CAPTAIN FREDERICK JAMES FRANCIS
Advisor, veteran seafarer and researcher
Capt. Frederick Francis is a veteran seafarer and researcher with a wide spectrum of experience. He first went out to sea in 1978 as a deck cadet in Neptune Orient Lines (American President Lines). Midway, he served his national service in the Singapore Navy where he was awarded Best Recruit and Outstanding Soldier. He resumed his merchant marine career moving up the ranks and at the age of 29 was promoted to master. He commanded several types of foreign-going ships for a period of five years before stepping ashore. He then joined the Singapore Polytechnic as a lecturer. NOL was his first company and SP is his second and current employers.
Under a scholarship, Frederick earned his Degree of Master of Laws (LL.M) in Legal Aspects of Marine Affairs in 2001 from Cardiff University. He was top in marine insurance and was awarded a distinction for his dissertation. With a law background, he has mediated and apportioned blame for collision, is an expert witness in arbitration and litigation cases, and was an IMO-ASEAN legal consultant. He serves on the committees of the Singapore Maritime Arbitration Association and Mission to Seafarers Singapore and is the Founding Commodore of the World Maritime Heritage Society. He is the current President of the Singapore Nautical Institute and also served as a Panel Member of the Requisition of Vessels (4 years) under the Ministry of Defence.
On the legal side of things, he is a member of the Maritime Law Association of Singapore and has been on the committee since the first President (C Arul). There has been three other presidents since as his services are still valued. He regularly researches on maritime law, safety and security, marine environment and maritime heritage and regularly presents papers at conferences both locally and internationally.
Frederick has been conferred several awards including the Port of Singapore Authority Commendable Act, the United States Coast Guard Public Service Commendation and USCG Certificate of Merit, SP Green Buddy (3 times), SP Innovative & Creativity, and SP R&D Commendation award. He also received the National Council of Social Service Long Service Award and the Ministry of Education – Service to Education Award. More recently, he was conferred Honorary Professor of the Far Eastern State Fisheries University, Russia for his contribution towards international maritime education and research. In 2019, he received the Singapore Red Cross Champion of Champions award (blood donation) and the National Day Award Long Service Medal (Ministry of Education).
Currently, he manages CET Business Development, Industrial Collaborations and Alumni at the Singapore Maritime Academy and is the Assistant Centre Director at the recently established Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) at the Singapore Polytechnic, working closely with the Singapore Maritime Institute and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
A researcher in marine conservation, he rescued corals and enhances the flora and fauna by creating an underwater garden cum open sea aquarium at Labrador Nature Reserve under an R&D grant. He is an accomplished writer and is one of the principle authors of ‘Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore (Shipping and Navigation)’ and ‘Maritime Heritage of Singapore book. He is the author and publisher of ‘History of Singapore – Islands and Islanders’ and ‘Maritime Heritage of Singapore’. Other books include ‘Guide to Safe Navigation in the Singapore Straits’ and ‘Diary of a Sailor’. His love for research has resulted in several grants from the National Heritage Board (one combined under MPA & NHB) and SG50. With three projects completed, his latest with NHB is the creation of a maritime learning journey for pre-schoolers to provide an appreciation of our heritage and encourage youths to consider a maritime career. This is on-going with set-ups running.
His fine balance in research, consultancy, volunteer work and sports (competed in Singapore Ironman for 3 consecutive years) is most interesting not forgetting the fact that he is a regular blood donor and has given more than 163 times and considers it as part of his lifestyle. Frederick is blessed with a dynamic wife and four children.
Master Mariner, CoC Class 1 Foreign Going (Australia).
LL.M (Master of Laws – Legal Aspects of Marine Affairs, UK)
Hon Professor – Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, Russia
Areas of Expertise
-Singapore MSA1996 & MPA Act 1997
-Collision Law and Regulations
-Admiralty Law and Practice
-Law of the Carriage of Goods by Sea
-Law of Marine Insurance
-Law of the Sea and International Trade
Maritime Safety & Security
-Ship and Cyber Security Management
-Regulations Safety of Navigation
History & Heritage
-Singapore’s Islands, Culture and Heritage
Research & Development
-2019 till present: Legal framework for maritime autonomous surface ships and a re-look at current collision regulations to accommodate digitisation and disruptive technology for maritime safety and security and a future-ready workforce.
-2018 till present: Maritime Learning Journey for Pre-schoolers – co-funded by National Heritage Board with initial set-up at MMI (Modern Montessori International).
-2017: History of Singapore – Islands and Islanders (book on Singapore – funded by the National Heritage Board and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore)
-2007, 2011 & 2011: Halsbury’s Law of Singapore (Shipping and Navigation volumes)
-2006: Project leader and co-designer of “The Artificial Reef Garden and Open Sea Aquarium” at Labrador Nature Reserve and Sentosa waters.
-2004: Project leader and designer of “Zero water change Marine Fish Aquarium”.
Awards / Appreciation Certificates
-2019: National Day Award – Long Service Medal
-2019: SG Bicentennial Certificate of Appreciation for participation and outstanding contribution to the Singapore Bicentennial
-2019: Red Cross Champion of Champions Award
-2018: Certificate of Honorary Professor by the decision of the Scientific Council of Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, Russia
-2017: Ministry of Education – Service to Education Award (serving on School Advisory Committee of Bendemeer Secondary School)
-2017: National Council of Social Service Long Service Award – Serving Mission to Seafarers committee for twenty years.
-2016: Singapore Red Cross Certificate of Commendation – Diamond Award (in recognition of the 125 blood donations made).
-2015: Ministry of Education Innergy Award for “SMA-Russian-Brunei project – “Connecting the Dots”.
-2015: SG50 Certificate of Appreciation for being part of the momentous milestone in Singapore’s journey as a nation.
Awards / Appreciation Certificates
-2014: Singapore Red Cross Certificate of Commendation – Gold Award (in recognition of the 100 blood donations made).
-2013: Singapore Polytechnic Best Suggestion of the Year Award FY2012 2012: Singapore Polytechnic Best Suggestion of the Year Award FY2011
-2012: Singapore River Raft Race 2012 – Winner for the Most Innovative Raft, Open category
Many others including:
-2007, 2003 & 2002: SP Green Buddy Award (for care of the environment).
-2007, 2006 & 2005: Singapore River Raft Race 2007 – Winner for the Most Innovative Inter-department raft (Designer and Team Leader).
-2006: SP Research & Development Commendation Award 2006 (designer and project leader for Seacil, the Artificial Reef Garden).
-2005: MPA International Sports week 2005 – Best Manager Award. Also led the SP team as player/manger winning in soccer and basketball.
-2004: SP Creative & Innovative Award (invented the Insert Biological Sump Filtration System for aquariums).
-2004: Certificate of Appreciation as past Panel Member (vessels) Ministry of Defence Requisition of Resources Compensation Board from 2000 to 2004 by Mr Peter Ho, Permanent Secretary (Defence).
-1997: Steven Covey 7-Habits Course – Golden Goose Award. 1994: Neptune Orient Lines (APL) Certificate of Commendation. 1994: Port of Singapore Authority Commendable Act Award.
-1994: NSSPL (Neptune Ship-management) Letter of Commendation. 1994: Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union Letter of Commendation. 1993: USCG (United States Coast Guard) Certificate of Merit.
-1993: USCG Public Service Commendation (Rescue at Sea). 1981: Outstanding Soldier Award, Republic of Singapore Navy.
-1979: Best Recruit (Basic Military Training), Singapore Armed Forces.