UCL News


Shipping news

13 December 2006

UCL Mechanical Engineering has further strengthened its links with industry by announcing a partnering project with BMT Defence Services Ltd.

subs1 BMT DSL will provide their expertise to staff and students on UCL's innovative postgraduate course in submarine design.

UCL runs the only openly available submarine design course in the world. The course, which lasts for one term, attracts professionals from throughout the world, keen to develop their design and engineering skills in this specialist field. BMT DSL - a consultancy specialising in marine design and technology - has developed a web-based design consultancy portal to answer students' questions, and is also committed to providing three lectures per course and attending student design reviews.

Simon Rusling, Professor of Naval Architecture and director of the submarine design course said: "The UCL submarine design course is the world's only openly available course focused on the complex and exciting subject of submarine design. UCL encourages academic staff to forge links with industry that will benefit their students' practical application of the knowledge we impart. We are therefore pleased to work with BMT and other industrial partners, whose experts promote the practical perspective of submarine design, both by describing their personal experiences, and by critiquing the designs students develop to meet the topical challenges we set them."

Mark Pearce, a student on the submarine design course said: "Submarine design is highly challenging, so it's great to listen to professionals who have spent many years solving the problems not only of keeping people alive under water, but of functioning effectively for months at a time."The submarine course, like both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in naval architecture and marine engineering, is committed to providing students with real-life design problems to solve. The MSc programmes in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering include a ship design exercise, with many of the past briefs put forward by industry and defence departments as far afield as Canada and America, as well as the UK. One advantage of this is that governments and manufacturers can put forward quite radical ideas, which the students can then use as a basis for feasibility studies.

While some of the briefs supplied can at times be far-fetched, such as a Mothership that carries and deploys four smaller ships, several have resulted in the manufacture of seagoing vessels. One such brief was picked up by the MOD and led to the manufacture of the world's first ocean going powered trimaran, RV Triton, which in turn inspired the design and manufacture of the largest trimaran ferry in the world, built in Western Australia and now operational in the Canary Islands.

To find our more about courses in naval architecture and submarine design, use the links at the bottom of this page.

Image: RV Triton, courtesy of QinetiQ