paper-plane envelope home office pencil quill pen image images camera play bullhorn connection mic file-text2 file-picture file-music file-play file-video copy folder folder-open folder-plus folder-minus folder-download folder-upload price-tag price-tags ticket phone envelop pushpin location compass map map2 clock alarm fax mobile bubble bubbles user users user-plus user-minus user-check quotes-left quotes-right search pie-chart stats-dots stats-bars airplane cloud-download cloud-upload earth link flag eye eye-blocked arrow-up-left arrow-up arrow-up-right arrow-right arrow-down-right arrow-down arrow-down-left arrow-left2 share amazon google-plus google-drive facebook instagram twitter rss youtube flickr dropbox linkedin file-pdf file-openoffice file-word file-excel

UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHGN01 Ship Dynamics

An advanced course in ship dynamics covering the analysis methods available for describing wave loading as both regular and irregular processes, the response of ships and offshore structures to waves (sea keeping) and methods to analyse the structural dynamics of marine vehicles.

Code: MECHGN01
Alt Codes: MECHM012, MECH4012 (until 2012)
Title: Ship Dynamics
Level: MSc
UCL Credits/ECTS: 30
Start: September
End: March
Taught By: Professor Giles Thomas (Module Coordinator)



  • As exemplified by a mechanical, civil, aeronautical or other “mechanical type” engineering degree with strong structures element continued throughout
  • Where a candidate has demonstrated the appropriate intellectual capability but is deemed not to have an appropriate background in “mechanical” engineering (i.e. those with typically an electrical engineering degree obtained at a high level (2:1 or 1st class honours)) the prerequisite units can form part of a pre-qualifying year.

Method of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practicals


  • Coursework assessments (2x)
  • Examination (3 hours)

MECHGN01 Ship Dynamics


  • Random Processes
    • Probability theory, distributions; Random processes, correlation, spectra; Input-output relations; FFT and simulation techniques.
  • Waves
    • Waves as a random process; Design spectra, long and short crested seas; Short and long term wave statistics; Ocean wave theories including linear and Stokes 3rd and 5th order theories.
  • Structural Dynamics
    • Vibrations of continuous systems. Lagrange’s equations; Finite element methods in structural dynamics; Modal analysis, orthogonality, principal co-ordinates; Direct solution techniques in the time domain; Substructuring methods.
  • Response of Ships to Waves
    • Skip theory and 2-D hydrodynamic forces; Response to sinusoidal wave; Typical ship results in seaway; Generalised fluid actions and hydroelasticity; Numerical methods for 3-D hydrodynamics; Applications to ships and offshore structures.
  • Seakeeping
    • Seakeeping equations; Encounter frequency; Roll, roll damping and stabilisation; Influences of excessive motions; Slamming, whipping and springing.
Back to top