Background and activities

Dr Thomas Porathe is professor of interaction design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. He is specialising in maritime human factors and design of maritime information systems. He has an Information Design PhD from Malardalen University in Sweden on the work “3-D Nautical Charts and Safe Navigation.” After working with the Maritime Human Factors group at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden he 2014 joined the Department of Design at NTNU.  He has been working with e-Navigation since 2006 in EU-projects like BLAST, EfficienSea, MONALISA, ACCSEAS, SESAME II and the unmanned ship projects MUNIN, SAREPTA, LOAS and IMAT.

Resent conference presentation (video ):

VTS and e-Navigation: Traffic Organization using Moving Havens, IALA 2021 VTS symposium (Rotterdam/online) 12-16  Aril 2021

Human Factors, autonomous ships and constrained coastal navigation, ICMASS 2020 Conference (Korea/online) 11 November 2020

 Deconflicting Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship traffic using Moving Havens ESREL 2020 con, ference, Venice/on-line 1-5 November 2020.


Previous positions
Professor Porathe has a Ph.D. in information design from Malardalen University in Sweden. His dissertation was titled “3-D Nautical Charts and Safe Navigation” and published in 2006.
2000-2009 Assistant professor of Information Design at Malardalen University, Sweden
2009-2014 Associate professor of Maritime Human Factors at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Present positions
2014- full professor of Interaction Design at Norwegian University of Science And Technology in Trondheim, Norway

At NTNU he is teaching courses in Human Centred Design and Information Visualisation

Research interests
Interaction and  Information Design
Maritime Human Factors
Human factors in unmanned navigation

3D Nautical Charts
Dynamic NoGo Areas
Route Exchange
Maritime Safety Information (MSI)

Ongoing research projects

  • SFI AutoShip, (Centre of research driven innovation). Responible for WP3: Human Factors and Remote Operation Centre. Norwegian Research Council 2020-2028.
  • LASH FIRE (Legislative Assessment for Safety Hazards of Fire and Innovations in Ro-ro ship Environment), EU H2020 project 2019-2023.
  • IMAT (Integrated Maritime Autonomous Transport Systems) Norwegian Research Council project 2019-2022.
  • LOAS (Land-based Monitoring of Autonomous Ships) Norwegian Research Council project 2019-2022.
  • ConSense (Sensing and Predicting Concrete Maturity), EU EuroStar project 2019-2021 
  • AutoFerry (Autonomous all-electric passenger ferries for urban water transport). NTNU project. Superviced Ph.D.student Dag Rutledal (starting 2019). 2018-2019.
  • HUMANE (Human Maritime Autonomy Enable). Norwegian Research Council project 2018-2020.
  • SAREPTA (Safety, autonomy, remote control and operations of industrial transport systems). Norwegian Research Council project 2018-2021. Superviced Ph.D.student Åsa Snilstveit Hoem
  • SESAME Solution II (Secure, Efficient and Safe maritime traffic Management in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore). Norwegian Research Council project 2018-2020.
  • SMACS (Project description: Sensemaking in safety-critical situations). Norwegian Research Council project 2018-2021. Superviced Ph.D.student Brit-Eli Danielsen

Passed EU-Projects
BLAST (2006-2009) e-Navigation, environment, North Sea
EfficienSea (2009-2012) e-Navigation, Baltic Sea
MONALISA (2010-2013) e-Navigation, route exchange, Baltic Sea
ACCSEAS (2012-2015) e-Navigation,route exchange, NorthSea
MONALISA 2 (2012-2015) e-Navigation, Sea Traffic Management
MUNIN (2012-2015) e-Navigation, unmanned ships
EfficienSea 2 (2015-2018) e-Navigation, Baltic Sea

Recent video recorded conference presentations
Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Deconflicting Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship traffic using Moving Havens. In the online version of the 30th European Safety and Reliability Conference and 15th Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference (ESREL2020 PSAM15).

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database


  • Porathe, Thomas. (2022) Where does the pilot go when the autonomous ship has no bridge? MASS Routing Service and smart Local Information Centres. Proceedings of the Autonomous Ship Conference 2022, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, 31 March-1 April 2022.



