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Meet Allsalt's Chief Scientist

Dr. Tom Gunston explains why it's critical to measure wave impact in real time.
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Meet Allsalt's Chief Scientist

Dr. Tom Gunston is the Chief Scientist for Allsalt Maritime tasked with providing data analysis for maritime agencies. 

Understanding impact exposure, he says, is critical for keeping people safe on the water.

If the vessel is equipped with capable suspension seats, what may result is the same harmful exposure in a faster boat. 

Why? The factor that limits how fast an operator will drive the boat is how much pain he is willing to endure.

Providing good mitigation equipment is part of the solution, but agencies should understand what exposures are like in order to assess them sensibly, then take other measures in terms of boat control, operational training, and boat management to make sure that exposures are actually reduced.

“For agencies operating high speed boats, they know their crews are being exposed to shock and vibration. Gunston says.  “It’s not so important to understand that people are being hit hard. We know they’re being hit hard.

The reason for understanding how hard they’re being hit is to do the right things to mitigate it.”

Dr. Gunston’s professional experience and education have been heavily focused on the assessment and mitigation of occupational exposure to shock and vibration in military land, sea and air platforms. Maritime agencies seeking deeper insights from their impact-mitigation strategies can now work one-on-one with Dr. Gunston to assess, monitor, and improve programs intended to keep crews safer on the water.

Dr. Gunston is a Physicist with a PhD in whole-body vibration (WBV) from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton in the UK. He is internationally recognized as an expert in WBV assessment, having worked in this area for over 20 years.

Dr. Gunston carried out WBV-related research as a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton and later at the University of Sheffield. He was a Research Group Leader on human vibration exposure at the defence contractor QinetiQ and throughout his career he has worked as a consultant to military, SAR and leisure sector marine craft operators including the Ministry of Defence and the RNLI. He has specialized in managing WBV exposures in fast boats but has also been involved in managing vibration exposure from armoured vehicles, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, industrial and agricultural vehicles and construction equipment.

In recent years he has acted as an Engineering Expert Witness for legal cases involving vibration exposure, including cases of injuries to high speed craft passengers and crew. He is currently the Chairman of the British Standards committee on human exposure to vibration and he has served as Chairman, Convener or Principal UK Expert on various European (CEN) and International (ISO) technical committees concerned with this subject.