Getting to know…Ana Casaca FICS, our extra pair of hands in Portugal

Posted on Monday, January 17, 2022

In the lead-up to the 2022 International Research Conference on Maritime Affairs organised by Ana and the World of Shipping Portugal and proudly supported by the Institute, we caught up with her to learn more about Ana's extraordinary education, career and life to date.


Dr Ana Casaca FICS

What is your current role?

Although I started at sea, I am currently involved in research and development. Under research and development, I play different jobs/roles. I am an External Expert for the European Commission on transport matters evaluating proposals that the different Consortiums submit for funding and reviewing the research projects underway.

At the same time, I peer review research papers either submitted to journals or conferences. As part of this job, I am Associate Editor of 'Maritime Business Review', Editorial Board Member of the 'Journal of International Logistics' and 'Universal Journal of Management', Review Editor of 'Frontiers in Future Transportation' and Guest Editor 'Journal of Shipping and Trade' and 'Maritime Business Review'.

In addition, I organise conferences, carry out my research and lecture. So, all days are different!


ana casaca advice

What do you enjoy about your work?

Getting information that is transformed into knowledge is what excites me most about this job. It requires me to keep updated with the research being carried out and the events going on in the industry. This applies either to the proposals that I evaluate or to the papers that I peer review. In this way, I can link industry and research. Digging into books, papers and the internet to learn about areas that I do not cover daily adds value.

How does what you do fit into the overall shipping landscape?

No industry can survive without research and development activities to be competitive. The same applies to the shipping industry. This is particularly relevant when the industry is being forced to design, research and develop new technologies to accommodate a range of alternative fuels, thus contributing to the decarbonisation of our planet. So, if my work contributes to identifying those "best" or "most viable" solutions, then I am happy. Although this invisible work is very much upstream of ships' life cycles, it is undoubtedly the beginning of something that can deliver an extraordinary ending.

How has the ICS experience helped you to get where you are today?

I came across the ICS Tutorship programme when I looked for an institution that could provide distance learning on shipping matters. It was as if the Universe was bringing all the forces together! This was back in 1995 when we still had to answer the Lessons Test Questions in carbon copies, mail them to the HQ in London and so on. However, this became a valuable process because the courses are demanding and require many studies to do the exams.

The knowledge I got from my first year supported me in doing my MSc. in International Logistics at the University of Plymouth and my PhD at the University of Wales - Cardiff. Also, by studying shipping with the ICS, I could grow my knowledge into a new area, "international logistics". At the time, only Plymouth provided such a Master's Degree, which was an added value.

So, today I can approach any shipping area with ease since I have learned how to pick up the information I need to do my work. As part of the ICS experience, I benefited greatly from the ICS's intensive preparatory courses held at the University of Warwick: the legendary ICS PREP. If I recall, I attended two of them, and the environment between Tutors and Students was great!

What piece of advice would you give to those thinking about studying with the ICS?

My advice to those thinking about studying with the ICS is

ana casaca

What is the best thing about the shipping/maritime industry, in your opinion?

Shipping involves so many people with different background principles, values, and cultures that we must be prepared to learn about and welcome in our lives. The result is a vast network of contacts that will accompany me throughout my life.


The 2022 International Research Conference on Maritime Affairs organised by Ana and the World of Shipping Portugal takes place online from 27 - 28 January 2022 and registration is now OPEN:



The full conference programme and information can be found here: