Council Members and Director

All major decisions are taken by the Members at the annual ECMAR General Assembly (GA), with the management throughout the year being overseen by a Council of seven Members, elected at the GA for two-year terms of office. Also appointed at the GA are the Council's Chairman and Vice Chairman who also hold office for two years. The day-to-day operation of ECMAR is undertaken by its part-time Director, appointed by the Council.

Jochen Marzi, HSVA-DE, Chairman

Dr. Jochen Marzi graduated in 1985 from Hamburg University as Dipl. Ing. Naval Architecture and received his PhD in 1988 from Technical University Hamburg Harburg. Since then he worked for a shipyard research establishment at Bremerhaven Germany, making first contacts with joint European Projects. In 1996 Jochen Marzi joined Hamburgische Schiffbau Versuchsanstalt - HSVA, working as a senior CFD engineer and project manager both in research and consultancy work, leading several large European projects such as the VIRTUE IP in FP 6 and HOLISHIP in Horizon 2020. He is now director EU relations and responsible for the coordination of European Research at HSVA and active in several R&D projects dealing with CFD, Ship Design and Energy Efficiency. Jochen Marzi represents HSVA in the European Council for Maritime Applied R&D (ECMAR) and acts as Chairman since 2020.

Chiara NOTARO, CETENA-IT, Vice Chair

Chiara Notaro (f) has been working for CETENA since 2005, after graduating cum laude in Naval Architecture in 2004 at Genoa University. From 2005 to 2007, she was involved with Fincantieri Naval Architecture Dept. of Trieste headquarters in damage stability calculations on cruise and ro-pax ships for the probabilistic SOLAS rules and ‘Safe Return to Port’ standards. She was involved in various research projects dealing mostly with simulations and optimization of the manoeuvrability of surface ships and underwater vehicles (National programs for IT Navy, Euclid and EDA projects). From 2007 to 2018, she was part of the CETENA Real-Time Bridge Simulator unit performing port maneuvrability studies for Port Authorities, shipping companies and harbour designers. She has also been involved in Transfer of Technology training activities supporting Fincantieri. Within the “Research, funding and networking” B.U. a large part of her role since 2019 regards the technical support of various Research activities and the representation of CETENA at Italian and European level in associations active in maritime research, like Cluster BIG and WATERBORNE TP. Chiara Notaro is part of the European Council for Maritime Applied R&D (ECMAR), acting as Vice-Chair, since 2020.

Florian CARRE - ECMAR Director

After studying politics and European affairs - graduated in 2009 from IAE d'Aix-en-Provence - I started my career in European affairs (more particularly in the maritime sector 🌊). And it has been more than 𝟏𝟐 years now that I specialized in the management of projects related to the 𝐄𝐔. My passion for travelling and my proximity to the European Union pushed me to become a real 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭 in the European funding programmes offered by the 𝐔𝐄 (𝘏𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘻𝘰𝘯 Europe, 𝘌𝘶𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘓𝘐𝘍𝘌 ...) and this is now my role as Director of ECMAR to fast track your participation to Horizon Europe! Would you like to know more about ECMAR and how to increase your participation to Horizon Europe, please feel free to 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐚 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐞 in private to If you have a project in mind that can be supported by the EU, I will know it and I will help you to carry it out! 💪

Christian Finnsgaard, SSPA-SE

Christian Finnsgård has a PhD in Logistics from Chalmers University of Technology where he also was employed during the studies. Christian has conducted research for more than ten years in the automotive and maritime industries. Lately, research within sports and sailing in particular has emerged as a focus area. Since 2014 he has been at SSPA Sweden and since 2017 as Vice President and Head of SSPA Research Department. He has been working with slowsteaming, short sea shipping, RoRo, SECA-compliance, modal shift for cargo from land to sea and hydrodynamics and human factors in sports. He has been project managing and co-ordinated several international and national projects. Now he is working with the development of SSPA Research within its main focus areas: - Energy efficient ships & operations - Reduced emissions & noise from ships - Alternative energy & propulsion techniques - Innovative ship and vessel concepts - Maritime operations & safety at sea - Efficient and integrated transport systems - Winter navigation & arctic operations - Urban sea traffic - Autonomous vessels - Ocean energy - Hydrodynamics in Sports.

John Koch Nielsen, FORCE Technology - DK

John Koch Nielsen, FORCE Technology, is M.Sc. in Control Engineering from Danish Technical University (1981) and has through 41 years of employment at FORCE Technology’s Maritime Division (formerly Danish Ship Research Laboratory and Danish Maritime Institute (DMI)) obtained wide experience in terms of technology, management and administration. During the first part of John Koch Nielsen’s employment, he worked as project manager of physical model tests in wave basins and wind tunnels relating to offshore constructions and buildings. During the period 1990 – 2020, he has been DMI/FORCE’s project manager of more than 25 large EU projects, in several of them as coordinator. John Koch Nielsen has been project manager of FORCE Technology’s performance contract projects with the Danish government since 2013. John Koch Nielsen is member of the technical committees of “Danish Maritime” (Business association for Danish manufacturers of maritime equipment and ships) and of the planning committees at the “Danish Society for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering” and “IDA Maritime” (the maritime network at the “Danish Society of Engineers”). John Koch Nielsen is R&D Responsible and Quality Coordinator in the business unit for maritime industry at FORCE Technology.

Ionel Chirica, SDG-RO

Ionel Chirica is Manager R&D and QMS at SHIP DESIGN GROUP Galati, a medium ship design and research company in Romania. He graduated from University “Dunarea de Jos” of Galati, 1978. He continued his studies at the same university as PhD student, where he developed a numerical method to calculate ship hull torsion of the ships with large deck openings. He obtained his doctorate in 1991. He is also professor and PhD supervisor, in the same university. He has been involved in various R&D activities and especially projects on the development of ship structures, activating in EU project since 2004. Ionel is scientific secretary of the Romanian Association of Shipbuilders (ANCONAV). He activates in the International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress (ISSC). In May 2018, he became a member of the council of the European Council for Maritime Applied R&D (ECMAR), as Ship Design Group representative.

Igor Bačkalov, DST

Dr. Igor Bačkalov is a naval architect, presently working for DST – Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems, in Duisburg, Germany – at the Department of Experiments, Fleet Modernisation, and Emissions. Igor Bačkalov graduated from the University of Belgrade in 2003, where he also defended his PhD thesis titled “Nonlinear Rolling of Ships Due to Wind and Waves” in 2010. He worked for 18 years at University of Belgrade, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Naval Architecture, where he spent the last six years as an associate professor of ship stability, dynamics, and safety. Igor conducted research on stability and safety of seagoing and inland ships, safety of autonomous ships, and innovative design of complex inland vessels. He participated in several research projects performed within the framework of FP6, FP7, and Horizon 2020 programmes. Igor is also the recipient of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Ship Safety Award for 2007. Igor Bačkalov has become a member of the ECMAR council in 2022.