Ship Design

Professors Neilson, Gallagher, and Onas

These three courses synthesize the course material taken to date—especially in the naval architecture and marine engineering curricula—and represent the capstone sequence of the Webb academic program.  Both team and individual project work characterize these courses as do analysis and presentation skills development.

Junior Year

          SHIP DESIGN I (SD I)

The design process is presented in overview from the feasibility to the detail levels.  Small teams of students undertake the initial design of a boat, ship, or offshore vessel of their choice, being led through the iterative design process with the aid of accompanying lectures on various aspects:  hull sizing, weights and centers estimation, power prediction, initial stability, space and general arrangements, etc.  Industry mentors are identified to help develop the problem statements, guide the students through the technical aspects of their design, and provide networking opportunities. The knowledge gained in previous naval architecture courses is applied, and the student is taught to appreciate the effects on the design process of physical and fiscal restraints, government and classification society regulations and unique mission requirements.  

Oral and written design reports are required.  Presentation of student designs to a panel of invited professionals is required. The design problem statement for a large, oceangoing ship is developed, and initial conceptual sizing is performed.  This oceangoing ship design will be developed further in subsequent courses (SD II, SD III, NA VI, and ME VI). One hour of class and four drawing room hours per week in the second semester.

Senior Year

          SHIP DESIGN II (SD II)

The preliminary design to meet the specifications developed in SD I is completed by each student in several projects over the semester.  A general arrangement of the vessel, along with a powering analysis, is the first step.  A lines plan is then developed, based on the preliminary hull from the first step.  Next, another iteration of the arrangements is made, and finally the intact and damaged stability are analyzed.  Two hours of class and four drawing room hours per week in the first semester.


The preliminary design of a ship is concluded from the previous semesters. Classification rules are revisited with focus on understanding the terminology and the relevant structural requirements applicable to the project. Hull girder longitudinal strength requirements are evaluated based on classification society rules and quasi-static loading analysis using a longitudinal weight distribution method and general hydrostatics software. Using two representative ship operating condition and the calculated loads, the students are asked to design the midship section of a ship and verify that the longitudinal structure meets classification society requirements.

Design of transverse structural members such as bulkheads and/or deep web frames is carried out, with verification that they meet classification society requirements. Structural performance of the hull girder is then analyzed. Finite element software is used in the structural design and analysis. Material selection, structural weight, producibility, and access for inspection and maintenance will be emphasized during the design. Ship production practices are presented. One hour of class and four drawing room hours per week in the second semester.