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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHGN03 Ship Hydrodynamics

MECHGN03 Ship Hydrodynamics

The aim of the course is to give the student an advanced theoretical grounding in one of the fundamental analytical discipline fields of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. Other fields are ship design and ship dynamics.

Code: MECHGN03
Alt Codes: MECHM016, MECH4016 (until 2012)
Title: Ship Structures
Level: MSc
UCL Credits/ECTS: 30
Start: September
End: March
Taught By: Ms. Ema Muk-Pavic
Dr. John Aston
Professor Guoxiong Wu (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.


Three major items of coursework.

MECHGN03 Ship Hydrodynamics


Computational Fluid Dynamics

  • Encountering computer predictions – a general introduction
  • Basic concepts of fluids covering incompressible viscous or inviscid flows and free surfaces
  • Regions of validity
  • Computational tools for body and fluid modelling
  • Applications to body modelling, free surfaces, viscous flows and lifting surfaces
  • Computational methods in control – forces due to cross-flows and shed vortices
  • Solution methods for the Navier-Stokes equations, turbulence modelling and mesh generation

Basic Predication Techniques

  • Components of ship resistance and prediction techniques
  • Series model resistance experiments
  • Drag reduction
  • Hull/propeller interaction effects
  • Lifting line design of propellers
  • Propeller charts and preliminary propeller design
  • Waterjets Preliminary estimates of speed and power
  • Trials analysis
  • Physical effects and significance of cavitation number
  • Simple theoretical considerations
  • Cavitation tunnel testing
  • Manoeuvring Directional stability of surface vessels
  • Steady motion of surface vessels and submarines
  • Transient response. Steering indices
  • Directional stabilisation by fins and rudder
  • Model tests and trials
  • Manoeuvring Simulation & Prediction.
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