Dr Shahroz Khan

Research & Development Lead at BAR Technologies

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow 

Maritime Design Researcher

Exploring the Enigma of Design through Generative AI

BAR Technologiesshahroz.khan [at] bartechnologies.uk

I am the Research & Development Lead at BAR Technologies, where my team and I focus on creating a "data-driven maritime sustainability" paradigm. By harnessing the synergy between intelligent design, advanced simulation techniques, and cutting-edge generative AI, we aim to establish new industry benchmarks, especially in wind-assisted propulsion systems for cargo vessels. (Find out more here.)

I also concentrate on forging strategic partnerships with premier research institutions worldwide, which are crucial for accelerating innovation and delivering solutions that are not only effective but also sustainable for our oceans.

Previously, I was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean, and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, working on an EU-funded project, GRAPES (Learning, Processing, And Optimizing Shapes). The aim of GRAPES was to considerably advance the state of the art in Mathematics, CAD, and Machine Learning to promote game-changing approaches for generating, optimizing, and learning 3D shapes. 

My work was supervised by Professor Panagiotis Kaklis from the University of Strathclyde and co-supervised by Professor Fehmi Cirak from the University of Cambridge.

 I focused on developing intelligent digital design tools for the maritime industry. Currently, I am creating a Generative AI-assisted design system, ShipHullGAN, which helps designers and engineers to:

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I also had the opportunity to work with renowned professionals in notable organisations. 

I worked with Professor Kosa Goucher-Lambert at the Co-Design Lab, University of California, Berkeley, on creating a mixed-initiative generative learning model that engages with designers during the training phase, resulting in an intelligent design and optimisation system. The opportunity to visit the Co-Design lab was made possible through the support of the Royal Society under the HINGE project.

I also visited the Institute of Marine Engineering of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-INM) in Rome, Italy, as a Mac Roberson Visiting Scholar. At the CNR-INM, I worked with Dr Matteo Diez on developing data-driven techniques to enhance the efficiency of shape optimisation.

 From August to December 2019, I visited the Virtual Reality Research Group of the Ship Design Laboratory at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (S-NA&ME) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece, where I collaborated with Professor Alexandros-Alvertos I. Ginnis to create an immersed computational design platform for complex maritime vessels. 

In addition, I was also a research assistant in the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean, and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, United Kingdom. In this role, I developed a digital system for simulating the operational activities in offshore wind turbine farms as part of the NEXUS project, which was led by a consortium (co-led by ARTTIC and Rolls-Royce Marine)  of various key players from four European Union (EU) member states. It was funded by the EU through the Horizon 2020 program. 

During my Master's studies, I was a Scholar of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) at the Smart Computer-Aided Design Laboratory of Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, where I worked with Dr Erkan Gunpinar to create a generative framework called ModiYacht for designing superyachts. 

Furthermore, I worked as an International Internship Student Trainee with Professor Hiromasa Suzuki at the Geometric Modelling for Industrial Application Laboratory of the University of Tokyo, Japan, where I created a machine intelligence model to infuse human perception into the design process.


We have received tremendous attention from both the industry and academia for our work on generative AI for ship design.

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Research Experience

Research & Development Lead

BAR Technologies, Portsmouth, UK

Jul 2023 - PresentProject: WindWings

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Department of Naval Architecture Ocean and Marine Engineering

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Jul 2020 - Jun 2023Project: GRAPESFunder: European Union  Horizon H2020;Research Outcome: IntraSensitivity - SSDR - GMDSA

Research Intern

ITI-global, Cambridge, UK.

Jan 2023 - Mar 2023

Project: GRAPESFunder: European Union  Horizon H2020

Visiting Student Scholar 

Co-Design Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering,

University of California, Berkeley, US.

Aug 2022 - Nov 2022

Project: HINGEFunder: Royal Society, UK

Visiting Researcher

Institute of Marine EngineeringNational Research Council, Rome, ItalyJan 2020 - Apr 2020Funder: Mac Robertson Travel ScholarshipResearch Outcome: PIFFL

Visiting Researcher

Ship Design Lab., School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering,National Technical University of AthensAug 2019 - Dec 2019

Research Assistant

Department of Naval Architecture Ocean and Marine EngineeringUniversity of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UKOct 2018 - Mar 2019Project: NEXUS; Funder: European Union  Horizon H2020; Research Outcome: OptiRoute


Brainlabs Group, Islamabad, PakistanNov 2017 - Aug 2018Research Outcome: DesignN

International Internship Student Trainee

Geometric Modelling for Industrial Application Laboratory, Precision Engineering Department, University of Tokyo, JapanJul 2017 - August 2017Funder: University of Tokyo; Research Outcome: Psycho-Physical Distance

TUBITAK Scholar 

SCAD Lab., School of Mechanical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.Jan 2015 - Jun 2017Project: ModiYacht; Funder: The Scientific and Technological Council of TurkeyResearch Outcome: ModiYACHT - GenYACHT - STLBO

Areas of ReSsearch Interest

2024 New

2023 News

The examination committee, consisting of Dr Dante Kalise from Imperial College and Prof Erkan Oterkus from the University of Strathclyde, concluded after a 3.5-hour oral examination that the PhD should be awarded without amendments to the thesis.

The title of my PhD thesis is "IDEAS@MI: Intelligent data-driven systems for digital design in the maritime industry".

Talk title: Physics-Informed Deep Generative Adversarial Network for Hull Form Optimisation in High-Dimensional Design Spaces.

Talk title: Accelerating simulation-driven optimisation of marine propellers using shape-supervised dimension reduction".

Talk title: Geometry Functionals as Physics-Informed Accelerators of Shape Optimisation

Talk title: How does agency impact human-AI collaborative design space exploration? A case study on ship design with deep generative models