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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.
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
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


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.

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

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

Resources & Reading list

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. 

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. 

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.

Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships. 



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


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: FEEG1001 and FEEG1002 and FEEG1004


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

SESS2018Ship Powering and Control Surfaces
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