Naval Architecture is concerned with the design, building and utilisation of all types of ships and marine vehicles.
Ships and marine vehicles can be classified into military vessels which include frigates, destroyers, patrol vessels, aircraft carriers, mine hunters and submarines; trading vessels which include cargo and container ships; and commercial vessels which include fishing boats, tugs, dredges, pilot boats, lighthouse supply craft, servicing vessels for oil rigs, crew transfer, passenger and vehicle ferries, floating cranes, and other specialised ships and pleasure craft. These three categories of marine vehicles can be in the form of a monohull (the usual single-hull ship or boat), a multihull catamaran or trimaran (a twin or triple hull vessel), or dynamically supported craft such as hovercraft (an air-cushion vehicle) or hydrofoil (a vessel that is lifted out of the water by submerged wings).
Naval architects must be conversant with a wide variety of skills, including most forms of engineering and marine architecture. A ship must be a completely self-sufficient vehicle containing several systems and able to withstand the loads from the sea.
Study Naval Architecture at UNSW Canberra
At UNSW Canberra, the program runs in parallel with Mechanical Engineering for the first two years. The Faculty has approved an arrangement whereby students who satisfy the requirements of the first two years of a mechanical engineering four-year degree program at any Australasian tertiary institution may be admitted to Years 3 and 4 of the program, leading to the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Naval Architecture. The proviso is that the courses studied at the other institution are equivalent.
Building on a foundation in the engineering sciences and Mechanical Engineering in particular, the third and fourth year of study in the Naval Architecture degree covers ship stability, ship hydrodynamics, ship resistance and propulsion, ship design, ship structures, seaworthiness, engineering management and engineering materials.
Kickstart your Career as a Naval Architect
Naval architecture firms and consultants are significant employers of naval architects. Naval architects working in the field of high-speed ferries have been particularly successful. Australia holds the leading position in the research and development of passenger and cargo multihulls.
The Commonwealth Department of Defence White Paper (2016) reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a strong, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian naval shipbuilding industry which will rely heavily on naval architects. The Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan (2017) identified naval architects as key enablers in the Australian naval shipbuilding workforce. Employment of naval architects within the defence sector occurs within the Department of Defence and the RAN.
In addition, federal and state government departments and statutory authorities such as AMSA and state transport departments employ naval architects, as do international classification societies such as Lloyd’s Register, DNV and Bureau Veritas.
Graduates of the program are expected to meet UNSW Graduate Capabilities embodied in the Program Learning Outcomes and Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies.