DUKC® – Celebrating 25 years of safety.


  • Cosco Thailand (IMO 9448798) arrived at Victoria International Container Terminal, becoming the largest container ship to enter the Port of Melbourne. It is a 101,200 DWT vessel with a TEU capacity of 8500
  • Port Hedland – Pilbara Ports Authority set a new 24h record, sailing 2.478m tonnes across two tides and 14 vessels
  • The Port of Port Hedland achieved a record annual throughput of 519.4Mt, an increase of 18.4Mt or 4% from the previous year
  • On 28th June 2018, OMC’s maritime technology wins the 2018 (IHMA) International Harbour Master Association Award, announced at a dinner in London.
  • The Port of Port Hedland reported a record tonnage in a 24-hour period on 2 June 2018. Twelve vessels departed during the 24 hours, carrying a cargo of 2,398,423 tonnes. This was 187,599 more than the previous record of 2,210,824 set on 25 February 2018.
  • 160,000 sailings under DUKC® advice
  • OMC International (OMC) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the implementation of the first DUKC® operational system in the coal port of Hay Point, Queensland, maintaining an unblemished track record.
  • Mid West Ports Authority welcomes the largest-ever bulk carrier – MV Rising Sun – to berth at Geraldton Port as part of a live trial using DUKC® technology. (This new 235m x 43m class ship can carry 10-15% more cargo.)


  • 150,000  sailings under DUKC® advice
  • OMC International celebrates its 30th anniversary with a move to larger headquarters at 126 Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford to house its growing workforce of more than 60 maritime engineers, hydrodynamacists, naval architects, pilot advisors and software specialists. This move also allows for postgraduate students and short stay collaborative visits with global maritime partners.
  • Dec: DUKC® technology helps PPA set numerous shipping records at Port Hedland, including a new record tonnage on a single tide achieved on Dec 27. A total of 1,589,061 tonnes of cargo sailed out on eight ships, beating the previous record set in Feb 2016 by 77,084 tonnes.
  • Dec: Port Hedland also sets a new tonnage record of 2,183,611 tonnes over a 24-hour period, with six ships – sailing under DUKC® advice – exporting a total of 1,043,838 tonnes (Dec 14) and another six ships exporting a total of 1,139,773 tonnes (Dec 15). This month also sees a record number of 272 ship visits and Port Hedland achieves a record monthly throughput of 47.1Mt, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
  • Oct: an Exxon tanker, the Aspen Spirit, sails safely into the port of Melbourne, as the deepest ship that has ever come into the port. Two OMC engineers on board undertake GPS validation and the full-scale measurements provide excellent correlation with the results predicted by the DUKC® system.
  • Mar: DUKC® Series 5 helps enable the largest ever iron ore shipment – 270,006 tonnes on the Fortescue Metals Group loaded ship HL TUBARAO – to leave Port Hedland at a record sailing draft of 19.95 metres.
  • Feb: DUKC® technology helps shipper GrainCorp set new tonnage records for its Geelong operations. Under DUKC® advice the Nord Pollux sails with more than 61,900 tonnes (biggest single shipment of canola fully loaded in Geelong), the Tomahawk departs carrying almost 61,800 tonnes (biggest single shipment of wheat fully loaded in Geelong) and the Twinkle Island sails with about 62,500 tonnes of barley (largest shipment of the grain fully loaded in Geelong).
  • Other GrainCorp February records for Geelong include: Exporting the most grain in a month, more than 393,560 tonnes AND recording the largest month of exports – grain and woodchips – with total shipments exceeding 412,750 tonnes.
  • In recognition of its international standing, OMC has been invited to participate as the Expert Contributor to new developments in UKC management information exchange for e-navigation. OMC is providing its technology to lead the current IHO s-100 Under Keel Clearance Management Information Project Team (UKCMPT) whose brief is to develop an IHO S-129 based product specification for UKCM information services to be displayed for users (IHO, 2015). This Project Team comprises a number of IHO Member States including Sweden, France, Korea, USA, Russia, Finland, UK and The Netherlands and is chaired by a representative from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). This work is expected to be completed in 2018.
  • Case study examples of DUKC® technology are taught for the first time at the University of Melbourne as part of a postgraduate port engineering unit developed with the support of Ports Australia and input from the maritime industry.
  • In a further collaboration with the University of Melbourne, OMC’s CEO Peter O’Brien is leading a navigational aid modelling project with other industry partners. They are the University of Melbourne, Pivot Maritime International Pty Ltd (Tasmania) and MetOcean Solutions (New Zealand).



  • Oct: OMC announces that it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with New Zealand-based MetOcean Solutions to coordinate research and development efforts and offer an expanded level of maritime forecasting and hydrodynamic services to port and harbour clients.
  • Aug: Cyprus-flagged ship Efraim A is the deepest draft bulker to visit the Port of Geelong with a draft of 11.9 metres.
  • Aug: Singapore-flagged aframax tanker Phoenix Advance becomes the deepest-draft ship to call at the Port of Geelong with a draft of 11.9 metres – previously 11.6 metres was considered the limit.
  • Feb: Exxon chartered Felicity tanker ship with a draft of 14.5 metres – the deepest draft ship to visit Melbourne – docks at Gelibrand berth after a transit into port.



  • Arrium Mining sets new record for the most tonnes loaded aboard an export cape vessel. The MV ‘FPMC B Nature 380’ was loaded with nearly 205,700 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of iron ore for export, exceeding Arrium’s previous record by more than 1000wmt. This cape was also the deepest ship to have sailed under DUKC® advice, allowing an extra 3500wmt of iron ore to be loaded.
  • Nov: at an awards ceremony dinner in Antwerp, OMC is named Winner of the 2015 IBJ Safety in Bulk Handling (Marine) Award for its maritime technology.
  • Jun: In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Dr Terry O’Brien is appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for “significant service to maritime engineering, to the development of innovative marine navigation equipment and to education”.
  • Jun: Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) announces it has adopted DUKC® technology to safely allow larger ships with more cargo to access the Geelong Port.
  • May: at an awards ceremony dinner in London, OMC is named Runner-Up in the 2015 Seatrade ‘Innovation in Ship Operations’ Award for its web-based DUKC® Series 5 system.
  • Mar: OMC announces that it has signed a contract with Arrium Limited, for a DUKC® system to enhance the safety and efficiency of capesize ships travelling down the Spencer Gulf. This is OMC’s first South Australian installation but also, more significantly, this is the first time that a DUKC® is being used for a transhipment operation.


  • Nov: OMC Founder and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien AM is inducted into the Australian Maritime Hall of Fame for “making an outstanding contribution to Australia’s maritime industry” during an impressive career spanning more than 50 years
  • Nov: OMC’s DUKC® technology is a Finalist in the 2014 IBJ ‘Safety in Bulk Handling’ (Marine) Award
  • Mar: Port of Montreal commissions the DUKC® Series 5 system


  • Dec: AMSA commissions the UKCM system for Torres Strait to be upgraded to include the Series 5 Chart Overlay service
  • Dec: PHPA commissions Series 5 for operational use
  • Nov: Napier Port Authority signs agreement to upgrade to the latest web-based DUKC® Series 5
  • Nov: Fremantle Port Authority signs agreement to upgrade to the latest web-based DUKC® Series 5
  • Jun: OMC announces it has won a major Canadian contract to install DUKC® navigation technology in St Lawrence River after more than 4 years of preliminary studies and visits.
  • Jun: OMC moves its Melbourne headquarters from Paterson St, Abbotsford to larger premises in Harper St, Abbotsford to house its increased staff hired in response to an expanding global workload and to allow for future growth. There are more than 40 staff, including 27 maritime and software engineers.
  • Mar: DUKC® turns 20! (Dr O’Brien’s first system was installed at Queensland’s Hay Point coal terminal in 1993)


  • Nov: at an awards ceremony dinner in Hamburg, OMC iHeave® wins the 2012 IBJ ‘Innovative Technology’ (Marine) Award
  • Oct: Port Hedland signs 5-year ‘Platinum Package’ agreement to upgrade to the latest web-based DUKC® Series 5 and is the first client to have new products such as Optimiser and DUKC® Chart Overlay integrated into their customised system.
  • Jun: DUKC® Series 5 is announced 1st Runner-Up in the 2012 IHS Safety at Sea Awards for Engineering Excellence.


