Internship: Composite rudder OPV

September 2024 - February 2025 internship vacancy closed


The Ministry of Defence is seeking methods of lightweighting several components on board the Offshore Patrol Vessels. This document describes the internship around weightsaving options through utilizing composites for an OPV-rudder.


Solico Engineering serves the Ministry of Defence for many years with composite engineering- and development. During the development of a frigate, a significant weight issue was to be overcome. One of the options was to build the rudder from composite material, but lack of background information removed this as a viable option. 
Through this internship, a conceptual design will be generated which can be compared to the existing rudders, (in terms of weight- and structural performance). It is the intention of the Ministry of Defence to have such a rudder built, enabling us to identify and confirm weight- and performance characteristics in comparison to the traditionally built rudder.


The exact approach is to be developed and discussed, but below could be used as a proposal:
  1) Determine loads occurring
  2) Review structural performance and weight of existing rudder
  3) Generate a concept design of a composite rudder
    a. Geometrical shape
    b. Laminates
    c. Structural performance
    d. Weight estimate
  4) Generate a Concept Design Report reflecting the structural- and weight benefit of a composite OPV rudder.

Founded over 30 years ago, Solico Engineering is Benelux’s largest composite engineering company, and proudly supports market leading composites manufacturers across a broad spectrum of Maritime, Defence, Civil & Architecture and Industrial markets. Always independent, and focused on smart, fit for purpose design, we commit to add value to every project we engineer.


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Carina Pereira

Management Assistant
Carina Pereira