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Development Of An Ocean Engineering Course As A Technical Elective For Mechanical Engineers

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Teaching Experiences in OME

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.451.1 - 9.451.6



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Paper Authors

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Eugene Niemi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session No. 1478

Development of an Ocean Engineering Course As a Technical Elective for Mechanical Engineers

Eugene E. Niemi, Jr. Professor University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell, MA 01854

Abstract This paper outlines the development of a course in Ocean Engineering to be used as a technical elective for mechanical engineering students. With some modifications, the course is also being offered as a technology elective for graduate students in a marine science program. The paper covers the following sequence of events: a sabbatical leave by the course instructor to develop improved capability in this area, textbook selection, course syllabus, and first year experiences teaching the course. A small wave tank was designed and built by some students in conjunction with the first offering of the course, and this is now being used for demonstrations in future offerings of the course.

Introduction Several years ago, the University of Massachusetts developed a new program called the Intercampus Graduate School of Marine Sciences and Technology (IGSMST), or simply “IGS.” This program is a joint program offered through four of the campuses of the UMASS system (Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell). It is a graduate program designed to provide graduates with skills in the marine science area for industry, the government, and academia. The program is described in detail in Ref. 1. Various departments on each campus are contributing to this program in different ways: some with existing courses and research experience, and others by creating new courses for the program. The Mechanical Engineering Department on the Lowell campus had some research and practical experience in the field of Ocean Engineering and related fields, and had offered a course many years ago called “Mechanical Engineering Problems in Oceanography.” A forty foot long wave tank had been used for studying oil spills on water, but long since dismantled, and the department had participated in human-powered submarine projects in previous years (see Ref. 2). A number of graduates from the program had gone on to work in such organizations as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Electric Boat, and the Office of Naval Research. In order to formalize this past experience for the new IGS program, and also to provide increased course opportunities for students in Mechanical Engineering, it was decided to create a new technical elective in Ocean Engineering, to be offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The sequence of events was to include a sabbatical leave for the author to develop additional background in this field, followed by creation and offering of the courses. The sequence used could be used by any college or university to develop a new course in a different area.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education

Niemi, E. (2004, June), Development Of An Ocean Engineering Course As A Technical Elective For Mechanical Engineers Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13235

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