Case Studies

Lloyd's Register Foundation Thomas Chapman Scholarship

PhD projects supported by HEC.

Grant awarded: £150,000

Timeframe: 2018-2023


Project overview

The Lloyd's Register Foundation Thomas Chapman Scholarship comprises two PhD projects managed by the University of Hull in partnership with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation's Heritage & Education Centre. One project will investigate ship design in the mid-nineteenth century through the lens of Lloyd's Register Survey Reports. The second project will focus on safety measures in the distant-water trawl fisheries since 1900.


Enhanced Public Understanding of Risk: the 'impact' events that are central to this project's agenda are specifically designed to meet one of the Foundation's key objects - instilling a better understanding of the risks, incentives and regulations that have formed a critical part of the relationship between human societies and the marine environment over the centuries.

Improved Educational Outcomes: in funding these Doctoral Training Programme, the Foundation will improve knowledge and understanding of the complex interplay between technological, economic and cultural drivers in the development of maritime activity since the mid-nineteenth century. This will be achieved through case study research based on the archives held by the Heritage & Education Centre, through the dissemination to scholars and practitioners of the original findings of the two investigations and, ultimately, through the introduction of the results of the research into future teaching modules and decision-making processes.

Project progress

Undertaking their research during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Thomas Chapman Scholars have faced unprecedented challenges in the courses of their PhDs but have gamely adapted and risen to them.

The two theses are complementary in their subject matter. One researches Lloyd’s Register’s reconstitution in 1834 from the perspective of 19th century management of quality and risk, considering the broader theme of improvements in merchant shipping safety. It considers LR in the context of international maritime safety interests, and its character at a specific time. The second thesis addresses Lloyd’s Register’s character at a specific place – Hull – over a century, filling in gaps in literature on Lloyd’s Register’s presence at provincial ports and its involvement in trawling.

The students have been encouraged to engage with the public in outreach events. Whilst Covid-19 made this difficult, they have been resourceful. Alongside volunteering as tour guides for the British Maritime Commission, the students curated the online exhibition ‘The Hull Connection’ and have engaged closely with the local Hull community through contributions to Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project.

Within maritime heritage academia, the scholars have both presented their research at conferences, including Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s Safer World Conference 2019 and the British Maritime Commission’s New Researchers Conference, whilst also organizing their own at the Blaydes’ Maritime Centre with the University of Hull. Their research has been notable for addressing questions of the past that would provide insight to contemporary issues and demonstrating the richness of LRF HEC as a research resource.

Both theses are scheduled for submission at the end of January 2023. We wish both scholars the very best of luck!

Useful Links

Researching the history of safety at sea with the help of Lloyd's Register Foundation

Hull Yorkshire's Maritime City Project

The Hull Connection Online Exhibition