Nicolas FOURRIER's PhD

Illustration of the handwriting text-entry system for VR proposed by Nicolas.

Nicolas FOURRIER’s PhD is entitled “Collaborative and Interactive Ship Layout in Virtual Reality”, and started in May 2021. It is co-directed by Guillaume MOREAU and by myself. It is also supervised by Mustapha BENAOUICHA. Nicolas’ PhD is a CIFRE grant between SEGULA Technologies, École Centrale de Nantes and IMT Atlantique.


Nicolas FOURRIER’s PhD takes place in the SADENav project (Decision Support System for Ship Fitting). The objective is to create a collaborative tool based on Virtual Reality in order to optimize the operation of the fitting out of a ship, by allowing the different trades to interactively add equipment at the same time, while visualizing the different associated constraints (e.g. leaving a free space in front of an equipment allowing access for maintenance, etc.).

Nicolas’ thesis work will focus on both the collaboration and interaction in the virtual environment at scale 1, but also on the respect and visualization of business and geometric constraints related to the layout of ships.

Ships fitting consists in the installation of equipment inside the hull of a ship to make it pass from a bare hull to a functional ship. Thus, fitting out is a multidisciplinary task involving the following trades: piping, keel, electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Each of these trades is subject to multiple standards and constraints, which can be conflicting in many situations. In addition, the interventions of the field workers are generally carried out sequentially for each of the trades. This could lead to multiple situations of inter-blocking.

The major challenge of moving a ship is to ensure that all these constraints are respected within the ship, which is a cramped environment by nature, while limiting the occurrence of conflict situations. Indeed, the location of one piece of equipment can influence the position of another, for example due to interference. On the other hand, the move-in operation may not significantly challenge the structure of the vessel. On the contrary, it must be adapted to it. In addition, the intervention of multiple trades may pose a problem, and invalidate the work previously done by another trade.


  • [Fourrier, Normand, Moreau, Benaouicha 2022] N. FOURRIER, J.-M. NORMAND, G. MOREAU, M. BENAOUICHA. “Virtual reality beyond design reviews in shipbuilding : the need for industry-tailored immersive data interaction”. In Proc. of the 20th International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding – ICCAS 2022, Yokohama, Japan, September 13-15, 2022.
Jean-Marie Normand
Jean-Marie Normand
Associate Professor in Virtual/Augmented Reality

My research interests include perception and interaction in Virtual And Augmented Reality.