Head of the University of Liverpool’s School of Environmental Sciences, Professor George Wolff, will join British scientists at a ceremony attended by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, for the naming of a new Royal Research Ship – RRS Discovery.
The vessel, based at NERC’S National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, is a state-of-the art platform for world-leading oceanographic research and represents a £75m investment in frontier science by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.
Professor Wolff is the Senior Scientist on the Project, which investigates the remotest and least hospitable parts of the planet, from tropical seas to polar waters.
Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated on NERC’s behalf by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the ship has a comprehensive suite of laboratories, handling systems and sensors to enable research spanning a wide range of ocean issues that impact on society.
At almost 100-metres in length, and with a displacement of 6,075 tonnes, Discovery carries a marine crew of 24 and has accommodation for 28 scientists and technicians.
Professor Wolff said: “This state-of-the-art research vessel will help us investigate a wide range of environmental issues, from earthquakes and underwater landslides, to ocean acidification and the properties of our atmosphere.
“We are excited to be working with world-leading scientists in exploring what we can learn about the future of our delicate global ecosystem.”
Discovery is the latest in a line of vessels bearing the name that dates back to 1602 when the East India Company commissioned the first recorded Discovery to explore the waters now known as the Hudson Strait in the long search for the North-West Passage. In the 20th Century a new Discovery was specially commissioned for the British National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04, that included Antarctic heroes Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton.
The new ship’s immediate predecessor ended a 50-year career in 2012, and was the platform for some of the most important marine science carried out during that period.
Discovery will be official unveiled by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on Thursday, 10 October 2013.