Small Craft design for a mechanical engineer

Discussion in 'Education' started by sc0, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. sc0
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Vancouver, BC

    sc0 Junior Member

    I've been interested in taking courses in small craft / yacht design for a few years now, and am looking for feedback on suitable routes. I finished a mech engineering degree in 2004, and have since been doing mechanical design in marine fields (remotely operated vehicles and high-speed craft).

    I've worked with graduates from Southampton Solent University; they've recommended that I go that route (an undergrad in Yacht and Power craft design)... and I'm also considering Southampton Uni's MSc (Yacht and Small Craft).

    Because of my interest in design, I'd like to go in a direction that will eventually enable me to practice naval architecture in Canada. Small pleasure and commercial craft are of most interest for some reason. Can anyone (or all of you at once!) comment on my two options in Southampton and/or offer any other words of wisdom regarding further education?

    Thanks in advance! -Scott
  2. limeyus
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Pacific NW

    limeyus Junior Member

    Solent Uni has a great course (I'm a grad), but, with a Mech Eng degree you already have a good background in the engineering side, a lot of it will be very familiar. The MSc may be a better bet
    I just hired a Mech Eng student who had gone back to the Landing School for a year, seems like a good compromise!
    Not sure how it works in Canada but in the US with a mech eng degree you could take the Nav Arch exam for Professional Engineer
    See that you are in Victoria, are you able to work in the US? I have an opening!
  3. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: Canada

    DavidJ Senior Member

    Hello Scott. I am from Victoria, B.C. though I am not there now. Actually, I know a mechanical engineer there named Scott. I don't think you are him, but if you are my info still applies.

    I agree with the previous poster that since you have an engineering degree doing another engineering bachelors probably wouldn't be the best idea. Though if you talk to the schools you might be able to do a shorter program.

    I'd say your best bet would be to just get a job at a naval architecture company doing mechanical design and let them know you are interested in learning more about the naval architecture aspect. Most places would be happy to let you learn new skills. From what I've seen at smaller companies the difference between the jobs of a nav arch and a mech eng are pretty small much of the time. I've known several mech engineers that have learned on the job lots of naval architecture.

    You could do some correspondence work at the same time through westlawn. Also the MTEC program would be an excellent option though it could get fairly expensive to fly to the UK that often. Also the time change could be very difficult.

    If you have your heart set on going back to school fulltime I would say Southhampton's msc degree would be the best option. It is designed for people exactly like you (graduate engineers) and since it is only one year long it would be the cheapest option in the long run (when you consider lost wages, etc).

    If you are more interested in the artistic aspects (not naval architecture) then this program in Italy is also one year and aimed at graduate engineers:

    This one in Sweden is a year and a half and I believe the tuition is free if you qualify. It is also aimed at people with non-nav arch first degrees:

    This school in Poland says it has a two year masters degree in the english language. I'd imagine it would be fairly cheap as Poland is not on the Euro as far as I know:

    Good luck
    1 person likes this.
  4. sc0
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Vancouver, BC

    sc0 Junior Member

    Thanks to both of you for your quick replies. I didn't expect to hear back from two 'locals'! I really appreciate the comments, and I'm glad to hear that both of you think that Southampton's MSc seems like a decent route (if I'm set on going back to school)... I fly out on Wednesday to check out both schools, meet some people, and learn as much as possible about my options there. I'll force myself into a decision one way or the other! Limeyus -> It's relatively straight-forward for a degree'd Canadian engineer to work in the States now from what I hear, and hey, my passport is current!
    David -> Where are you now?
  5. sc0
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Vancouver, BC

    sc0 Junior Member

    In case anyone is interested....
    After a trip last spring to visit Southampton Uni and Southampton Solent Uni, I decided to attend neither, but rather complete the Landing School's ten-month Yacht Design diploma program. I'm in Maine now; just getting into the first week of classes.
    Southampton Uni's Msc looked like a great program if you were interested in entering academia or management in a yard or with a shipping company, but I felt that it was not geared to producing designers. Solent on the other hand would have been a great choice... if I didn't already have an engineering degree, I would have chosen Solent in a heartbeat. The only reason I didn't is because I was concerned about spending time and money re-learning things that I decided the first time through (in engineering) weren't important anyways!
    With the Landing School coming with high recommendation, I enrolled. I'm just starting the program, and I think it's bound to be a great 10-months. I'm in a class of 16 people, and have two instructors; one of which taught at Solent for some 15 years. Maine is also a splendid place!

  6. member 14989
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: NZ

    member 14989 Junior Member

    Hi Scott,

    I find it interesting that you have checked out the universities first hand, as I am almost in the same position as you. I have just graduated with my mech eng degree from Auckland Unversity of Technology in New Zealand, however for my final year research project I majored in naval architecture (sort of), hydrodynamics of high speed planing hull design and was involved with some testing in the towing tank in Tasmania, Oz.

    I have also looked at MSc at Uni Southampton in a few years time - any chance you could elaborate a little more on your thoughts of their course? I quite like the engineering/science behind nav arch and keen to learn associated skills of which I can then apply to design.

    If you could give me a further insight that would be much appreciated.


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