Marine Engineering

General Overview

Marine engineering is an exciting area to work in, offering travel opportunities if you are based off shore. It involves designing, developing and maintaining boat transport including ships and submarines as well as oceanic engineering. It combines others engineering disciplines such including mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering. Marine engineers typically work on projects involving propulsion and power generation systems on vessels. Other projects include marine surveying where the safety of ships and offshore structures are analysed and maintained.


In ship design a knowledge of fluid mechanics and structural mechanics is required to provide an understanding of the forces acting on the ship and their effects. Experience using specialist engineering computer software may be useful depending on the job specifically (CAD packages for component design and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) packages for modelling). The structures of a ships and submarines must be robust to withstand the weight of the cargo being transported and the hydrostatic forces acting on them.

A ship that has been designed in CAD. Source:

Marine engineers will often be responsible for a team of technicians and must be confident to exercise people management skills in leading them. Safety is also critical within this industry and so marine engineers must ensure their work along with others is of a high standard and safety standards and regulations are met.


Although the first boat dates back to 8000 BC, modern marine engineering developed during the Industrial Revolution with the invention of steam powered paddle-wheel boats. There have since been many developments including lightweight high strength aluminium alloys and fiberglass being used more often as a building material and liquified natural gas fueled engines.

Required Knowledge

Skills and Expertise

  • Problem solving

  • Understanding of general ship architecture, material science and current developments.

  • Mathematics and Physics from first principles

  • IT skills

  • Project management

  • Applied component and manufacturing understanding


Software Understanding

  • CAD packages (E.g. CATIA, Solidworks, Autocad, Inventor, PTC Creo)

  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Software (E.g. Ansys, Abaqus, Nastran, HyperWorks)

  • Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations (E.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint; Google Docs, Sheets and Slides)

  • CFD Software (E.g. Orca3D, Numeca)

Example Jobs
  • Submarine or Ship Design Engineer

  • Naval Architect / Engineer

  • CFD analyst

  • Stress Engineer

  • Research and Development Engineer

  • Project Engineer

  • Structural Engineer


UK: The Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST)

USA: The Society of Naval Architects and Maritime Engineers (SNAME)

Luke T Seal Engineering