Career in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering

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Career in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering : : Career Scope for Ocean Engineers and Naval Architects

Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering are job oriented areas with good potential. However, the fact is that the number of institutions catering to this course of study is limited. As offshore industry is becoming commercially important in several fields like transport, trade, oil and gas, mineral exploration, etc., more efficiently designed vessels and offshore facilities are the need of the day. This commercial importance is because oceans truly are the last frontiers remaining on earth, and it is up to the Ocean Engineers to find ways to reckon, investigate and utilize ocean and coastal resources. Hence, the prospects for the beginners in this area look bright.

Ocean Engineering as a discipline encompasses the breadth of engineering sciences including design, construction, development operation and planning of systems that operate in an oceanic and marine environment. Naval Architecture, which has traditionally been studied as a discipline in itself is however a subdivision of Ocean Engineering, that specializes in the design of ships and other sea – going vessels. In Naval Architecture, all structures related to ship building, i.e., the ships, boats, submarines, oil rigs, hover crafts, etc., are to be designed. Therefore, the main activities involved in the discipline of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture are the preliminary design of the offshore structures, its detailed design, construction, trials, operation and maintenance, launching and dry – docking works etc.

Ocean Engineers and Naval Architects :

Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers are also engineers, who perform the activities of design, construction, maintenance and repair of ships, boats, other marine vessels and offshore structures. Their scope is not only constrained to civilian activities, but also to military activities like in design and construction of submarines, warships, frigates, destroyers, etc. Since, Ocean Engineering is a discipline having influence from different disciplines, to undertake all these tasks the Ocean Engineer must have an understanding of many branches of engineering and must be in the forefront of high technology areas such as computer aided design and calculation.

Therefore, a Ocean Engineer / Naval Architect requires a creative, enquiring and logical mind; the ability to communicate clearly in speech and writing with others inside and outside the engineering profession; sound judgment and qualities of leadership. The education and training given to the Ocean Engineers are designed to develop these skills and to lead him or her to recognised qualifications and professional status.


Sigificance of Ocean Engineering :

Ocean Engineering is a cooperative effort between groups of technically skilled individuals who are specialists in particular fields, often coordinated by a lead Ocean Engineer, because of the complexity associated with operating in the Marine environment and the influence of various disciplines like Oceanography, Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, Marine Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.
Also due to this integral complexity, the analytical tools available in this field are much less evolved than those for designing aircraft, cars and even spacecraft. This is primarily attributed to the paucity of data on the environment the marine vehicle is required to work in and the complexity of the interaction of waves and wind on a marine structure.

Modern engineering on this scale is essentially a team activity conducted by professional engineers in their respective fields and disciplines. However, it is the Ocean Engineers who integrate their activities and take ultimate responsibility for the overall project. This demanding leadership role requires managerial qualities and ability to bring together the often conflicting demands of the various professional engineering disciplines involved to produce a product which is “fit for the purpose”. In addition to this vital managerial role, the Ocean Engineers also have a specialist function in ensuring that a safe, economic and seaworthy design is produced. Without them providing for the safe and efficient transport and recovery of the world’s raw materials and products, modern society as we know could not have existed.

While engineering has been around for hundreds of Years, the term “ocean engineering” has been in existence for only about 5G Years. However, there are certainly a myriad of engineering problems related to our oceans that have existed for quite some time and most of which still need attention. As we know more than two – thirds of the earth is covered by oceans, and more than 90% of the biological living space exists in the oceans, but in terms of number of Ocean Engineers, they are very few. So, now those who choose Ocean Engineering have quite a collection of problems to solve, that is, they are having lots of opportunities to excel. Therefore, Ocean Engineering as a field of engineering has many opportunities within it to make an impact.

Domains of Ocean Engineering :

There are six main forms of Ocean Engineering, though most Ocean Engineering students will learn all aspects of the career so that they are eligible for most Ocean Engineering jobs as soon as they graduate. Mapping the sea or ocean floor is one of the specialities. Students spend their days in designing, building, and running equipment and programs that can be used to create clear maps of the ocean floor’s landscape. this knowledge can help prevent shipwrecks caused by hitting sand bars or reefs. Hydrodynamics is a branch in which students learn how the water’s flow affects items in its way.

Underwater acoustics is another speciality with Ocean Engineering that uses sound waves to study the ocean floor. Coastal modeling is a branch of Ocean Engineering in which physics and maths are used to predict the rate of a tide or erosion. Marine geomechanics specialists study the changes of a seabed when items like erosion, earthquakes, slope deformities, and man – made intrusions take place.

Finally, offshore structural engineering is a branch of Ocean Engineering where students learn to design offshore structures like piers, tide breaks, sewer pipes, breakwaters, jetties, oil platforms, oil rigs, etc., and study how offshore structures get affected by the marine environment and how the marine environment get affected by – offshore structures. Also, the field of Ocean Engineering provides an important link between the other oceanographic disciplines such as marine biology, chemical and physical oceanography, and marine geology and geophysics. Just as the interests of oceanographers have driven the demand for the design skills and technical expertise of Ocean Engineers, the innovations in instrumentation and equipment design made by Ocean Engineers have revolutionized the field of oceanography. This is especially true within the last three decades.

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Career in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering