Naval architecture is an engineering discipline that deals with design, construction, operations and maintenance of sea going vessels. Naval architecture plays the primary role in all stages of the life of a marine vessel right from the initial designing to advanced type of design, actual construction, testing, operations, maintenance as well as launching and dry-docking of marine vessels. The role and scope of naval architecture doesn’t end here, as it is also involved in the modification, modernization and repair of old vessels. The discipline also involves in areas dealing with formulation of safety standards, damage control rules and certification of vessel designs.
The naval technology has made tremendous progress over the past century, especially the last fifty years. Marine vessels have seen huge advancement in terms of their designing and increase in efficiency. It has been possible because of the establishment of dedicated field of study in the naval engineering especially the naval architecture. Earlier on, the design and shape of a vessel was approved in an imprecise way ignoring important criteria such as its speed and strength. But now naval architects are using modern computers and tools to improve the overall performance of the marine vessels. The technology has been used to improve performance of any type of vessel including giant ships, tankers, war ships, cruise ships, ice breakers, submarines and even yachts and fishing boats. Additionally, naval architecture is also being used in the design and construction of different types of offshore structure for civil as well as military purposes.
Naval architecture has helped to significantly improve the performance of sea going vessels and ports. The new technology has successfully being used to improve the hydrodynamics, speed, strength and durability of marine vessels. With the great advancement in naval technology, vessel models can now be accurately tested before being built using advanced computer software.
A naval architect deals with designing and development of vessels at all stages. They formulate accurate architectural and design plans right from deciding vessel’s size to the density of its hull and usage of materials for optimal efficiency of the sea machines. They also have expertise in different types of maritime activities like dredging, shipment and transportation, offshore drilling etc. In fact, the discipline of naval architecture serves to all stages of the life of vessels and offshore structures right from the research and development, designing, construction, operations and repair, as well as safety of the marine vessels and offshore structures. They produce safe, durable, and efficient marine vessels and offshore structures at the minimum possible cost. The products of naval architecture include marine vessels of all sizes, offshore oil platforms, navy aircraft carriers and other vessels required by the navy.
The job of naval architect requires leadership and time management skills as they need to interact with technically skilled individuals with specialization in other fields associated with naval architecture. Naval architects are employed by commercial as well as military agencies that includes shipyards, design firms and consultancies, naval equipment manufacturers, private ship owners, and navies to name a few.