Driving Youth Innovation Through the NUS-Rightship Hackathon 2024: In Conversation with Team ChadGPT

Mohamed Shahul Hameed Niyaz and Shreyas Satish are presented their certificates by SMF Chairman Mr. Hor Weng Yew.

The NUS-RightShip Hackathon 2024, which focused on harbour craft electrification within Maritime Singapore, took place from 20-29 January 2024. Jointly organised by the  NUS|Centre for Maritime Studies (CMS) and digital solutions provider ‘Rightship’ at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the competition drew participation from nearly 520 students across 157 teams from a good spread of secondary and tertiary institutions.

This comes as an opportune time as harbour crafts operating in Singapore’s ports are slated to be fully electric by 2030, in alignment with the wider commitment by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for international shipping to reach net-zero by 2050.  

Utilising comprehensive data sets from Spire, the participants evaluated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at Singaporean ports, specifically during the docking stages at berths or terminals. Furthermore, they investigated the effectiveness of electric vessels in mitigating shipping emissions. With these insights in hand, the students moved on to develop actionable recommendations for industry stakeholders to adopt.

This collective effort not only showcased innovative approaches to sustainability in the maritime industry but also deepened the young innovators’ understanding of their vital role in driving environmental progress.

We catch up with the Junior College/Polytechnic category winners, Team ChadGPT from Raffles Institution (RI), and hear their thoughts on the event!

Congratulations on winning the NUS-Rightship Hackathon! How did it feel winning the 2-day hackathon?


Our victory was completely unexpected! Given our limited experience with brief hackathons and the maritime sector, we initially viewed the competition more as an educational opportunity and a window into the maritime industry rather than a contest we were aiming to win. When we heard the announcement that we had won, we were surprised and thrilled. The award presentation ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to interact with industry professionals, and we genuinely enjoyed the entire experience!

I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge! What motivated you to participate in the hackathon?


As members of our school’s Computer Science Society, we’ve been exposed to the basics of data science and saw this hackathon as a perfect opportunity to elevate our skills. We were eager to experience the unique pressure of a short hackathon, tackling a complex problem within a tight timeframe. Additionally, we were curious about the maritime industry – a field seldom discussed in our junior college curriculum. We had little knowledge of how the maritime sector operates, the types of careers it offers, the skills it demands, and the opportunities it holds for students. This hackathon provided us with a valuable glimpse into this vital industry.

Can you share more about your winning solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Maritime Singapore?


To devise our solution, we started by analysing the Automative Identification System (AIS) data provided, which detailed ship positions at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore. We focused on calculating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships in different modes – Transit, Anchorage, and others. We discovered that ships at anchorage were the predominant sources of GHG emissions.

An assessment of emissions reduction with the adoption of electric vessels.

Inspired by recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), we proposed the creation of an AI-based scheduling system to optimize docking times, reducing the time ships spend idling and waiting to unload their cargo. Therefore, this would cut down on unnecessary emissions significantly.

Furthermore, we explored the impact of replacing fossil fuels with electricity. Our calculations suggested that electrification could slash emissions by more than 90%. To facilitate this, we recommended the use of battery-powered tugboats to help manoeuvre vessels within the port, as well as offshore electricity points (OEPs) that ships could use while in anchorage zones. Additionally, we suggested integrating wave energy converters to generate supplementary power for these OEPs. Overall, fossil fuel consumption is reduced, thereby enhancing the overall sustainability of the port’s operations.

As the team did not have a background in maritime prior to the hackathon, what surprised you most about the industry? How has your perspective on maritime changed after the competition?


What struck us most was the complexity of maritime operations, including the logistics, supply chain management, regulations, and environmental considerations involved. The vast scale and interconnectedness of these elements highlighted the immense significance of the maritime industry globally. It also underscored the critical need for stringent regulations to mitigate the environmental impact of these operations. This realisation has deepened our appreciation for the industry’s role in our world and its potential for innovation in the sustainability space.

Team ChadGPT delivering their winning pitch to the judges.

How do you envision the future of digitalization and sustainability in Maritime Singapore?


Singapore has consistently been at the forefront of digitalization within its maritime sector and shows no signs of slowing down. The nation is set to further integrate advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and data analytics to enhance port operations, boost efficiency, and refine decision-making processes. Additionally, Singapore is expected to reinforce its dedication to green shipping initiatives. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging the use of alternative, sustainable fuels, and adopting eco-friendly port infrastructures and practices. These steps will not only sustain its leadership position in maritime logistics but also contribute significantly to global environmental conservation efforts.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your peers and juniors interested in future editions of the NUS-Rightship Hackathon?


Absolutely! Don’t let a lack of prior experience in the field deter you. There’s so much to gain from participating in a competition like this. The hackathon was not only incredibly fun, but it also provided us with substantial exposure and learning opportunities. We highly recommend joining next year to get a hands-on perspective on what the maritime sector has to offer. It’s a fantastic way to explore new interests and potentially discover a path you might never have considered before.


Beyond just a competition, the NUS-RightShip Hackathon 2024 served as a springboard into the vast, intricate world of maritime sustainability. Participants gained a newfound appreciation for the essential role of innovation in pushing the maritime industry toward a greener, more efficient future. For anyone on the fence about participating in future maritime hackathons and case competitions, take it from Team ChadGPT: the experience is invaluable. You’ll emerge not only with new skills and insights but also with the satisfaction of contributing to meaningful, industry-shaping solutions. So, why not take the plunge? The next great idea could be yours.

If your curiosity about the maritime industry has been piqued and are wondering what’s next, enhance your studies by chalking up practical experience and credentials via MaritimeONE Internship Programme!


Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

Over 129 tertiary students across 35 teams took part in the inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge that seeks to plug Singapore students with a passion for technology into the maritime industry.
Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Three challenge statements, 35 teams, 129 students and 12 finalist teams from 4 universities & 3 polytechnics. Catch behind-the-scene highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021.

Singapore Maritime Foundation | MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Catch highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021. We thank Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat for being our Guest-of-Honour at the event.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Year-in-Perspective Video

The past two years of learning to live with Covid-19 has been challenging, but Maritime Singapore has remained resilient. What are the fundamental tenets that attract companies to anchor their business in Singapore and grow their operations here? And what more can be done to leverage on Singapore’s strengths to enhance its attractiveness as a global business hub for maritime companies? How will the Singapore Maritime Foundation organize its work around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent to strengthen the maritime ecosystem? Find out in this Year-in-Perspective video.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Opportunities Amid Disruptions

The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
Singapore was announced to have secured the overall top spot as an international maritime centre for the fifth consecutive time in the DNV-Menon Leading Maritime Cities 2022 report.
Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

Mr. Lars Kastrup


Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).

Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo


Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin


Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau


Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.