The Naval Architect debate for a Naval Architect thats not?

Discussion in 'Education' started by member 14989, May 30, 2012.

  1. member 14989
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    member 14989 Junior Member

    Hello to all who may enter this thread.

    I'm seeking the insights of those in the naval architecture and marine industry about Naval Architecture qualification, or to be more specific, the right to call yourself Naval Archiect or to practice Naval Architecture, and using it as a PERSONAL title.

    I have read through a number of threads like Naval Architect vs Boat Designer (http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/materials/naval-architect-vs-boat-designer-11538.html) but could not find any specifically catering to my question. Hence, I reintroduce it to the floor if it has already been discussed somewhere.

    I have a four year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Zealand, three years experience as a Design Engineer (mechanical and structural capacity) for a superyacht building company and currently completing a Masters of Engineering in Yacht Engineering at The University of Auckland. A brand new degree being taught through the world renowned Yacht Research Unit academic staff. Very similar to an MSc in Yachts and Small Craft in the UK, we study naval architecture, sailing theory, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, advanced composites, mechanics of materials, manufacturing, FEA and CFD to the rigorous level of any Masters of Engineering degree.

    IMy question is, who am I to call myself a Naval Architect and who is anyone else to say that I'm not (or can't do that)? I'm not trying to at all be bullish in saying that, it's more so what are the repercussions if I was to use that title? I could argue that I have covered all the necessary engineering prinsiples in my undergraduate engineering degree as well a masters degree in aspects of the naval architectural realm, but does that matter?

    In the real (working world) most jobs advertised state a degree in NA or similar (usually meaning structural, mechanical etc) so I'm not concerned about the immediate employment aspects of my question. I'm more concerned that if I had a personal business card that said ENGINEEER, NAVAL ARCHITECT and MRINA, would that at all be wrong? Or, do I have to have an 'undergraduate degree' in naval architecture? I'm currently awaiting a reply from RINA, but thought it would be interesting to hear from the community as well.

    I'm keen to hear from all, especially those who have done similar to me (such as MSc) and come from a non-NA engineering background (or who just wants to share their opinion.

    As I mentioned above, it's more directed at a personal title, and not necessarily a job title. In this qualified and certified world I want to be able to do what ever I want (I say that with tongue in cheek) but don't want to do it out of order!

    Regards all.
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    James,

    i wont repeat much of what you have probably already learnt. Regarding who can call themselves a NA, as it is also related to various countries definition too.

    BUT,

    In the context that which you seek, to be a Professional Naval Architect (as opposed to someone just calling themselves one -anyone can - almost- then you need to be accredited by RINA (or other). In doing so you also become a charted engineer.

    To gain the MRINA and C.Eng. designation (for professional membership) requires not just the academic side, but also the blending of theory into practice at the appropriate level and overseen by a mentor whom is qualified to authorise your work experience.

    After you have covered the appropriate number of hours/days/weeks of each relevant discipline laid down by RINA, you shall then be interviewed to gauge what you have learnt from your experience.

    This whole process can take anything from 4 to 8years..it all depends whether you are on an accredited approved training programme (Like in Classification society), or just work experience i.e. 2 years for 1 in formal training, as such.

    Once you have taken the interview and it is deemed acceptable, then and only then will be elected as a professional naval architect and allowed to use the designation of MRINA and C.Eng. and legally too.

    Trust this helps?
     
  3. J Feenstra
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    J Feenstra Junior Member

    Yes it does! thanks for a new goal to achieve!
     
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Use of the terms "engineer" and "naval architect" depends on the country, and in some countries the jusrisdiction within the country. Ad Hoc's description appears to be based on UK practice. The system and rules in the US is different and varies between states. No idea about New Zealand.
     
  5. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    In Ukraine/Russia the title is associated with degree in NA and no one can use it without special education. When it comes to practical work experience, there is system of grades: 3,2,1, and senior NA; each grade awarded after few years of work and exam that is through qualification system in design office and mainly effects right of signature, position and salary level.

    I believe this is quite fair practice. Despite experience on shipyard the term NA assumes certain level of knowledge of certain disciplines; at least customer expects to see such if he sees title NA on business card. Use of title without degree in field in misrepresentation of qualifications.

    To J Feenstra - You can apply for 'naval architecture' course from Lloyd's Maritime Academy, so after 16 weeks one can become... lets' say 'Lloyd's Naval Architect' that sounds solid (even more solid compared with respected Ad Hoc's title :D ).

    We should maybe start using SNNA (Self-named Naval Architect) to distinguish the qualifications. I know one school that should consider awarding this title officially!
     
  6. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    In practice in the United States, in both marine and land based engineering and architecture, the person earns both a degree in an accredited curriculum, meets work experience qualifications, and takes an extensive exam. Therefore, it is out of respect for this process that the title is based on what was earned by the individual.

    I am a licensed engineer, in my formal title I can put "PE" after my name, just as a doctor can put "MD", and so fourth. Though many of my responsibilities I do act as an Architect, but since I do not have a license in Architecture, that is not what I put on my title. If I want let people know I do this kind of work as well, I put "engineering and design" on my business card. It is out of respect for those that have been licensed in Architecture that I do not call myself one, even though much of my work is exactly the same. But the nature of work can often be very different, and I have no formal training as an architect, so neither do I want to give the impression that I can replace an architect in all areas of design work. And there are many areas where architects would be way outside their area of expertise to perform certain engineering functions.

    I have worked both in and out of the marine trades, and I have designed and built many small boats, but I would never call myself a naval architect. Though I am perfectly comfortable calling myself a designer.

    It is a matter of professional ethics, as well a matter of licensing. Go get licensed as an NA and than you can call yourself a Naval Architect.
     
