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Teaching Ship Structures with MAESTRO

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1486.1 - 26.1486.22



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Paper Authors


William M. Simpson Jr. U.S. Coast Guard Academy

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Dr. William M. Simpson, Jr. is an Assistant Professor in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Section of the Engineering Department at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. He has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, a Masters in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Connecticut. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1992 at the rank of Captain having had assignments in Marine Safety, Naval Engineering, Acquisition, and Research and Development. He also served as a faculty member at the Coast Guard Academy while on active duty. His last assignment was as Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in Groton, CT. After retirement from active duty, prior to joining the Coast Guard Academy faculty, he worked as an independent naval architect. He is a member of SNAME, ASNE, ASEE, and ABYC.

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Raymond S. McCord Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Raymond Scott “Chip” McCord, CAPTAIN USN (Ret)

Chip McCord is a Senior Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT who teaches graduate courses in Marine Power and Propulsion and Ship Structures. Additionally he is a lab instructor for two undergraduate courses: Design and Manufacturing and Product Engineering Processes. He retired after 30 years of active duty from the US Navy in 2003. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a BS in Engineering and MIT with the SM in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and the Ocean Engineer degeree. In the Navy he served at various sea and shore commands as both a line officer and engineering duty officer. In addition to being the Sixth Fleet Salvage Officer and Atlantic Fleet Salvage Officer he served as the twentieth US Navy Supervisor of Salvage from 1994 to 1999. There, among other duties, in 1996 he directed the recovery of victims and wreckage of TWA Flight #800 off Long Island, NY and in 1998 assisted the Canadian government in the recovery of victims and wreckage of SWISS Air Flight #111.

Prior to retirement from the Navy he was the Professor of Naval Construction and Engineering in the Department of Ocean Engineering at MIT.

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Teaching Ships Structures with MAESTROShip structural analysis software, MAESTRO, can be used as a tool in teaching ship structures inboth undergraduate and graduate Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering programs. In bothprograms the objective is to give students a working knowledge of ship structures without theseries of courses and experience needed to become structural analysis experts. Most students ofNaval Architecture and Marine Engineering do not specialize in the area of structural analysisnor develop expertize in detailed computerized structural analysis. However, all practicing navalarchitects and marine engineers need a fundamental working knowledge of ship structures.Traditionally ship structures has been taught by separating the loads into parts and evaluating theresponses to the parts as separate problems. This has been adequate to give a basicunderstanding of ship structures, but, as ship structural design and analysis has moved beyondmere satisfaction of Class Society rules, at least exposure to a more holistic analysis isincreasingly important. The specialized ship structural analysis software MAESTRO bridges thegap between simple manual calculations and the major investment in knowledge and timeneeded to create a valid detailed computerized ship structural model. MAESTRO uses a panelmethod (modified finite element) tailored specifically for ship structures which requires far lessknowledge and time to produce a valid ship structural analysis model. Due to the ease oflearning the software and creating a valid ship structural model it is possible to incorporate itsuse into general naval architecture courses without the requirement to become an expert instructural finite element analysis. The experience in incorporating MAESTRO into separateundergraduate and graduate program is described. The use of MAESTRO in the graduateprogram affords the students greater insight into ship structural response to load effects that arenot always accurately analyzed by current manual methods (simple prismatic beam analysis). Inthe undergraduate program, the students use MAESTRO to develop a structural model as part oftheir senior ship design project. There has been difficulty in the undergraduate program in thedevelopment of a whole ship model, but the software allows the mid-portion of the ship structureto be easily created. In both the graduate and undergraduate programs the emphasis is onlearning ship structures, not becoming expert in a specific software. The authors feelMAESTRO is being used successfully in both the graduate and undergraduate programs to teachship structures and give students experience in computer structural analysis.

Simpson, W. M., & McCord, R. S. (2015, June), Teaching Ship Structures with MAESTRO Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24823

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