University of Michigan - College of Engineering

PhD, MSE, and BSE

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

In my opinion, a more suitable title for the discipline of my degrees is Marine Design and Engineering.

The Naval Architecture portion is a bit of a historical title, and it can be misleading for those unfimiliar with the term. The subject matter is far from what many would consider architecture; for example, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Furthermore, naval implies a relation to a navy. I am a civilian never having served in the Navy. While the curriculum I completed is most certainly applicable to naval ships and submarines, it is also applicable to other structures operating in the marine environment such as oil platforms, offshore wind turbines, and wave-energy devices.

The Marine Engineering portion is an entire discipline in itself. It is a combination of subjects such as mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, and electrical engineering resulting in knowledge of, among other things, main propulsion plants, pumps, and HVAC systems on marine vessels. These were only briefly covered in my education, and I find it rather dishonest to tag it to the title of my degrees, especially the Bachelors. Marine engineering is covered in greater detail at other schools like SUNY Maritime College and Maine Maritime Academy.

Instead, Marine Design and Engineering more accurately represents the education I recieved. The marine environment is unique, and this is the focus of the curriculum with courses on hydrostatics, waves, and how various structures respond in water. The design of many marine vessels is complex, requiring the integration of several engineering disciplines. Techniques to efficiently arrive at succesful designs are discussed with the design cycle and design optimization methods. Lastly, it truly is engineering, as nearly everything covered is rooted in physics requiring comprehension of math and science.

Nevertheless, my education provided me with priceless opportunities. Below is a map showing places I traveled to for academic-related purposes and brief summaries of my degrees.


My PhD career focused heavily on the use and development of computational fluid dynamics software. It was a valuable culmination of the math and science which I had studied previously, but with a software development spin that was new to me.


My Masters studies focused on design as well as higher level engineering concepts. Specifically, design was often viewed from a systems engineering perspective with discussions on high fidelity tools and optimization.


Like many Bachelors degrees in engineering, my undergraduate career focused on engineering fundamentals. These concepts were catered towards design projects and laboratory courses in experimental testing that were specific to my major.