PersonnelDr. Ronald Pelot

Dr. Ronald Pelot

Dr. Ronald Pelot


  • Ph.D. Mgt. Sciences, University of Waterloo, 1990
  • M.Sc., Mec hanical Engineering, Univ. of Alberta, 1982
  • B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering (Management Option), Univ. of Ottawa, 1979. Magna cum laude


Ronald Pelot has been a Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University since 1994. In 1997, he founded the Maritime Activity and Risk Investigation Network (MARIN) at Dalhousie. Over the past two decades, he and his team have developed new software tools and analysis methods applied to maritime traffic safety (accidents) and environmental impacts, and coastal zone risk management. Research methods encompass spatial risk analysis, vessel traffic modelling, data processing and pattern analysis, location models for response resource allocation, safety analyses, and risk assessment.

Dr. Pelot’s teaching spans a suite of topics, from Engineering Economics (for which he has co-authored a textbook), Operations Research, Risk and Decision Analysis, and Organizational Behaviour. He has won several teaching awards during his tenure at Dalhousie. He also co-teaches courses on risks management in the Marine Affairs Program, and the School of Public Administration.

Ron is currently the Associate Scientific Director of the national research network MEOPAR NCE (Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network of Centres of Excellence).  This network, founded in 2012, supports research and training in areas involving changing oceans, and changing uses of the ocean, including coastal impacts.  He is the Assistant Dean of Co-op in the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie, a role which connects our university programs with industry needs through the placement of our students in a wide variety of jobs.  Finally, Ron served at the Director of the RBC Centre for Risk Management at Dalhousie from 2005-2008.

Research Interests

  • Maritime traffic modelling
  • Risk Analysis
  • Spatial analysis
  • Arctic shipping
  • Optimal response resource allocation
  • Maritime emergency response
  • Cumulative impacts of maritime shipping
  • Risk and remoteness

To assess risks associated with maritime shipping often requires measures and modelling of the degree of activity, nature of the activity, and types of impacts from the activity. So a lot of his work is based on vessel activity measurements through AIS (automatic Identification System), LRIT (Long range identification and tracking of ships), fishing vessel activity, and surveys about recreational boating. This basis allows the development of exposure measures, trends and spatial distribution of the various types of traffic. From this, risks can be deduced. Recent projects include developing an improved risk model of ship oil spills to determine zones of greatest risk depending on the degree of exposure, and the effects of extreme weather on fishing safety, and optimal resource allocation for Search & Rescue. Other studies concern shipping in the arctic, including a network model of feasible routes accounting for ice, land and bathymetry and a forecast of northern traffic in the future based on a wide range of drivers. The impact of a major disruption to shipping and ports (from an earthquake say), and how to improve emergency response planning is the subject of another ongoing study. Dr. Pelot has published over 50 journal articles and produced more than 100 technical reports.