The University of Southampton

SESS2019 Systems Design and Computing for Ships

Module Overview

This module follows on from the Part 1 Design and Computing Module where students focus on the design of a functional part. In this part 2 module students address the design of a system consisting of a number of interacting parts.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims


Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understanding of the characteristics of and an ability to model a range of ship system components
  • How to interface an algorithm with other software modules
  • How to build a system from simulated component parts
  • How to select the right analysis techniques to meet a system design challenge
  • Critically analyse results.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design - Produce successful system designs through individual and team working.
  • Design - Communicate a systems design idea/concept graphically.
  • Design - Examine a systems design critically and identify potential improvements.
  • Decompose a model of an engineering systems and processes into smaller tasks that can be solved sequentially (by a computer)
  • Understand the concepts behind software engineering and design decisions in modelling software
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design - Ability to prepare geometry data for systems modelling.
  • Design - Produce and interpret 2D & 3D geometry and datasets
  • Design - Ensure that part geometry and tolerances are consistent with functional/process/standards constraints.
  • Use a programming language confidently
  • data processing and visualisation
  • solution of computational modelling/numerical problems
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design - Understand the definition of a “system” of parts and how parts interact to meet functional requirements
  • Design - Appreciate the role of computers in design.
  • Computing - To develop an understanding of programming principles
  • Computing - to understand how to solve system design problems by integrating algorithms and simulated actuators, sensors and mechnical parts
  • Identify types of problems to pick the right solution strategy whether computational or physical
  • Analyse computer programms to understand their structure
  • Design and implement small computer programms independently


Design • Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (FEA) - comparison with analytical formulae; mesh refinement. • Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics. • Rule based design using Classification Society rules. • Use of experimental pressure data to predict rudder loads. • Overview of main engine selection considerations. • Introduction to ship power train components. • Propeller engine matching. • Stern tubes. • Shafts and bearings. • Gearboxes. Computing • Programming methods, program documentation, debugging and efficiency. • Flow control. • Data input and output characters and strings. • Vector and matrix manipulation. • 2D and 3D plotting. • Function and script files. • Solving equations. • Signal processing.

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Lectures and recorded material for the delivery of new material, concepts and solution stratagies. • Practical sessions where students will tackle a set of design or computing tasks. • Practical sessions where students will tackle a set of tasks designed to develop their understanding of the design process and the use of computational geometry. • In these practical sessions, demonstrators/ academic staff will be available to answer questions and provide feedback. The exact teaching pattern is summarised below: • 1 x 45min Introduction Lecture • 6 x 45min Marine Propulsion Lectures • 1 x 45min FEA Lecture • 1 x 45min CFD Lecture • 5 x 90min Ship Systems Design Laboratories • 6 x 90min Computer based laboratories • 9 x 90min Design based laboratories

Wider reading or practice9
Practical classes and workshops40
Completion of assessment task80
Preparation for scheduled sessions6
Follow-up work6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Molland, A.F. and S.R. Turnock (2007). Marine rudders and control surfaces : principles, data, design and applications.. 

Module teaching notes. from design lectures and Solidworks/ AutoCAD manuals/ notes.

Molland, A.F., Turnock, S.R. and Smithwick, J.E:T.,. Wind Tunnel Tests on the Influence of Propeller Loading and the effect of a Ship Hull on Skeg-Rudder Performance. 

Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships. 

Theory of wing sections by Abbott and Von Doenhoff. 

Molland, A. F., Turnock, S.R. and Hudson, D.A. (2011). Ship resistance and propulsion: practical estimation of ship propulsive power. 


Assessment Strategy



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 30%
Group Assignment 40%
Individual assignment 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules


To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

FEEG1004Electrical and Electronics Systems
FEEG1001Design and Computing
FEEG1002Mechanics, Structures and Materials


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

SESS2018Ship Powering and Control Surfaces
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