The world depends on the sea for over 90% of its trade and a significant fraction of its energy production requirements. London is a major centre for the global maritime industry, home to more than half of the world’s international shipping bodies and more professional maritime service providers than any other location. The UK offers a wide range of marine-related employment opportunities, from consulting design engineers to shipping operators and insurers.

Ocean engineering is the application of engineering principles to vehicles and structures that operate on or under water. In this minor, you will learn about the specific challenges the marine environment poses for designers as well as the necessary analytical techniques to ensure a design can overcome them.

The course will cover a range of topics, including:

  • The engineering challenges posed by the ocean environment
  • The global shipping and offshore industries and the range of ships they employ
  • Calculation and measurement of ship stability, powering and manoeuvrability
  • Ocean and coastal waves and currents and how they influence designs
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Marine renewable energy generation
  • Fundamental design skills for large complex products
  • The specific design skills required to produce ships and floating structures

The course is structured around development of students’ designs, including design and build of an autonomous underwater vehicle.

High Speed Patrol Vessel Mega Yachts
Left: High speed patrol vessel Right: Mega yachts, Monte Carlo

Specific skills students will learn:

  • The necessary techniques to design a marine vehicle or structure
  • Balancing a floating/submerged design for mass and volume
  • Experimental testing of ship models using a wave/towing tank
  • An appreciation of the practical difficulties of building an underwater vehicle


Module 1 (Year 2, Term 2) – Ocean Engineering Fundamentals

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Sub-sea Space Research
Left: Sub-sea space research Right: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle similar to one used for the hunt for flight MH370

This module introduces the marine environment, including the global shipping and offshore industries and the employment opportunities they offer for engineers. It goes on to cover analytical methods for ship structural strength, stability, powering and maneuverability. Over the course of this module you will design and construct a small autonomous underwater vehicle, applying the techniques you learn as you go. The course usually includes a field trip to a ship and/or port.

Dr Enrico Anderlini –  ku.ca1547985583.lcu@1547985583inilr1547985583edna.1547985583e1547985583

Module Outline – Ocean Engineering

Module 2 (Year 3, Term 1) – Offshore and Coastal Engineering

Coastal Erosion Offshore Wind Farms
Left: Coastal erosion Right: Offshore wind farm

This module focuses on the engineering concerns specific to the regions of the ocean near the coastline. It covers marine meteorology and techniques to model waves, erosion and other coastal processes. Group projects will relate to topics like design of offshore port facilities, options for use of an area of seabed, design of offshore renewable energy facilities and coastal protection planning for a length of coastline. The course usually includes a field trip day to the Sussex coast.

Prof Richard Simons – ku.ca1547985583.lcu@1547985583snomi1547985583s.r.r1547985583

Module Outline – Offshore and Coastal Engineering

Module 3 (Year 3, Term 2) – Maritime Design

High Speed Catamaran Ferry Offshore Deep Water Drilling Rig
Left: High speed catamaran ferry Right: Offshore deep water drilling rig

This module is structured around the development of the design for a ship or ocean structure. You will receive lectures in naval architecture and marine systems engineering, while in parallel developing a design problem from a realistic specification to the concept design stage. By the end of the module you will produce arrangement drawings, a 3D-printed hullform and preliminary estimates of weights, stability, powering, marine systems specification and cost.

Dr Rachel Pawling – ku.ca1547985583.lcu@1547985583gnilw1547985583ap.r1547985583

Module Outline – Maritime Design

Lead Academic

Prof Giles Thomas
Dept Mechanical Engineering
Email: ku.ca1547985583.lcu@1547985583samoh1547985583t.sel1547985583ig1547985583

Choose your IEP Minor

Please select your preferred Minor via IEP Minors Moodle Poll