In 2010 IMO (International Maritime Organisation) introduced new rules in SOLAS with the aim of intrinsically increase the safety of passenger ships. This requirement is achieved by providing safe areas for passengers and essential services for allowing ship to Safely Return to Port (SRtP). The entry into force of these rules has changed the way to design passenger ships. In this respect big effort in the research has been done by industry to address design issues related to the impact on failure analysis of the complex interactions among systems. Today the research activity is working to bring operational matters in the design stage. This change of research focus was necessary because human factor and the way to operate the ship itself after a casualty on board may have a big impact in the design of the ship/systems. Also the management of the passengers after a casualty is becoming a major topic for safety. This paper presents the state of the art of Italian knowledge in the field of system engineering applied to passenger ship address to safety improvement and design reliability. An overview of present tools and methodologies will be offered together with future focuses in the research activity.
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