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The University of Southampton

SESS3025 Marine Engineering

Module Overview

This module provides an overview of the main marine engineering systems found onboard merchant and naval vessels and their importance to ship design. It includes performance characteristics of prime movers such as diesel engines, steam and gas turbines and electric propulsion. The dynamic response of the main shaft and associated components is considered. An introduction is provided to auxiliary systems, including heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, refrigeration, the main fuel system, etc. Propeller-engine matching and selection of appropriate machinery configurations are also covered. SESS6065 Fundamentals of Ship Science is a co-requisite for MSc students.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Performance characteristics of various types of marine engines.
  • Selecting appropriate machinery and shaft arrangements.
  • The role of the various auxilary marine systems.
  • Defining the response of the ship/machine when subjected to vibration excitation from a rotating source.
  • Shipboard auxiliary systems.
  • Propeller-engine matching.
  • The environmental impact of a range of marine propulsion systems.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the function of the main engineering systems on a ship and be able to carry out design calculations relating to them.
  • Understand the dynamic response of the rotating machinery in the main shaft system.
  • Understand the relationship between the engine rating and the propeller.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Perform accurate calculations relating to engine selection and ship response.
  • To select components that make up a ship drive system.
  • Carry out measurements on vibrating bodies and analysis of data.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Carry out basic mechanical and thermodynamic calculations relating to the main and auxiliary engineering systems on a ship.
  • Select a suitable ship drive system and associated machinery


• Review of thermodynamics, performance characteristics of Diesel engines, steam and gas turbines. • Propulsion engine ratings, gearing analysis, selection of machinery, propeller shafting arrangements. • Propeller-engine matching. • Effect of lateral and torsional vibration modes in ship plant, shaft whirling, multi-degree of freedom systems and transmissibility. • Main propulsion machinery selection – appropriate configurations and selection (e.g. twostroke marine diesel, four-stroke marine diesel, steam turbine, gas turbine, CODAG, CODLAG). • Shipboard electric systems including propulsion machinery and switchboard requirements. • Auxiliary systems including: - HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). - Refrigeration plant. - Main fuel system. - Appreciation of fire prevention, bilge water, waste treatment systems, etc.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures. • Tutorials/workshops. • Laboratory class. Learning activities include • Worked examples during lectures. • Tutorial exercises based on lecture material. • Laboratory class. • Visiting industrial lecturers.

Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Follow-up work20
Practical classes and workshops1
Completion of assessment task44
Supervised time in studio/workshop2
Wider reading or practice20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Molland, A.F., Turnock, S.R., Hudson, D.A. Ship Resistance and Propulsion: Practical Estimation of Ship Propulsive Power. 

Woodyard, D.F (2004). Pounder’s Marine Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines. 

W T Thomson (1988). Theory of Vibrations with Applications. 

McGeorge, H.D (1999). Marine Auxiliary Machinery. 

Various papers. in Trans. RINA, IMarEST and SNAME

Molland, A.F. (ed.) (2008). The Maritime Engineering Reference Book: A guide to ship design, construction and operation. 

Carlton, J.S., (2007). Marine Propellers and Propulsion. 

D A Taylor (1996). Introduction to Marine Engineering. 

Gallin, Hiersig, Heiderich, Lohman and Stolterfoht. Ships and their Propulsion Systems. 


Assessment Strategy

Referral method: Carry forward coursework: if carrying a pass mark for the coursework. If coursework failed an individual coursework comprising all aspects of the courseworks listed above in a formal report required.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 3.34%
Coursework 3.33%
Coursework 20%
Coursework 3.33%
Coursework assignment(s) 20%
Examination  (120 minutes) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 50%
Examination 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SESS2019

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