  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Deconflicting Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship traffic using Moving Havens. e-proceedings of the 30th European Safety and Reliability Conference and 15th Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference (ESREL2020 PSAM15).
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Human error? No, bad design! How bad design can cause accidents. HFC Forum . Human Factors in Control; On-line. 2020-05-05 - 2020-05-05.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Kognitive aspekter ved beslutninger i høy fart – tunnelsyn, kartlesing og mental rotasjon. Sjøfartsdirektoratets fritidsbåtskonferanse 2020 . Sjøfartsdirektoratet; Haugesud. 2020-03-04 - 2020-03-04.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Moving Havens: an application of the e-Navigation service route exchange. Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Factors, 19-20 February 2020, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Potential e-Navigation services. Workshop on the Future of Marine Radiobeacon DGPS/DGNSS . IALA-AISM, International Assoc. of Lighthouse Authorities; Edinburgh. 2020-01-27 - 2020-01-31.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Factors, 19-20 February 2020, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London. Royal Institution of Naval Architects. 2020. ISBN 978-1-911649-03-8.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Remote control. Autonomous and/or remote controlled merchant shipping, two cases from Norway: Yara Birkeland och AutoFerry in Trondheim. Human Factors in Remote Control . Linköpings univeritet; Linköping. 2020-02-05 - 2020-02-06.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2020) Ship Traffic Organization with Moving Havens: Ship and Shore Perspective. 2020 European Navigation Conference (ENC).
  • Porathe, Thomas; Fjørtoft, Kay Endre; Bratbergsengen, Inger Lill. (2020) Human Factors, autonomous ships and constrained coastal navigation. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. vol. 929.



  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Autonomous and unmanned: design & innovation in the maritime domain. Addressing Autonomy, Cybersecurity for Sustainable Mobility . NTNU, Dep. of Design, Gjøvik; Staur Gård, Hamar. 2018-11-06 - 2018-11-07.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Autonomous, unmanned cargo shipping, for better or for worse?. Society and the Sea: Investinblue - The Values of the Ocean and Coasts for Sustainable Development . Greenwich Maritime Centre, Greenwich University; London. 2018-09-06 - 2018-09-07.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Human Factors and MASS: the case for Automation Transparency. International Navigation Conference (INC 2018) . The Royal Intitute of Navigation; Bristol. 2018-11-12 - 2018-11-15.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Interaction Between Manned and Autonomous Ships: Automation Transparency. The 1st International Conference on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship (ICMASS 2018) . Korea Maritime and Ocean University; Busan. 2018-11-08 - 2018-11-09.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Interaction design, workload and control: some human limitations and what we can do about it. Kongsberg Technology Conference 2018 . Kongsbergkonsernen; Sundvolden. 2018-09-13 - 2018-09-14.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Människan och de autonoma skeppen: Hur ser lägesbilden ut i landcentralen?. Sjöfartsseminarium 2018 . Transportstyrelsen Sverige; Stockholm. 2018-02-07 - 2018-02-08.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) What is actually going on? HMI design and situation awareness in remote monitoring and control of unmanned ships. Human Factors Challenges of Remotely Operated / Autonomous Transport . Copenhagen Business School; København. 2018-02-05 - 2018-02-05.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2018) Workload and navigational control : The control levels of COCOM as framework for ship bridge HMI design. Proceedings of the European Navigation Conference 2018 (ENC 2018).
  • Porathe, Thomas; Ekskog, Jonas. (2018) Egocentric Leisure Boat Navigation in a Smartphone-based Augmented Reality Application. Journal of navigation.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Hoem, Åsa Snilstveit; Rødseth, Ørnulf Jan; Fjørtoft, Kay Endre; Johnsen, Stig Ole. (2018) At least as safe as manned shipping? Autonomous shipping, safety and “human error”. Safety and Reliability – Safe Societies in a Changing World. Proceedings of ESREL 2018, June 17-21, 2018, Trondheim, Norway.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Lutzhoft, Margareta. (2018) A harmonized display of e-navigation information: Workload and navigational control; Contextual control levels. The Royal Institution of Naval Architects Human Factors Papers 2018.


