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The University of Southampton

SESS3025 Marine Engineering

Module Overview

This module introduces the fundamental principles, design and analysis of ship power plants, drive trains and auxiliary systems found on-board marine vehicles. Students will be introduced to the operational principles, machinery configurations, performance characteristics, efficiency measures, thermodynamic cycles and vibration analysis required in the design and analysis of marine engineering systems.

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 auxiliary marine systems.
  • Defining the response of the ship/machine when subjected to vibration excitation from a rotating source.
  • Shipboard auxiliary systems.
  • 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.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

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


• Main Propulsion: Principles of operation, performance characteristics, thermodynamic cycles and efficiency of marine power plants including diesel engines, steam and gas turbines. • Drive-train: Design of propulsion arrangements, configurations and components including slow speed, medium speed, diesel-electric, hybrid and electric propulsion systems. • Vibration: Analysis of lateral and torsional vibration modes in ship plants including transmissibility and vibration isolation, rotating unbalance, shaft whirling and multi-degree of freedom systems. • Auxiliary systems: Design of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, thermodynamic cycles and performance of refrigeration systems. Appreciation of bilge water, waste treatment systems and fuel systems.

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.

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

Resources & Reading list

Various papers. in Trans. RINA, IMarEST and SNAME


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.


Quizzes and Tutorials


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 75%
Final Assessment  25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SESS2019

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