Ocean Engineering M.S./Ph.D.

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Degree Offered

Ocean Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science and an option in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in engineering. Programs in OE are by definition interdisciplinary and require the students to interact with the ocean science community as well as the traditional engineering disciplines. Students are exposed to the broad-based issues of working engineering problems in the ocean environment, as well as discipline specifics. In these programs they will be trained to develop responsible solutions to problems that will lead to sustainable activity and life in the ocean.

A Master of Science in Ocean Engineering option in ocean mapping is also available. There is a more structured path through this program, which incorporates all aspects of hydrography as required by the International Hydrography Organization (IHO) and is approved by the IHO. Focus is on the engineering aspects of hydrography. The general purpose of these programs is to prepare engineering students for professional careers in ocean-related fields.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have completed a baccalaureate degree in either chemical, civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering or have an equivalent background.

M.S. Degree Requirements

Each student is required to take an oceanography course: ESCI 852, Chemical Oceanography or ESCI 858, Introductory Physical Oceanography, or ESCI 859, Geological Oceanography, or ZOOL 850, Biological Oceanography, and OE 990, 991, Ocean Engineering Seminar I, II. In addition, each student must select three of the following seven courses: OE 871 Geodesy and Positioning, OE 881, Physical Instrumentation; OE 810, Ocean Measurements Laboratory; OE 853, Ocean Hydrodynamics; OE 854, Ocean Waves and Tides; OE 885, Underwater Acoustics; and ESCI 959, Data Analysis Methods in Ocean and Earth Sciences. Students are also required to take a minimum of 12 credits of additional coursework and complete a master's thesis for six credits.

Ocean Mapping Option

This option is offered in conjunction with the Joint Hydrographic Center/Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. Each student is required to take these core courses: ESCI 858, Physical Oceanography; OE 990, 991, Ocean Engineering Seminar I and II; OE 810, Ocean Measurements Lab; OE 885, Underwater Acoustics; OE/ESCI 870, Introductory Hydrography; OE/ESCI 871, Geodesy and Positioning; and OE/ESCI 972, Hydrographic Field Course. In addition, each student must select at least six additional credits from these electives: OE 854, Ocean Waves and Tides; ESCI 859, Geological Oceanography; ESCI 959, Data Analysis Methods in Ocean and Earth Sciences; OE 954, Ocean Waves and Tides II; ESCI 907, Geostatics; OE/ESCI 973, Seafloor Characterization; OE/CS 867, Special Topic (Interactive Data Visualization); EOS 824, Introduction to Ocean Remote Sensing; NR 857, Photo Interpretation and Photogammetry; NR 860, Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources; OE 995, Graduate Special Topics; OE 998, Independent Study. Students are also required to complete a master's thesis for six credits. Other related courses may be taken with approval.

Ph.D. Option

Students admitted to this Ph.D. option come from traditional engineering degree programs, physics, mathematics, computer science, and in some cases marine science programs. Those entering the Ph.D. option with a B.S. degree from an engineering program should be prepared to directly enter the Ph.D. option. Those coming from a B.S. in physics, mathematics, or computer science will have their transcripts more carefully reviewed on an individual basis, as additional courses may be required.

A student in the ocean engineering option in the Engineering Ph.D. program will be expected to take a minimum of 12 courses (exclusive of dissertation research) beyond those required for a B.S. degree.

Required Courses

One course in oceanography or ocean science: ESCI/ZOOL 850, Biological Oceanography; ESCI 852, Chemical Oceanography; ESCI 858, Introductory Physical Oceanography or ESCI 860, Introductory Dynamical Oceanography; ESCI 859, Geological Oceanography.

Three core courses in ocean engineering: OE 810, Ocean Measurements Lab; OE 844, Corrosion; OE 853, Ocean Hydrodynamics; OE 854, Ocean Waves and Tides; OE 856, Principles of Naval Architecture and Model Testing; OE 857, Coastal Engineering and Processes; OE 881, Physical Instrumentation; OE 885, Underwater Acoustics; OE 873, Seafloor Characterization; OE 870, Introduction to Hydrography; OE 871, Geodesy and Geomatics; OE 872, Hydrographic Field Course.

Two courses in advanced OE topics: (Two at 900-level): OE 937, Advanced Hydrodynamics; OE 954, Ocean Waves and Tides II; OE 956, Dynamics of Moored Systems; ESCI 959, Data Analysis Methods in Ocean and Earth Sciences. Two courses (one at 800-level, one at 900-level): MATH 845, MATH 846, Foundations of Applied Mathematics; MATH 853, Introduction to Numerical Methods; MATH 854, Introduction to Scientific Computing; MATH 856, Principles of Statistical Inference; MATH 888, Complex Analysis; MATH 931, MATH 932, Mathematical Physics; ME 881, Mathematical Methods in Engineering Science I; ME 982, Mathematical Methods in Engineering Science II; ME 876, Introduction to Finite Element Analysis; ME 986, Advanced Finite Element Analysis.

Four electives: (Two at 800-level, two at 900-level): CS 867, Interactive Data Visualization; ME 807, Analytical Fluid Dynamics; ME 809, Computational Fluid Dynamics; ME 886, Introduction to Finite Element Analysis; ME 909, Viscous Flow; ME 910, Turbulent Flow Analysis; ME 911, Theory of Hydrodynamic Stability; ME 827, Advanced Mechanics of Solids; ME 824, Introduction to Vibration; ME 823, Advanced Dynamics; ME 922, Continuum Mechanics; ME 924, Elasticity; ME 926, Plasticity; CIE 861, Foundation Engineering; CIE 862, Introduction to Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering; CIE 863, Geological Engineering; CIE 883, Matrix Structural Analysis and Modeling; CIE 942, River Mechanics; CIE 961, In situ Geotechnical Testing; ESCI 907, Geostatics; ESCI 958, Dynamical Oceanography; ECE 814, Introduction to Digital Signal Processing; ECE 817, Introduction to Digital Image Processing; ECE 845, Acoustics; ECE 857, Fundamentals of Communication; ECE 860, Introduction to Fiber Optics; ECE 939, Statistical Communication Theory; ECE 940, Information Theory; ECE 941, Digital Signal Processing; ECE 955, Estimation and Filtering; ECE 965, Introduction to Pattern Recognition; ECE 970, Introduction to Optical Signal Processing.

The general process of a student through this option is expected to follow the time frame listed:

  • Year 1: Coursework, qualifier at the end of the year
  • Year 2: More coursework, thesis proposal presentation at the end of the year
    More coursework, thesis proposal presentation at the end of the year
  • Year 3: Research
  • Year 4: Research/thesis defense
  • Year 5: Research/thesis defense

The course selection and sequencing will be established in consultation with the student's guidance committee. There will be a qualifying examination on the student's specific area of interest after the first year, but no later than the end of the second year. The goal of this exam is to test the breadth of the student's knowledge in topic areas essential to ocean engineering and the student's area of interest. For each student there will be a list of "must know" topics; i.e., physical oceanography, underwater acoustics, fluid dynamics, mathematics. A formal Ph.D. proposal will then be written and presented in a seminar, which constitutes an oral exam. After successful completion, the student will be advanced to candidacy and work on the dissertation. The dissertation will be defended in a public forum when completed.

Courses

See Graduate School course descriptions.