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The University of Southampton

SESS2016 Ship Structural Design and Production

Module Overview

This module aims to examine aspects of design relevant to the longitudinal and transverse strength of a ship. This is conducted through both first principles design and the use of classification society rules. In addition the production technology applicable to the shipbuilding industry is examined from the perspective of the shipyard and its management but also from a design for production viewpoint. The complementary management module will also provide production planning and scheduling relevant to ship production.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide an overview of shipbuilding practices and applications fundamental knowledge to ship design problems. • Apply principles of structural behaviour to structural components relevant to ships and other marine structures, and to the design of ships in terms of longitudinal and transverse strength analysis.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • How shipyard facilities and machines are organised.
  • The manner in which these influence the various production stages.
  • The impact of some production activities on planning and management functions.
  • The role of Classification Societies and Registration Authorities.
  • The construction of a mid-ship section.
  • Classification Society rules governing local structural design and global hull girder longitudinal strength
  • The application of slender beam theory for the analysis of ship structures.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Estimate labour, material, machine and space resource requirements.
  • Calculate productivity, ship efficiency and machine utilisation figures.
  • Derivation of activity networks for planning purposes.
  • Use theoretical principles provided in other lectures in a practical design environment.
  • Apply Classification society Rules to design a midship section.
  • Understand the principles of structural response to a variety of static loads
  • Cultivate skilful application of associated methods to a variety of structures and loads (ie knowing which method to apply for a particular structure/loading case).
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Organise and plan work and allocate time for individual ship production tasks.
  • Use Classification Society rules.
  • Use commercial software in design context.
  • Communicate effectively your work in a technical written report.
  • Present technical data in a professional manner.
  • Undertake typical assignments which may be carried out in a design office base course
  • Learn independently.
  • Obtain and analyse critically data applying your knowledge/understanding of this module.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Sketch typical production shop layouts.
  • Manipulate historically derived production data for forward planning.
  • Estimate shop floor productivity indices.
  • Select and apply suitable Classification Society rules.
  • Use commercial design software.
  • Construct and solve suitable mathematical models to describe the response of structures and structural elements to static loads.
  • Use a range of measurement techniques to obtain data.
  • Use a range of analyses/techniques to present data.


Lecture: Introduction 1 x 45min: • Introduction to the module, its components and the assessment methods Lectures: Ship Production 12 x 45min • Ship layout, systems and structural components. • Background into various types of shipyards and overall layout criteria. • Plate and section stockyards; pre-treatment; marking; cutting and forming. • Fabrication activities including fairing, sub-assembly and panel line technique. • Berth activities including advance outfitting and module building practices. • Information system requirements, shipyard standards and planning activities. Lectures: Ship Production Management 4x45min: • This module will be coordinated with the complementary part 2 15 credit “Engineering Management and Law” [EM&L] module FEEG2006. Five of the EM&L module credits will be awarded for management practice within the context of ship production. Management aspects such as project management, teamworking, budgetary performance, communications will be assessed via the EM&L module. Lectures: Longitudinal Strength 5 x 45min: • Weight, buoyancy and load distributions. • Still water analysis – shear force, bending moment, slope and deflection; stresses. • Quasi static analysis of a ship poised on a wave. • Approximate methods and regulations in brief. • Cross section properties including effects of different materials. • Effect of adding/subtracting material to cross section. Coursework: Midship Section. 5 x 2hrs: • Midship section – Use of Lloyds classification society rules to determine structural requirements of specified vessel, work to include: • Complete local structure to Lloyds Rules. • Determine midship section modulus. • Assess longitudinal strength. • Model midship section in Lloyds RuleCalc. • Modify model to meet Lloyds requirements. Coursework: Longitudinal Strength 5 x 2hr: • Derivation of still water bending moment (SWBM) for cargo vessel for a range of loading conditions. Coursework: Ship Production Management Assignment 6x1hr • Implementation of ship production management techniques. • Relationship diagrams. • Product Work Breakdown Structure. • Time estimations. • Critical Path Analysis. • Production scheduling.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • 1 Introductory lecture • 12 Lectures on production • 5 lectures on Ship Structures (Longitudinal Strength). • 22 hrs of supervised design office sessions incorporating an introductory lecture. • 4 lectures on ship production management (provided under management module). • 6 x 1hr management tutorials (provided under management module). Learning activities include • Individual work on ship calculations/examples. • Individual work on using ship design software. • Directed reading/independent learning. • Report-writing (Coursework).

Follow-up work30
Wider reading or practice13
Practical classes and workshops24
Completion of assessment task50
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Schneekluth. Ship Design for Efficiency and Economy. 

D.G.M. Watson (1998). Practical Ship Design. 

S Erichsen (1989). Management of Marine Design. 

T C Gillmer. Modern Ship Design. 

R Taggart (Ed) (1980). Ship Design and Construction. 

K.J. Rawson and E.C. Tupper (1994). Basic Ship Theory. 

P P Benham, R J Crawford and C G Armstrong (1996). Mechanics of Engineering Materials. 

Various papers in the Transactions of RINA, NECIES and SNAME. 

R L Storch, C P Hammon and H M Bunch (1988). Ship Production. 

S P Timoshenko and J M Gere (1991). Mechanics of Materials. 

E.V. Lewis (Editor), (1988). Principals of Naval Architecture. 

Typed lecture notes and presentation slides.. Lloyds Rules and Regulations for classification of ships Computer programmes Lloyds RuleFinder and RulesCalcs

W A Nash (1977). Theory and Problems in Strength of Materials. 


Assessment Strategy

Referral Method There are two elements to this module, ship production (1x coursework) and ship design (2 x coursework). The final mark for this module will be the weighted average of the assessments. If the mark achieved for the module is less than the module pass mark, the referral required will be : • If the mark for ship production is less than the module pass mark and the average mark over the two assignments for ship design is also less than module pass mark, both elements must be referred. • If the mark for ship production is less than the module pass mark and the average mark for ship design is greater than or equal to the module pass mark the ship production element must be referred; the original ship design marks will be carried forward. • If the mark for average mark for ship design is less than the module pass mark and the average mark for ship production is greater than or equal to the module pass mark the ship design element must be referred; the original ship production marks will be carried forward.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 27%
Coursework 46%
Coursework 27%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: SESS1015 and FEEG1001


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

FEEG2005Materials and Structures
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