Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Safe Affordable Ferry Design Competition, 2024

11th Annual International Student Design Competition

The goal of the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is to reduce ferry fatalities. The objective of the International Student Design competition is to reduce ferry fatalities by designing safe affordable vessels.

For the past ten years, awards of $10,000 annually have been made to student teams, with the top prize each year being $5000. An impressive roster of internationally recognized maritime professionals act as judges. Awardees have been recognized at international maritime conferences and through media reports.

In the preceding years' competitions, teams were asked to design:

  • a passenger ferry for the Bangladesh river system
  • an inter-island RoPax for Papua New Guinea
  • an inter-island RoPax for Indonesia
  • a passenger ferry for Bangkok
  • a passenger ferry for the Singapore Straits between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore
  • a passenger ferry for the Pasig River of Manila
  • a RoPax for the Winam Gulf region of Lake Victoria in Kenya
  • a RoPax for the Amazon River in Brazil
  • a RoPax for the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India
  • an electric ferry for the Pasig River of Manila.

The 2023-2024 Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry will be focused on designing a RoPax ferry for the Niger River in Nigeria.

Student teams that register between now and May 1, 2024, will be provided with the Terms of Reference. Design submissions are due on Thursday, May 30, 2024 by 5 PM ET.

For questions, contact Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, executive director of the World wide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA), at ferrysafety -@-

Please register at

Note this year we will be accepting only one design submission per school, although there may be multiple registrations. There is no limitation on the size of the team.

Initial registration should be by the team captain and provide captain’s name, academic institution, address, phone number and email address; faculty advisor, name, address, phone number and email address; and other team members' names and email addresses. (Team members may be modified by time of submission of design.) Teams will be provided with a registration number and will receive the detailed Terms of Reference for the vessel to be designed.


The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association is a not-for-profit dedicated to bringing innovation in training methods, as well as use of technology to provide notification for sudden hazardous weather, curb overloading, and enhance marine rescue technology. We encourage innovative new ideas in ferry safety and design. To that end WFSA is sponsoring a design competition for safe affordable ferries. The competition is open for registration now. Those interested, please contact us at ferrysafety at gmail dot com.