As a research officer with the NRC's Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre in St. John's, N.L., Allison Kennedy's research is focused mainly on marine safety and vessel efficiency. Her marine safety-related research began as an engineering graduate student with the centre, where she focused on the evaluation of lifeboats for operations in harsh environments. Her research in that area continued through her term as a research assistant, where she conducted research relating to the evaluation and optimization of different types of life-saving appliances, particularly for use in Arctic type conditions.
In recent years as a research officer, Allison has worked with both private and government-based vessel operators to provide insight toward fuel-efficient operations by analyzing operational data. She is currently managing a number of projects, including one to quantify the effects of cleaning the hull and propeller on fuel efficiency, a project to define the emission and operating profiles of ferries, and a project with a large shipping company to quantify fleet performance and specific key performance indicators within different operational zones and environmental conditions. The results of these projects will provide a baseline to make informed decisions leading to improved operational efficiency. This supports client needs to meet International Maritime Organization regulations on fuel-related emissions and provides insight that leads to reduced fuel expenditures.
Allison was inspired to pursue a career in STEM, and naval architecture in particular, from a young age. She grew up by the ocean and had family members who worked aboard vessels or offshore structures. In her current role at the NRC, she is continuously inspired to determine innovative solutions to support Canadian and international operations, particularly those relating to harsh ocean operations. She is also motivated to disseminate knowledge relating to her research to young women pursuing careers in the field, through mentoring and supervising students.