  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Designing HMIs for ship navigation: Using the Contextual Control Model for Bench-marking. 6th Workshop on Training and Assessment: The Role of Autonomy in Maritime Education, Training and Assessment. . Høgskolen i Sørøst-Norge, Universitetet i Tromsø; Tromsø. 2017-10-23 - 2017-10-24.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Designing a HMI for boat navigation: the Contextual Control Model in benchmarking. Human Factors in Control: Digitalization and autonomy– Challenges and opportunities related to Human Interactions . Human Factors in Control; Trondheim. 2017-10-17 - 2017-10-18.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Display of e-Navigation information. International e-Navigation Underway Conference 2017 . Søfartstyrelsen (DK), IALA, and Nautical Institute; Køpenhavn-Oslo ferry. 2017-01-31 - 2017-02-02.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) "Human-in-the-loop" - muligheter og utfordringer. Innovasjonskonferansen 2017 . ITS Norway, Kystverket; Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo. 2017-09-07 - 2017-09-07.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Is COLREG enough? Interaction between manned and unmanned ships. Marine Navigation: Conference Proceedings 12th International Conference on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, TransNav 2017.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Navigational safety for small non-SOLAS vessels. Safe positioning and navigation for automatic surface vessels . Nordic Institute of Navigation; NTNU. 2017-06-15 - 2017-06-15.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Ship navigation. Information integration in the maritime domain. Information Design: Research and Practice.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) The problem is not automation, the problem is communication: autonomy, human factors and safety. Autonomy and Safety when the Human is in the Loop – What can We Learn from Aviation, Maritime, Road and Rail? . The research project SAREPTA; Clarion Hotel, Trondheim. 2017-08-10 - 2017-08-10.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2017) Virituell navigasjon. Kystverket regionkonferranse sørøst . Kystverket; Kragerø. 2017-01-25 - 2017-01-26.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Ekskog, Jonas. (2017) Egocentric leisure boat navigation in a smartphone based AR app. International Navigation Conference 2017 . Royal Institute of Navigation; Brighton. 2017-11-27 - 2017-11-30.


  • Porathe, Stig Thomas. (2016) Landkontrollsentraler og autonomi for ubemannede skip. Agora, Industri Fututrum: Alarmhåndtering og kontrollromsløsninger . Norsk Industri; Clarion Hotel & Congress Oslo Airport. 2016-10-12 - 2016-10-13.
  • Porathe, Stig Thomas; Jakobsen, Jeanette Juul. (2016) Human Factors and e-Navigation solutions. EfficienSea conference . Danish Maritime Authority; Køpenhavn. 2016-11-08 - 2016-11-09.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) A Navigating Navigator Onboard or a Monitoring Operator Ashore? Towards Safe, Effective, and Sustainable Maritime Transportation: Findings from Five Recent EU Projects. Transportation Research Procedia. vol. 14.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) Automatisert skipsfart: e-navigasjon og menneskelige faktorer. Transportforskning 2016 . Norges forskningsråd; Lysaker, Oslo. 2016-03-17 - 2016-03-17.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) Human centred design (HCD) – from user requirements to testbeds. Workshop on Shore-Based Maritime Services from Theory to Practical Use - Who Will Do What and When? . IALA; The International Association of Marine Aids to Naviga; Lissabon. 2016-05-24 - 2016-05-26.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) Human-Centred Design in the Maritime Domain. Proceedings of NordDesign 2016.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) Information design in nautical charts: Dynamic NoGo areas. Information Design Journal. vol. 22 (2).
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) Unmanned ships and remote pilots: human factors in autonomous shipping. EMPA 50th Genaral Meeting: Unmanned ships: A real challenge for pilotage? . EMPA, European Maritime Pilots Association; Antwerpen. 2016-04-22 - 2016-04-22.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) What is Information Overload: Human Factors in Presentation of Data. The e-Navigation Underway conferance 2016 . Danish Maritime Authority; Copenhagen-Oslo ferry. 2016-02-02 - 2016-02-04.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2016) What’s left for the navigator with automation at the con?. Transportforum 2016 . Väg och trafikforskningsinstitutet (VTI), Sverige; Linköping. 2016-01-13 - 2016-01-13.


