Marine Engineering

Professors Wiggins, Gallagher, and Werner

This division includes those courses that pertain directly to marine machinery. The sequence begins with an introductory survey of propulsion and auxiliary systems. In the following years, detailed studies of machinery and systems are undertaken, including design aspects of steam generators, steam and gas turbines, diesel engines, heat exchangers, power transmission systems, main engine support systems, piping systems, HVAC systems, and control systems.     The concepts of system integration, configuration management, and rational evaluation of alternative approaches are stressed. 

The sequence culminates in a project in which the students prepare an outline proposal for a complete power plant for a specific application and undertake an investigation of its economic merit in comparison with a group of likely alternatives.


Freshman Year


This course presents the fundamentals of marine propulsion systems in which the overall needs of ship board powering are described, followed by a detailed discussion of steam, diesel, gas-turbine, and nuclear-powered prime movers.  Students gain an understanding of the components and their function in each of these types of propulsion.  A lab component of the course requires the students, in small groups, to run a steam plant in the marine engineering lab and to disassemble and reassemble a small diesel engine.  The course begins the marine engineering program and provides background to students for their sophomore sea term.  Two hours per week in the second semester. 

Sophomore Year


This course builds on the Introduction to Marine Engineering Systems course and presents the fundamentals of auxiliary shipboard systems and components. Auxiliary systems presented include fuel, compressed air, bilge and ballast, cooling water, sanitary and sewage, HVAC and refrigeration, and electrical. Components discussed include pumps, compressors, valves and piping, heat exchangers, purifiers, steering machinery, deck machinery, distilling plants, sewage plants, and refrigeration plants. The course includes hands-on experiences and field trips to visit ships and other marine facilities. The course includes additional preparations for the sophomore sea term. Two hours of class and two hours of lab per week in the first semester.


This course involves the design of specific machine elements such as shafts, gears, couplings, clutches, brakes, screw fasteners, and bolted joints. It applies the theory from the Strength of Materials course to practical problems in machine design. In addition, dynamic and fatigue stress analysis are introduced. Marine examples are used for the various elements, such as marine gearing and shafting. Three hours per week in the second semester.

Junior Year


The course consists of three distinct, related parts. Part one deals with the thermodynamic design of a combined steam turbine/gas turbine system. Design trade-offs and optimization are included. Part two deals with the design of the steam turbine from part one. Consideration of both thermodynamics and fluid mechanics are included. Part three provides coverage of heat transfer. One-dimensional steady and unsteady conduction and the empirical approach to convection are discussed. Brief coverage of radiation is provided. This part of the course culminates with the design of one of the heat exchangers in a COGAS plant. Design trade-offs and optimization are included. Three hours per week in the first semester.


This course covers the design of shipboard machinery systems, building on the previous marine engineering courses and the students’ examination of systems while on board ships. The principles of fluid flow are used to design piping and hydraulic systems. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning design is covered. The final part of the course introduces monitoring and control systems, using analog/digital conversions, programmable logic controllers, and feedback controls. Throughout all of the design work, consideration of the relevant regulatory requirements is included. Four hours of class per week during the second semester.

Senior Year


This course includes a detailed analysis of diesel engines, a review of gas turbines, and completion of a machinery plant design for the vessels used in the Ship Design sequence.  This design exercise draws on all the prior marine engineering courses as well as the student’s shipboard experience, in that all the propulsion and auxiliary equipment items are selected from vendor information, and the related machinery systems are designed to support them.  A lab sequence involving hands-on work with low-speed and high-speed diesels is included.  Four hours of class and two hours of laboratory per week in the first semester.