Robert Vart

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Robert Vart
Robert Vart

Consultant Marine Engineer

work Hong Kong

work +852 2358 4794
cell +852 9031 1478

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Career Summary

Curriculum Vitae

Robert Vart has a background in marine engineering, holding a Combined Class 1 Certificate of Competency, and a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is listed in Hong Kong as a Registered Professional Engineer (Marine and Naval Architecture) and is a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. 


Robert began his career as an engineer cadet with Ocean Fleets Ltd. (formerly Alfred Holt & Co.) and performed all of his sea service with that company, rising to the rank of second engineer officer. That sea service provided him with invaluable practical experience of the operation and maintenance of a wide variety of vessels including general cargo ships, refrigerated cargo carriers, tankers and container vessels. 

Robert practises in Hong Kong and London as a high-profile independent marine consultant in the private sector. He was resident partner in Hong Kong for Brookes Bell & Co. for seven years, before founding Vart, Mathews & Company in 1987. In 2000, 

Vart, Mathews & Company was superseded by Robert Vart RPE Ltd., which was re-absorbed into the Brookes Bell Group in 2011. 

His shore-based experience also includes a period as superintendent engineer for a major UK shipowner, gaining valuable experience in shipmanagement and shipbuilding practice. 

He specialises in major hull and machinery cases, and has given expert evidence on matters such as sale and purchase disputes, speed and consumption disputes, allegations of unseaworthiness, newbuilding disputes etc., in London, New York, Honolulu, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Manila. 

Academic Qualifications 

  • BSc (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering Professional Qualifications 
  • Chartered Engineer, UK 
  • 1st Class (Steam & Motor) Engineer's Certificate of Competency, UK Registered Professional Engineer, Hong Kong 

Professional Membership 

  • Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology, UK – Fellow Royal Institution of Naval Architects, UK – Member 
  • Hong Kong Institute of Engineers – Fellow 
  • Hong Kong Engineers Registration Board – Registered Professional Engineer

Previous Employment History 

  • Vart, Mathews & Co. Ltd - Founder and Managing Director of this marine consultancy and surveying company. 
  • Brookes Bell & Co - Partner and resident manager in Hong Kong for this internationally renowned marine consultancy group with offices in London and Liverpool. 
  • Hong Kong Government Marine Department - Surveyor of Ships (Engine and Ship) to the Hong Kong Government. 

Sea-Going Employment 

  • Ocean Transport & Trading Ltd - Sea service worldwide in various ranks from Engineer Cadet to Second Engineer Officer aboard a wide variety of vessel types, including passenger, dry cargo and crude oil carriers. Subsequently promoted to Superintendent and responsible, variously, for research and development, newbuilding and shipmanagement projects. 

Surveying and Consultancy Experience 

Including but not limited to: 

  • Chemical tanker and VLCC cargo containment problems. 
  • More than 10 newbuilding disputes (including attendance twice at sea trials) plus related litigation support. 
  • Main engine damage (including 3 crankcase explosion investigations). 
  • Generator damage. 
  • Damage to dock property. 
  • MARPOL violations; oil pollution prevention. 
  • Bunker quality and quantity disputes. 
  • Total loss claims. 
  • Collision damage assessment. 
  • Grounding damage assessment. 
  • High-jacking prevention measures. 
  • Hull fouling. 
  • Casualty investigation and forensic engineering. 
  • Bunker quality and quantity disputes. 
  • Collision damage. 
  • Engine room fire and explosion investigations. 
  • Grounding damage assessment. 
  • Hull and machinery repairs, including preparation of specifications, inspections, assessment of costs, etc. 
  • Main and auxiliary engine failure investigations. 
  • Speed and angle of blow assessment. 
  • Extensive experience in all aspects of ship repair work, hull machinery and cargo surveying, as well as major marine casualty investigations. 
  • Provision of expert evidence at London Arbitration hearings involving major machinery failures and ship performance disputes. 
  • Provision of expert evidence in Hong Kong litigations relating to maritime fraud, and in Manila relating to seaworthiness. 
  • Management of a multi-disciplinary team of up to six marine professionals. 
  • Assignments involved investigation of newbuilding disputes, surveys of hull structural failures, damage assessment of major collisions, engineering aspects of machinery failures, transit damage to high-technology cargo. 
  • Provision of expert evidence at London Arbitration hearings involving major machinery failures, damage to refrigerated cargo, sale/purchase disputes and ship performance disputes. 
  • Provision of expert evidence in New York litigation relating to carriage of steel products, and in Honolulu relating to fire safety and seaworthiness of bulk carriers. 
  • Supervision of the design, plan approval, construction and acceptance trials of various new government vessels. 
  • The survey (under SOLAS) of hull, machinery and safety equipment of various vessels, issuance of Passenger Certificates, Safety Construction and Safety Equipment Certificates, etc. 
  • Plan approval for the design or modification of commercial vessels operating in Hong Kong waters. 
  • Investigation of marine casualties resulting in injury or loss of life. 
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