  • Jun: AMSA accepts DUKC® Series 5 for operational use as a UKCM system in Torres Strait. AMSA is the first client to install DUKC® Series 5 which allows accessibility via the internet. This advanced functionality gives authorised users worldwide easier access to the system, thereby enhancing its use as an essential risk mitigation tool for UKC management. The new modular framework also enables users to access only the self-contained modules relevant to their specific needs, whether it be long-term voyage planning, real-time onboard pilotage applications, or shore-based monitoring of multiple vessels by VTS in real-time.
  • OMC wins its first North American contract, a DUKC® desktop study, for the Columbia River Bar, a treacherous waterway known as ‘The Graveyard of the Pacific’ because it has claimed about 2000 ships and 700 lives since 1792. The Columbia River Bar Pilots commissioned this study with funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation.



  • Nov: IBJ honours Dr Terry O’Brien with its ‘Personality of the Year’ Award
  • Jun: Contract announced to install DUKC® management system in Rio Tinto’s Western Australian Cape Lambert port. This is OMC’s 21st DUKC® installation and is significant because Cape Lambert is Rio Tinto’s main growth port. This new contract also includes an extension of the existing DUKC® contract for Rio Tinto shipping operations at the port of Dampier.
  • Jun: In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, OMC Founder and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien is awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to the maritime transport industry.



  • Contract signed with the Federal Waterways Administration in Germany for DUKC® installations in the four ports of the lower and Outer Weser River, including Bremerhaven.
  • Nov: In Sydney, OMC wins the Lloyd’s List DCN 2009 Maritime Services Award “for its work in developing under keel clearance systems, which it has taken to international markets”.
  • Jun: DUKC® now operational in Victoria. OMC licenses DUKC® to the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) to help ensure the safety of large ships entering Port Phillip Heads, one of the most challenging waters for ship navigation to be found anywhere on earth. In extreme conditions, ships longer than 250 metres can plunge several metres downward. Having the safety of this system proven in these extreme waters shows that DUKC® technology is suitable for even the most challenging waterways worldwide.
  • Jun: DUKC® In-Transit wins the ‘Marine Civil Engineering and Construction’ category of the international Seawork 2009 Innovation Showcase Awards in the UK
  • May: OMC’s DUKC® In-Transit is Runner-Up in the international 2009 Seatrade Awards ‘Innovation in Ship Operations’ category in the UK.



  • DUKC® installed in the North Queensland port of Weipa
  • DUKC® VTS operational – a World first
  • Oct: New OMC office opens in the UK, reflecting the company’s growing workload in Europe.
  • Oct: More than 120 senior European delegates watch a real-time demonstration of the Portable Operational and Docking Support System (POADSS) – the next generation Portable Pilot Unit – in the Port of Lisbon where the DUKC® system has been operating since 2007. This POADSS In-Transit system was built from OMC’s DUKC® Portable Pilot Unit (PPU) product. As part of the European Union’s four-year Euro 20million Maritime Navigation and Information Services (MarNIS) research project, OMC is one of the five main partners developing the next generation PPU.
  • Aug: DUKC® emergency response capability with the power to minimise damage and delays is successfully tested for the first time when Port Hedland Port Authority requests OMC’s technical help in refloating a large bulk carrier the ‘Iron King,’ which grounded due to a steering malfunction in Port Hedland, Western Australia. From some 3000km away in Melbourne, OMC helps to quickly unblock Australia’s largest iron ore port, avoiding the loss of US $40 million of product per tide cycle!
  • Jun: New OMC office opens in Perth, WA.
  • Mar: OMC re-certified for ISO 9001:2000 Certification based on “the absence of grounding incident and copious positive feedback”



  • First European DUKC® Installation (Lisbon)
  • DUKC® PPU (Portable Pilot Unit) operational – a World first
  • Development of DUKC® Series IV
  • In recognition of his pioneering role and experience in the field of UKCM, PIANC Maritime Committee (MARCOM) personally invites OMC Founder and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien to chair Working Group 54, tasked with producing the guidelines on the use of Hydro-Meteo data in real-time to optimise port access.



