Naval Architecture

Professors Neilson, Onas, Gallagher and Royce

The fundamental laws of buoyancy, stability, and strength are fully considered, as these have universal application to all kinds of ships and floating structures. The study of naval architecture is begun in the Freshman year in order to familiarize the student as early as possible with ship and shipbuilding terms, technical facets of ship analysis and design, shipyard arrangements and general methods of ship construction. Major subjects covered are hydrostatics, stability, ship structure, ship dynamics, resistance, and propulsion. Knowledge gained is subsequently applied in the design courses.

Owing to the wide variety of types and sizes of ships in service at the present time, it is inevitable that a certain amount of specialization is necessary for their design and construction. It is the aim of the courses to cover the fundamentals of naval architecture in the time available, so that the specialized study of any one of a number of particular types or classes of ships may be left to the individual who, after graduation, is especially concerned with them.

Freshman Year


This course presents an overall introduction to the marine industry.  The terminology and the technologies of naval architecture are presented.  Graphic techniques, which form the basis for the naval architect's understanding of ship form and lines drawing, are introduced.  The broad spectrum of ship types - from sailing yachts and tugs to mammoth tankers and aircraft carriers, from submarines to air cushion vehicles - are described.  Basic principles of hull structure are introduced, and from this a consideration of how to build ships is presented. The final part of the course is a direct preparation for the first winter work period. Two hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week in the first semester.

Sophomore Year

          SHIP STATICS (NA II)

This introductory course in hydrostatics of ships covers buoyancy, weights, metacenters and stability at small and large angles of heel and trim. Stability after damage, and hydrostatic considerations in drydocking and grounding are treated. In the project part of the course, curves of form are calculated for a small vessel with much of the work done on a computer. Cross curves of stability are also calculated for the same hull form. Two hours of class and two hours of lab per week in the first semester.

Junior Year


The components of a ship's resistance and the effects of important hull parameters are discussed as well as the special problems of bulbous bows and hull appendages. Full-scale prediction of ship resistance by means of model tests, standard series and regression analyses are examined and criticized. Wake fraction, thrust deduction and propulsive coefficient are presented.  Both the screw propeller and water jet are considered as a propulsion device. Two hours per week of lecture and a two hour laboratory every week in the first semester.

              SHIP STRUCTURES (NA IV)

The course covers ship structural analysis and design using analytical and finite element techniques.  Longitudinal strength of the hull and the design of a midship section are discussed.  Hull girder bending and torsion are studied in detail.  Shear flow in a typical ship cross section is calculated.  Bending and buckling of stiffened and unstiffened panels are presented.  Concepts of fatigue are discussed and material properties important in structural design are reviewed.  Projects are done using analytical as well as finite element methods.  Two hours of class and two hours of laboratory per week in the second semester.

Senior Year

           SHIP DYNAMICS (NA V)

In this course, the student applies knowledge of basic mathematics, dynamics and hydrodynamics to the study of ship performance in the areas of seakeeping and maneuvering. The equations of motion are developed for seakeeping, and expressions for wave excitation force, damping and added mass are developed, based on strip theory and deep-water wave velocity potential theory.  The response of a ship to ocean waves is treated, first to a single wave train and then to a wave spectrum using linear superposition principles.  Calculations are compared to scale model test results.  Seakeeping criteria are discussed, including critical vessel responses such as roll, deck wetness, slamming, and impact loads. The equations of motion for maneuvering are developed.  Analytical and experimental methods of determining coefficients are presented.  Rudder design, steering, course keeping, and maneuvering stimulation are studied.  Considerations related to design and operations are discussed.  Two hours of class and two hours of laboratory per week in the first semester. 


This course concentrates on the theory and design of the screw propeller for ship propulsion. Lifting line and lifting surface representations are used to design blade sections of a propeller for the ship developed in the preceding ship design courses. Cavitation and blade strength are checked, and the propeller drawing is prepared with the aid of computer graphics. Modes of ship hull vibration, propeller-induced exciting forces, and methods of reducing hull vibrations are considered.  Other propulsors are discussed for comparison.  Three hours per week in the second semester.


This course gives an overview of marine transportation systems, including tankers, breakbulk, drybulk and container lines from a business standpoint.  The fundamentals of maritime economics and financial management are presented, including a fleet analysis based on the ship design project begun in the Ship Design I course.  Case studies and a research paper are used as the primary learning tools.  Management techniques and linear programming are included.  Three hours per week of class in the second semester.