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Taiwan No.1 to world's best: NCKU to expand ship testing tank

President Tsai attends groundbreaking ceremony for ship testing tank that supports national defense

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NCKU faculty member direct President Tsai Ing-wen's attention with a green laser light during a presentation of the testing tank. (NCKU photo)

NCKU faculty member direct President Tsai Ing-wen's attention with a green laser light during a presentation of the testing tank. (NCKU photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the “national-level ship testing tank” on Friday (Feb. 25), an event attended by government officials including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as well as industry leaders.

The tank, which currently measures 165 meters in length, four meters in depth, and eight meters in width, is already Taiwan’s biggest and one of the world’s top five university ship testing tanks. It will be expanded to become 285 meters long, 5.5 meters deep, and eight meters across, making it the second largest of any university tank in the world.

According to NCKU, the university is collaborating with the Naval Shipbuilding Development Center (NSDC) and the CSBC Corporation on the project, named “High-Performance National Vessel Testing Tank.”

At the ceremony, Tsai thanked the NCKU, CSBC, and NSDC for their joint efforts and hoped that ship testing can begin as soon as possible so that the domestic shipbuilding industry can develop more vigorously, creating a more powerful momentum for ship designing.

She said domestic navy shipbuilding is critical to making Taiwan's national defense self-reliant and the key to demonstrating Taiwan's determination to defend itself. She looks forward to the future when the ship testing tank will expedite the design, testing, and modification process, making Taiwan’s shipbuilding industry more competitive.

Taiwan No.1 to world's best: NCKU to expand ship testing tank
President Tsai Ing-wen and NCKU President Su Huey-jen pose for a photo. (NCKU photo)

NCKU President Su Huey-jen (蘇慧貞) said that the university offers comprehensive warship design courses. The university contributes to all aspects of maritime industrial developments, including fishery, merchant ships, warships, submarines, and other sub-fields.

Per Su, around 30% of Taiwan’s naval scientific research personnel are NCKU graduates, and so are over 25% of contract engineers. She said the university’s greatest aspiration is to support Taiwan’s development “quickly and systemically.”

The ceremony was attended by a lineup of dignitaries, including Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chen Wen-cheng (陳文政), and CSBC Chair Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆).

Taiwan No.1 to world's best: NCKU to expand ship testing tank
Guests pose for a group photo at the groundbreaking ceremony. (NCKU photo)

Taiwan No.1 to world's best: NCKU to expand ship testing tank
Guests at the ceremony take a tour of NCKU's facilities. (NCKU photo)

NCKU’s ship testing tank received the ISO 9001 quality certification and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) certification from the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) in 2017, according to the school. It can allow experiments that test ships’ and submarine vessels’ propellers, resistance, and plane motion movements among other factors, making it equal to advanced national laboratories in European countries.

Chen Cheng-hong (陳政宏), associate professor at the Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronic Engineering, noted the importance of expanding the tank during a presentation to the President.

He said that according to the principle of fluid mechanics, the larger the prototype, the more accurate test results are — hence, the bigger the tank, the better. Additionally, as larger prototypes need to go faster during experiments to simulate more accurate real-world effects, extending the tank’s length would help researchers and designers conduct high-speed tests.

Taiwan No.1 to world's best: NCKU to expand ship testing tank
NCKU's ship testing tank. (NCKU photo)