returned to his roots, taking up the function of CEO of the port of Ghent. From January 2018 onwards, following a merger with Zealand Seaports, the name of Port of Ghent was transformed into “North Sea Port”. Daan is also chairman of the Mobility Council of Flanders, providing strategic advice to the Flemish Government.
Contemporary Port Problems
Marc Vantorre graduated as a Master in Applied Sciences (naval architecture) at Ghent University in 1981, where he also obtained PhD degrees in 1986 and 1990. While his research initially (1982-1986) dealt with wave energy conversion, the main focus since 1986 is on hydrodynamics of ships in shallow and restricted navigation areas. From 1994 on he has been teaching at Ghent University in the domain of maritime hydrodynamics and became head of the Maritime Technology Division of the Civil Engineering Department. Marc Vantorre is an active member of PIANC, represents the Towing Tank for Manoeuvres in Shallow Water at the ITTC and is a member of the Marine Advisory Board for the Panama Canal Authorities. He is co-organiser of four editions of the International Conference on Ship Behaviour in Shallow and Confined Water.
Frank Witlox is professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography of Ghent University. He holds a PhD in Urban Planning, a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Sciences. Frank’s research focuses on travel behavior analysis and modeling, travel and land use, sustainable mobility issues, business travel, cross-border mobility, city logistics, global commodity chains, globalization and world city-formation, polycentric urban development and locational analysis of corporations. Frank Witlox is the current chairman of BIVEC-GIBET and the Belgium Institute of Transport Organizers (BITO-IBOT). As of January 1, 2016 he is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Transport Geography, a leading interdisciplinary journal focusing on the geographical dimensions of transport, travel and mobility.
Transport Economics and Policy
Urban Mobility and Logistics
Patrick De Baets is professor of Machine Elements and Tribology at Ghent University and is heading Soete Laboratory (Ghent University), specialized in mechanical design, fracture mechanics and tribology. His research focuses on the friction and wear of advanced materials (polymers, ceramics and composites) in highly demanding mechanical applications. Since more than 20 years he is teaching specialized courses on Machine Design, Machine Elements and Tribology to Mechanical Engineering students. Besides that he has gained 15 years of experience in teaching general courses on Mechanical Engineering to non-technical audiences, such as e.g. business engineering students.