Marine Engineering is not as simply categorized as , for example, civil, mechanical, electrical, or chemical engineering. It is an integrated engineering effort comprising parts of many engineering disciplines directed to the development and design of systems of transport, warfare, exploration, and natural resource extraction that have only one thing in common, namely, that they operate in, or upon the surface of, a body of water.
From a functional point of view, a ship is a most complex vehicle which must be reliably self sustaining in its element for extended periods of time. A ship is perhaps the most multipurpose of vehicles, have more built-in functions than does any other vehicle type. As a part of a transportation and military system. the ship contains a greater variety of components than any other vehicle.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
The division of responsibilities between naval architects and marine engineers are seldom sharp, and it differs from one activity to another. Marine Engineers are, in general, principally responsible for the engineering systems, including the main propulsion plant, the powering and mechanical aspects of the ship functions such as steering, anchoring, cargo handling, weapon systems, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, air conditioning, electrical power generation and distribution, and interior and exterior communications.
Navel Architects are, in general, primarily concerned with the hydrodynamic and hull form characteristics of the ship, the structural design of the hull, maneuverability characteristics of the vehicle, and its stability to survive and endure in the marine environment.
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