  • Brödje, Anders; Weber, R; Camre, David; Borup, Ole; Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Supporting Voice Communication Between Navigator and VTS by Visual Solutions-Exploring the Use of the" Route Suggestion" Functionality within VTS. Information, Communication and Environment: Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation.
  • Man, Yemao; Lundh, Monica; Porathe, Thomas; MacKinnon, Scott. (2015) From Desk to Field - Human Factor Issues in Remote Monitoring and Controlling of Autonomous Unmanned Vessels. Procedia Manufacturing. vol. 3.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) ACCSEAS testbed on tactical route exchange: Intended and Suggested route services. e-Navigation committee meeting 16 . IALA - International Association of aids to navigation and L; Saint Germain-en-Laye, Paris. 2015-04-20 - 2015-04-24.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Autonom sjøtransport - ubemannet lasteskip langs norskekysten, utfordringer og muligheter. Transport og logistikk 2015 ; Gardemoen, Oslo. 2015-10-19 - 2015-10-20.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Dynamic NoGo Area Service. ACCSEAS Final Conference . ACCSEAS project/Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands; Rotterdam. 2015-02-17 - 2015-02-19.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Forbedret brukergrensesnitt ved innføring av ny teknologi: Kognitiv avlastning. Innovasjonskonferanse 2015 . AHO, Kystverket, ITS Norge; AHO, Oslo. 2015-05-05 - 2015-05-06.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Human Error and e-Navigation: Developing the Nautical Chart as Resilient Decision Support. Human Interface and the Management of Information: Information and Knowledge in Context (Part II).
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Human Interaction with Marine Autonomous Systems - MUNIN Project. UK International Marine Autonomous Systems Regulatory Conference 2015 . The UK Marine Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group; The National Oceanography Centre Southampton. 2015-10-14 - 2015-10-15.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Human Machine Interaction: hva med menneskene når bilene kjører selv?. Intellegent Transport Systems (ITS) konferensen 2015 . ITS Norway; Trondheim. 2015-03-18 - 2015-03-18.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) North Sea Region Challenges. ACCSEAS Final Conference . ACCSEAS proejct/ Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands; Rotterdam. 2015-02-17 - 2015-02-19.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Route exchange in one-year ice. eNav and the Arctic . Nordic Institute of Navigation; DNV-GL, Høvik, Oslo. 2015-03-24 - 2015-03-24.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) The monitoring navigator: human factors in design of maritime informatics. Maritime Informatics Conference 2015 . Lighthouse - Swedish maritime competence centre; Göteborg. 2015-05-18 - 2015-05-18.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Voice and text messaging in ship communication. e-Navigation Underway International . IALA and Danish Maritime Authority; Ferry Copenhagen-Oslo. 2015-01-27 - 2015-01-29.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Bentzen Billesø, Mads; Borup, Ole; Pedersen, Peder. (2015) Distribution and Display of Maritime Safety Information in an e-Navigation Context. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Ships and Shipping Research.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Brödje, Anders. (2015) Human Factor Aspects in Sea Traffic Management. 14th Conference on Computer and IT Applications in the Maritime Industries - COMPIT'15.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Brödje, Anders; Weber, Reto; Camre, David; Borup, Ole. (2015) Supporting Situation Awareness on the bridge: testing route exchange in a practical e-Navigation study. Information, Communication and Environment: Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Electronics: Some friendly advice on bridge work. Navigation Accidents and their Causes.
  • Porathe, Thomas. (2015) Human-machine interaction between unmanned, autonomous, ships and manned non-SOLAS vessels in confined and inshore waters: research needs. Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Maritime Safety and Technology.
  • Porathe, Thomas; Bentzen Billesø, Mads. (2015) Human Factors in e-Navigation: a study of Dynamic NoGo Area Visualization in Electronic Nautical Charts. Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Maritime Safety and Technology.



  • Porathe, Thomas. (2006) 3-D Nautical Charts and Safe Navigation. 2006. ISBN 91-85485-12-8.