Naval architecture or Marine engineering?

Discussion in 'Education' started by akashmenon, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. akashmenon
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Presently I'm in the 11th grade. Soon enough I will have to enter a transition period into university and my interest lies I engineering-particularly naval/marine. I am from India: in our country the scope of these majors are limited. To experience a broader spectrum I plan to pursue my undergrad abroad. Possibly in the States or Australia as I have heard they have fabulous infrastructure and state of the art hydrodynamics laboratories. Dwelling into my question again-I'd like to ask which is a better option. I have kept the future in mind too-I personally do not like the offshore field as it involves offshore structures and petroleum-the future is renewable energy. I briefly viewed the curriculum across the degrees from various universities. It tends to vary slightly from region to region. But the core engineering of the two is supposedly 'quite' similar-I don't know whether its me or whether too much reading has obscured the meaning. What should I do!?
    Seeking advice.
    --------------------
    Thanking you.
    Akash Menon.
     
  2. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

  3. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Thanks. I will look into it.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  5. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Thanks a ton! I have been aspiring for a couple of places like UMich and also The univ of New Orleans;but I hadn't checked the website of the latter.
    Cheers!
    ---------------
    Akash Menon.
     
  6. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Thanks a ton! I have been aspiring for a couple of places like UMich and also The univ of New Orleans;but I hadn't checked the website of the latter.
    Cheers!
    ---------------
    Akash Menon.
     
  7. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    In answer to the basic question. Naval Architecture conserns itself with the general form, shape, use, and function of the vessel. The lines and general arrangement, hydrostatics and hydrodynamics, resistance, maneuvering, and motions is Naval Architecture. Marine Engineering is the physical plant systems of the vessel. The engines, boilers, heat exchangers, valves, pumps, generators, switchboards. You can be a Marine Engineer without being a Naval Architect, but a Naval Architect needs to be competently versed in Marine Engineering.
     
  8. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Thanks for that piece of information. It is greatly appreciated.
    I'm interested in naval architecture but would also like to pursue some subjects which come under the purview of marine engineering, especially propulsion systems. Finally I seem to have my questions answered.
    Thanks once again jehardiman!
     
  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    welcome to the Net,

    One thing to consider is that a degree in engineering is far more versatile and will allow you to always find employment, no matter what the economics of any industry, either in or outside of ship building. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and I have worked designing consumer products, automobiles and engines, scuba gear, marine engineering, aerospace, heavy construction and a number of other unrelated fields because I was versatile and could quickly adapt my skills to a new industry. I have never been unemployed for more than a few days in over 30 years of an engineering career, almost 20 of which is with my own consulting firm.

    When you have a degree that is specialized to one industry, you are pretty much stuck in it no matter what (which often means lots of moving your household long distances to find work, and long periods of unemployment). A good set of design skills from a good course of engineering education is useful in a lot of different industries and in all parts of the world, from low tech to high tech, those kind of skills are transferable, and very valuable to any employer.

    good luck.
     
  10. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    I agree completly with Petros. An Architect in construction design can sign off on many things that are considered Engineering but a licensed professional Engineer can sign off on many more things such as roads, bridges, structural details, septic systems, water systems, grading and much more and can still design like an Architect if he has that ability and training. The degree in professional engineering is much more valuable. I'm 71 but if I was much younger I would go back to school and take all necessary courses
    to make me a licensed Engineer. My minor might be Naval Archetecture. Good Luck
     
  11. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Thanks a lot for that word of advice! I was in a fix about this decision too. I will surely consider 'mechanical engineering' as it has wider applications.
    ----------------------
    Akash Menon.
     
  12. akashmenon
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    I will probably consider the option of taking up a minor in Naval Architecture and pursue Mechanical Engineering as my Major ; as Mr.Petros and yourself quoted.
    Thank you for all the advice! It has really been insightful.
    ------------------
    Akash Menon.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  14. akashmenon
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    akashmenon Marine Technology Student

    Since I'm not an American citizen or green card holder,I will not be eligible for the full scholarship. I will be able to apply only for the need based scholarship.
    Bit their programmes are interesting as it also includes propulsion systems.
    Thanks a lot for the input! I will consider all the advice pouring in.
    -------------------
    Akash Menon.
     

  15. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    Rasorinc you are overstretching the capacity of a professional engineer.

    A Naval Architect IS an engineer. A Naval Architect can therefore write the exams and become designated as a professional engineer as can a mechanical engineer. However, no engineer should sign off on designs that are not within his or her competency. An engineer who spends his career designing bridges should definitely NOT be signing off on a water system. A couple of courses taken 20 years ago during your undergrad does not qualify someone to be an expert in the subject.

    I half agree with Petros. He said that he worked in many fields and was rarely unemployed. He attributed this to his education but he also said that he was versatile and could quickly adapt his skills to a new industry. I think that skill set probably played a much larger role in his career than his education. The ability to adapt and to change is much more important than what courses you took in school. I've known many mechanical engineers that took a coop job in a field, then moved into that industry full time, got laid off, and never could adapt to a new industry. They'd get it in their head that they did marine engineering or HVAC and that's the only jobs they looked for.

    My former boss at a naval architecture firm was a naval architect and did his education in naval architecture but he spent 8 years of his career designing building structure. Steel buildings. On land. I thought it was strange but he said it was basically the same thing as ship structure. Spans, loads, etc.

    My point is that I don't think any engineering degree will hold you back. They will all give you a variety of skills and knowledge. They teach you how to think like an engineer. How to reason and problem solve. Where you go with your career after that is entirely up to you. Whether you are a naval architect or a mechanical engineer or a mining engineer. The jobs you take. The company you work for. The skills you learn as you go will all form your career and who you are as an engineer.
     
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