PhD Proposal by Raffaele Gradini

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Raffaele Gradini
Advisor: Prof. Mavris

will propose a doctoral thesis entitled,

Ship and Naval Technology Trades-Offs for Science and Technology Investment Purposes


Monday, December 14 at 2 p.m.

Long-term naval planning has always been a challenge, but in recent years the difficulty has increased. The degradation of the security environment is leading toward a more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, heavily affecting the quality of predictions needed in long-term defense technology investments. This work tackles the problem from the perspective of the maritime domain, with a new approach stemming from the state of the art in the defense investment field. Moving away from classic methodologies that rely on well-defined assumptions, it is possible to find investment processes that are broad enough, yet concrete, to support decision making in naval technology trades for science and technology purposes. In fulfilling this objective, this work is divided in two main areas: identifying technological gaps in the security scenario and providing robust technology investment strategies to cover those gaps. The core of the first part is the capability of decomposing maritime assets using modern taxonomies, to map the impact of different technologies on the ship. Once technologies are mapped, they can be traded inside assets, and assets inside fleets to quantitatively evaluate the overall fleet robustness. The first deliverable achieved through this process is called Vulnerable Scenarios, a list of possible conflict scenarios in which a tested fleet would consistently fail. The second deliverable is called Robust Strategies and is composed of different technological investments to allow the studied fleet in succeeding the discovered vulnerable scenarios. The methodology uses different statistical analysis tools like the Patient Rule Induction Method and an adaptive response system. These, in conjunction with Agent Based modelling techniques, provide an innovative way to enhance screening of non-relevant maritime scenarios reducing the leading time for investment decisions on naval technologies.



  • Prof. Dimitri Mavris – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor)
  • Prof. Gen. Philip Breedlove – School of International Affairs
  • Dr. Michael Steffens – School of Aerospace Engineering


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Created:12/04/2020
  • Modified By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified:12/04/2020