Finnish ship designer Deltamarin saw the potential in hiring a young thermodynamics student in 2007, when it recognised Mia Elg could be a perfect fit for its long-term drive to improve energy efficiencies.

Nearly 15 years on, 38-year-old Elg is head of research and development at Deltamarin and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the shipping industry has come to the forefront.

"I have a love for nature and the sea, and now there is a big push for environmental technologies," she said.