  • Third R&D grant awarded for development of Ground Warning System, later renamed DUKC® VTS
  • OMC invited to join the MarNIS project
  • Dr O’Brien invited to join Permanent International Association of Navigation Congress (PIANC) Working Group 49, tasked with producing new guidelines on channel design, as well as joining international body IALA (International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities) as a regular contributor.



  • Development of DUKC® Series III
  • First DUKC® installation in NSW (Newcastle)
  • November: As part of a promotion for its grants scheme, AusIndustry showcases OMC’s second R&D project (Development of DUKC® Series IV and PPU) as an R&D success story.
  • Mar: OMC’s quality management system certified to ISO 9001:2000 Certification issued by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd with reciprocal recognition by JAS-ANZ and UKAS



  • Marsden Point in New Zealand is the first port to have DUKC® installed purely on safety grounds. The previous year, two super tankers were grounded within three months of each other in the channel leading to NZ’s only oil refinery. It was later shown that a DUKC® system would have prevented both these near environmental disasters because the system would have advised that these sailings not take place on those days due to inadequate UKC.
  • Jun: Ports Corporation of Queensland (PCQ) unveils a commemorative plaque at Hay Point, Queensland to celebrate 10 years of safe operation of OMC’s Hay Point DUKC® system – and also to celebrate the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue this system has delivered to Hay Point port users.
  • OMC moves to third office purchased in Abbotsford – staff grew to 20


  • Second R&D grant awarded for development of PPU, the first ship-based system
  • Jun: The Victorian State Government showcases OMC as an innovative Victorian company in a promotional campaign for the State titled ‘Spotlight on Victoria – Think Melbourne, Australia for ICT’



  • OMC’s DUKC® system Runner-Up in the international 2002 Seatrade Awards ‘Innovation in Ship Operations’ category.



  • First DUKC® installation in New Zealand (Port Taranaki)
  • Peter O’Brien completes Master of Engineering Science in Hydraulic Engineering at Delft University, Holland and returns to OMC.



  • Development of DUKC® Series II
  • DUKC® system installed at Geraldton
  • OMC moves to second office in Abbotsford – staff grew to 15



  • First R&D grant awarded for a Berth Warning System (BWS) and upgrade of DUKC® system to Series II



  • DUKC® system installed at Bunbury.



  • BHP commissions a DUKC® system at Port Hedland
  • DUKC® system is installed at Rio Tinto’s Dampier Port.
  • OMC moves to first office in Hawthorn – 5 staff.



  • DUKC® introduced into Western Australia (Fremantle) for BP tankers, then containers, with strong support from Captain Eric Atkinson, Australia’s longest-serving Harbour Master and 2012-2014 President of the International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA).
  • Dr O’Brien returns to his Melbourne home office and prepares for the introduction of DUKC® to other Australian ports.



  • First DUKC® Series 1 installation (at Hay Point, Queensland following strong support from Ports Corporation of Queensland) – this is the first operational Dynamic UKC System in the World.



  • Dr O’Brien moves to Brisbane to trial his ship motion model in preparation for his first DUKC® installation
  • His son Peter O’Brien spent his post-graduate year (B.E Civil Eng.Melb.) at OMC Brisbane and developed the Berth No.2 Mooring System for Dalrymple Bay.



  • After a distinguished 22-year academic career, Dr O’Brien leaves Melbourne University to commercialise his ship motion research to solve practical problems in the maritime industry and establishes OMC International – working from his home office in converted stables.