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    In the United States the need to be licensed as a Professional Engineer depends on what the person is working on and the state. For example there is no need to be a PE to design and engineer automobiles and a relatively small percent of engineers in the auto industry are PEs. Same is true for aircraft. But most locales require that a PE licensed in that state sign off on the design of simple "engineered" wood roof trusses used in house construction.

    My understanding is that Washington State, where Petros identifies himself as from, is one fo the few states which requires that "naval architects" be licensed PEs. But Michigan where I live apparently doesn't offer the naval architecture test.
     
  8. DavidJ
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    First I will reiterate what everyone else has said. It is different everywhere you go. If you want to call yourself by ANY title it is your responsibility to make sure that you are legally allowed to in the jurisdiction you plan to work.

    I'm just north of Washington state in British Columbia, Canada. Here you are not allowed to use the term "Engineer" unless you are a fully qualified and licensed professional engineer or you are an EIT (engineer in training) working under a licensed professional engineer. The term "Naval Architect" is not regulated. However, naval architecture is one of the disciplines under professional engineering here and there is a naval architecture competency exam. So you can become licensed as a professional engineering in naval architecture, but there is no special title for doing so.

    I honestly don't think it matters much. As long as you are legally allowed to call yourself a certain title and you feel you are qualified to do that work then what difference does it really make? If you get hired for a naval architect position then you are a naval architect. My company bills me out as a naval architect and my job title says I am a naval architect. But more than half the time I am not doing naval architecture work. I might be designing a piping system or lifting appliances or exhaust systems or other work that I thought I wouldn't have to do when I signed up for naval architecture instead of mechanical engineering. I could call myself a design engineer those days but what's the point? If you see yourself as a naval architect and you are competent in naval architecture work then call yourself one. If you pass the RINA exams and do the work experience and earn the right to put MRINA after your name then you damn well should be able to call yourself a naval architect no matter what you did in school.
     
  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    In my state, and in many others, any item that is manufactured in this state that involves public health and safety (which is just about everything), requires a licensed engineer (PE) approval. Since many boats are built here, than NA are licensed under the same rules. Engineers that work for a manufacturing company are exempt from being licenced, but the design still needs a PE approval. Also, engineers work in any other position must either be licenced, or working under the supervision of a PE. I have been self employed for almost 20 years, and I have had a PE license since 1986.

    Aircraft are also made here, but are licensed by the FAA, so there is a special exemption in state law for aircraft. The FAA has a similar process called "Designated Engineering Representative" or DER. All civil aircraft designs, and parts, have to have DER approval.

    Over my career I have worked on designs for consumer products, aircraft design, buildings, waste water treatment system, bridges, automobiles, and marine applications.

    I would never consider myself a licensed sanitarian, Architect, or NA, but I have done those kinds of work before as part of my responsibilities.
     
  10. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    What a difference.

    In France, Engineer is a job name, not a title. Nearly anybody can have "Engineer" written on its company card.

    Same, "naval architect" is unregulated. Anybody can call himself "Naval architect".

    So, for recreational crafts (up to 80ft), anybody can put "naval architect" and/or "marine engineer" on his card, and start to sell boat plans without any control.

    Idem for building boats. No requirement at all. Anybody can start a boat yard, and hire who he wants.

    The only control is that the boat must be CE certified before being sold to public.
    If yo do not have some basic knowledge, and some basic manufacturing ability, certification will be very hard to reach. That 'a all.


    For bigger boats, I do not know. I suspect the same, CE certification being replace by a classification society. Perhaps some classification societies put some restrictions on who can design or can build a boat.
     
  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    'French naval architect' sounds almost like 'pigeon's milk'. Look at IFAN (French NA association) and try to find one who has degree in NA there.
     
  12. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Some very excellent racing sailboats have come out of France, so despite their lack of licensing they do have excellent designers. It is always best to rely on reputation rather than credentials anyway.
     
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    With all respect, naval architecture has very small relation to racing boats. It is impossible to make living by designing racing boats and those who invested in real education have better opportunities with other types of craft.
     
  14. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    While I worked for the USCG in Washington DC (not Washington State) although I do not have a BS in engineering (I do have and Associates in Engineering and a BS in Operations Management) I was employed as an Engineer and my job title and position was General Engineer. I did Naval Architecture work and worked side by side with Naval Architects and Engineers. I also was certified by the Office Of Personnel Management as qualified to be employed as an engineer. So that's what it said on my business cards and anywhere else my job had to be listed. But now I am retired and living in Washington state, and I would not put Engineer or Naval Architect on my business card because of the law here requiring a PE. Back in the 70's though I did work in engineering for a shipbuilder, but was supervised by an NA with a PE.

    I would also be reluctant to put Engineer or Naval Architect on my card anywhere else, simply out of professional respect for those who have earned their degrees and professional qualifications. But if I took the PE exams (and passed) I would have no qualms about calling myself an engineer or Naval Architect.

    So what I am saying is, if you think you have earned the title and the law allows it, then use it. But otherwise don't. Remember, you are representing yourself to an employer or client as having the knowledge and skills to do the job professionally. if you are all right with that then go ahead. But if it's going to cause problems down the road, don't.
     

  15. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Take Finot for instance. He is not graduated as "naval architect". But his design office do hire real engineers (graduated engineers) specialized in structure or hydrodynamic or CAD/CAM. That allow him designing for big builders like Beneteau, or Open 60 racing boats.

    The time when a single guy called "naval architect" could design a boat is disappearing, even in the pleasure field.

    Now, if you want some competitiveness, you need a team of different specialists. And the so called "naval architect" is just a team manager, with LESS knowledge in ANY field than the field specialist he manages.
     
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