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 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
– Sustainable Mobility and Logistics’
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
– Transport Law
– Law of the Sea: Special Issues
– International and European River Law
– Transport Insurance Law
– International and
European Biodiversity Law
– Air Law
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.
Transport Insurance Law
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 Biodiversity 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.
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.
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
Since January 2016, Theo Notteboom holds the North Sea Port 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
Evert Lataire graduated in 2004 at Delft University of Technology (Master of Science, Maritime Technology, Ship Hydrodynamics) and obtained his PhD at Ghent University in 2014. He is professor and head of the Maritime Technology Division (Ghent University) and lectures at the Antwerp Maritime Academy. His research focuses mainly on the manoeuvring behaviour of ships in shallow and confined water and is often based upon model tests carried out in the confined water towing tank of Flanders Hydraulics Research (Antwerp, Belgium). He participated since the founding in the new shallow water towing tank, currently under construction in Ostend, Belgium and is co-organiser of all 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.
Peter Troch is professor of coastal engineering and department chair at the Department of Civil Engineering, Ghent University. He is coordinating the design and construction of the new Coastal & Ocean Basin wave tank at Ostend Science Park. He holds a Master (1991) and PhD degree in Civil Engineering from Ghent University. His research is focusing on coastal structures, on ocean wave energy and on eco‐hydraulics. He is co-author of the international EurOtop overtopping manual and associated editor of various journals. He is teaching since more than 20 years specialized courses on coastal structures and integrated water management.
Yves Molenbruch is an Assistant Professor in the department of Business Technology and Operations (BUTO) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He teaches courses on Operations Management and Supply Chain Management. His research focuses on developing optimization algorithms for real-life vehicle routing and scheduling problems in the context of passenger and freight transport. Most of his publications relate to the exploitation of (1) door-to-door services for people with reduced mobility and (2) layered mobility systems in which demand-responsive transport services are integrated into a public transport network. Furthermore, he develops advanced routing algorithms responding to innovative technologies (e.g., autonomous electric shuttles) and stochastic or dynamic problem characteristics.
Supply Chain Management (VUB)
Klaas Willaert graduated as Master in Law (summa cum laude) at Ghent University in 2012 and obtained an Advanced Master in Maritime Science (summa cum laude) in 2013. After finishing his studies, he worked as a research assistant at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of Ghent University and wrote a doctoral thesis on the fight against maritime piracy, which he successfully defended in 2018. The law of the sea is his area of expertise and he has conducted postdoctoral research into the legal aspects of deep sea mining. He holds memberships of the International Association for the Law of the Sea, the Belgian Association of Maritime Law and the Royal Belgian Marine Academy, and is part of the editorial boards of the Journal of International Maritime Law, the Journal for International Trade and Transport Law and the Belgian marine journal De Grote Rede.
Law of the Sea
Jan Lagasse obtained his Masters degree in Law at the Ghent University and later completed his studies at Harvard University (US) and the International Institute for Management Development (CH).
He started his professional carreer as a professor's assistant at the Law Faculty of the Ghent University and in 1987 continued his career in several multinational companies. He worked for The Dow Chemical Company, Koninklijke Hoogovens (now Tata Steel) and Fokker (now GKN) in different functions (General counsel, M&A Manager, Post Merger Integration Officer, CEO) in different countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, UK & USA).
Since 1999 he always assumed the position of Managing Director/CEO and in 2014 he became CEO of Zeeland Seaports, a major Dutch port. He accomplished the merger of the Dutch Zeeland Seaports with the Belgian Port of Ghent in 2018 to create North Sea Port and was co-CEO of the merger port until late 2020. He is now a board member of several companies and associations, an independent consultant to ports in Europe and was appointed by King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands as Honorary Counsel-General of the Netherlands.
Prof. Jan Lagasse is co-lecturer in the MSc in Maritime Science programme, where he teaches the course Contemporary Port Problems with prof. Daan Schalck.
Contemporary Port Problems
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.
Sustainable Mobility and Logistics (VUB)