Wanderer between the digital and analogue worlds
Carsten Eckert, Subject Matter Expert Simulation
Working with things that don’t even exist yet – how cool is that? This is Carsten Eckert’s exciting task at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting. The simulation expert and his team are called in whenever a customer is planning something like the construction of a new container terminal or an intermodal transport facility: “We use detailed simulation models to test and evaluate various concepts”, he explains. He was already concerned with this during his studies of marine and ocean engineering at the Technical University of Berlin. While the step towards simulating ports was “pure coincidence” for the graduate engineer, it soon turned out to be a win-win situation for both him and HPC.
Starting in 2015, HPC used the naval architect’s specialist expertise to gradually establish an innovative unit for terminal modelling. Since early 2021, Carsten Eckert has been at the helm of a team of experts responsible for analyses, calculations and predicts: What is the best terminal setup? Is there a way to save on cranes? Will my container yard flood? These are all questions that the HPC expert can answer in detail using the HPCsim simulation tool: “Individual ready-made modules can be used to build a customised terminal model featuring 3D visualisation.”
As almost every project requires new functionalities, Carsten Eckert writes source code and develops algorithms. He enjoys grappling with very particular questions such as “What is the best storage location for a container – or even a roll of paper?” To summarise the significance of his work, Carsten Eckert explains: “Nowadays, port planning cannot function without simulations.” Customers want to protect themselves before they invest countless millions in new terminals or improvement projects.
It’s wrong to assume that a nerd sits in front of his computer in his free time. Carsten Eckert is drawn to the outdoors: he sails across the North and Baltic Seas. Or he laces up his hiking boots and simply crosses the Alps on holiday: “My temperature record in the tent is 15 below zero.” In the mountains, on the seas or while orienteering in the forest, he is constantly on the move "with paper maps and a compass”.