Akmal has a BEng and MSc in Naval Architecture from Newcastle University. His interests are in vessel design, marine structures design, mooring design and analysis, and marine renewable technology. He has a good grounding in different Classification Society rules for structural assessment gained during his time in University and he is familiar with the Common Structural Rules. He is competent in stability assessment, assessment of structural requirements, and in specialist maritime software such as AVEVA Marine. Other specialist maritime software that he was introduced to included ANSYS, MAXSURF, AutoCAD, and Inventor. He completed a short 3-month internship in the safety department with PPL Shipyard in Singapore during his diploma studies and was introduced to the typical shipyard operations. His time in the shipyard was spent assisting safety officers in safety inspections for work related hazards, enforcement of safe working practices, and issuing of work permits during the Vessel Safety meetings.