Marine Engineering: What is it?

April 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Marine Training

Article by David Van Der Laan

Marine engineering is a niche field of work related to mechanical engineering which includes design, construction, operation and support of all the systems on ships or water based structures. These systems encompass but are not confined to the electrical, electronics, lubrication, water distillation, pneumatic, hydraulic, power generation and many other equipment that is needed to operate and maintain boats and buildings like oil platforms. Marine engineering can be simplified into two broad categories. Marine Engineers based on boats are needed for the operation and maintenance of all the ship’s systems (electrical, power generation, lubrication, etc) while the boat is at sea. These engineers have a strong background in marine engineering as well as an abundance of first hand training via training ships run by maritime organizations or at training centers at trade schools. Land based marine engineers are more focused on the design, selection, installation and maintenance of equipment on ships or sea base structures. They can be charged with inspection, surveying, and repair of the ship when it is docked at port. On shore marine engineers often synergize with naval architects in the design and building of ships as well as help in selection of machines for the ship. A specialization in marine engineering can be entered from several directions. Marine engineers are often mechanical or systems engineers who obtained firsthand experience of marine systems through professional experience. Most beginning marine engineering jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the few Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering recognized programs in the U.S. Currently there are about 10 post secondary institutions in the U.S., which means that this is one of the smallest engineering fields. There are many directories online that would be useful in doing research about all the programs. One of the ones that are really helpful is

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