University College London
University College London has been associated with Naval Engineering training and research since 1967 when the education program for the UK naval construction corps (Royal Corps of Naval Constructors) was transferred from the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. As part of the partnership arrangement, the UK MoD agreed to provide UCL with design support and a number of key teaching and research staff with naval design and project experience. This has continued to this day with the secondment of a professor and lecturer (associate professor) in Naval Architecture, as well as a research assistant and 2 support staff. UCL provides the core academic teaching in engineering science.
The main focus of the training in Naval Engineering is the 2 separate but linked MSc programs in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (either Mechanical or Electrical options). This attracts both UK MOD civilian and Royal Navy sponsored military students who provide about 30% of the numbers attending the courses. Many of the remaining students are sponsored by foreign governments.
In addition, each year UCL runs a short 9 week course on Submarine Design which is taken by students who have completed the MSc and graduate engineers from government and industry.
The marine research groups in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL have had a primary focus on ship design for over 30 years. The annual full-time ship design exercise undertaken by teams of post-graduate MSc students, under the supervision of experienced practitioners in ship design and acquisition has consistently advanced the knowledge of the conceptual design and feasibility of innovative ship designs. This is best typified by the example of conceptual trimaran designs undertaken in the Department over the past decade and the subsequent construction of the first ocean going trimaran ship - R.V. TRITON for DERA (now QinetiQ). The range of the ship types includes conventional monohulls and unconventional hull types (e.g. SWATH, Trimarans, Pentamaran, Triswach, HYSWAS, SES and Hydrofoils) and covers a wide range of ship types (e.g. Surface Combatants, Patrol Boats, Amphibious Warfare Vessels, Naval Support and Logistic Vessels and Auxiliaries, Helicopter and Aircraft Carriers and Submarines (Conventional, AIP and Nuclear Propelled)). Further in-depth research into specific aspects of design is undertaken by PhD students and Research Assistants.
A complementary area of active design research has been the development of computer aided preliminary ship design tools with an emphasis on early graphical representation. An example is the SUBCON design suite used for the initial design of submarines, which was taken up by the UK MoD and is now being actively used by the UK MoD Future Attack Submarine project. A surface ship equivalent (SURFCON) has been produced at UCL in association with the Graphics Research Corporation (GRC) and is now being used.
The Department is also involved in considerable research into electric ship propulsion technologies and their integration into naval vessels, waterjet and pump-jet design and other underpinning engineering science research in CFD. UCL also has many contacts with UK industry (e.g. LRS, BAE SYSTEMS, QinetiQ and Nigel Gee & Associates) as well as other universities.