Ocean Engineering

The Department of Ocean Engineering offers a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in ocean engineering, and is open to qualified students under the New England Regional Student Program. The Ocean Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. (www.abet.org). URI’s Department of Ocean Engineering is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the leaders in ocean engineering, and also offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

Faculty: Professor Baxter, chairperson. Professors Ballard, S. Grilli, Hu, Miller, and Tyce; Associate Professor Roman; Assistant Professors Dahl, and Licht; Associate Research Professors A. Grilli and Potty; Adjunct Professors Corriveau, Moran, Muench, Sharpe, and Shonting; Adjunct Assistant Professors Barton, Cousins, Crocker, Dossot, and Newman; Professors Emeriti Kowalski, Silva, and Spaulding, and Stepanishen.

Department Mission Statement. The Department of Ocean Engineering’s missions are to provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare our students for professional careers in ocean engineering in industry, academia, and government; to develop and maintain internationally recognized research programs in selected areas of ocean engineering; to actively serve the profession and community in our areas of expertise; and to provide a challenging work and learning environment where diversity, community, scholarship, professional development, and excellence are valued and rewarded. The program is designed to provide students with a strong base in fundamental sciences, mathematics, and engineering; a broad base in ocean engineering; opportunities for the integration of theory, experimentation, and design; appreciation of ethical, social, and environmental issues in the practice of the profession; and strong oral and written communication skills.

Program Educational Objectives.

Three to five years after graduation, our graduates will be:

  1. Gainfully employed with private or government organizations and advancing to positions of increased responsibility, or pursuing an advanced degree in an engineering program.
  2. Working in one of the specialty areas within the broad field of ocean engineering including ocean instrumentation, hydrostatics, ocean waves, underwater acoustics, marine structures, marine geomechanics, and ocean engineering design.
  3. Behaving ethically, contributing to society, participating in strengthening a diverse engineering professional environment, and succeeding in diverse workplaces, nationally and internationally.

Student Outcomes. Ocean engineering students demonstrate knowledge in all outcomes required by ABET, Inc. which are listed in the college’s student outcomes section.

Program Description. URI’s curriculum provides a basic ocean engineering program that gives students a firm base in engineering fundamentals and prepares them for direct entry into a professional career or continued study toward a graduate degree. The required ocean engineering courses begin at the freshman level and include laboratory, analysis, and design courses. A strong emphasis is on the application of scientific principles in the ocean environment gained through laboratory courses. Experiments covering several basic areas are used to provide an integrated approach to investigations into ocean phenomena and processes. Students are involved in the planning and execution of experiments, including data collection and analysis and the reporting of results. This hands-on experience provides graduates with an understanding of ocean engineering activities in scientific and industrial fields.

The broad-based program exposes students to the following topics: offshore renewable energy, ocean instrumentation and data analysis, underwater and sub-bottom acoustics, marine hydrodynamics, coastal processes, marine geomechanics, coastal and offshore structures.

To ensure that each student gains an in-depth knowledge of one of the ocean engineering disciplines, the curriculum allows course sequences in hydrodynamics, structures, geomechanics, acoustics, instrumentation, and data analysis. A senior year Ocean Systems Design Project course integrates previously obtained knowledge in a comprehensive design project. This experience may be obtained through an on-campus course or through an off-campus internship in an ocean-oriented private company or government laboratory.

The Department of Ocean Engineering is located at URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus. Computational facilities include the Ocean Project Center consisting of several personal computers and two laser printers networked and connected to the Engineering Computer Center (ECC). Extensive laboratory facilities are also available. The department often utilizes a 42-foot research vessel equipped with a fully integrated side-scan sonar and sub-bottom mapping system. This vessel is used for both lab courses and research. A remotely-operated vehicle is operated by the department. A 100-foot tow and wave tank and a large acoustics tank are located on the Bay Campus, as well as an electronics shop, machine shop, and the Marine Geomechanics Laboratory. The facilities are available to undergraduates for course work, research, and independent study.

The ocean engineering major requires 126 credits.

Freshman Year First semester: 16 credits
CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); EGR 105 (1); MTH 141 (4); PHY 203 (3), 273 (1); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 17 credits
ECN 201 (3); EGR 106 (2); MTH 142 (4); OCE 101 (1); PHY 204 (3), 274 (1); and general education requirement (3).

Sophomore Year First semester: 14 credits
MCE 262 (3); MTH 243 (3); OCE 205 (4); and PHY 205 (3), 275 (1).

Second semester: 16 credits
CVE 220 (3); MCE 263 (3); MTH 244 (3); OCE 206 (4); and free elective (3).

Junior Year First semester: 16 credits
MCE 354 (3); OCE 301 (4), 310 (3); professional elective1 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Second semester: 18 credits
OCE 311 (4), 408 (4), 471 (4); professional elective1 (3); and general education requirement (3).

Senior Year First semester: 14 credits
OCE 416 (2), 421 (3), 4952 (3) [capstone]; CHE 333 (3); and professional elective1 (3).

Second semester: 15 credits
OCE 4961 (3) [capstone]; OCG 451 (3), professional electives1 (6); and general education requirement (3).

Professional Elective Requirements: Any 300-, 400-, or 500-level courses in engineering, MTH, OCG, or PHY. A minimum of two (2) professional electives must be in OCE courses.

2 OCE 495 and OCE 496: An approved off-campus experience, usually between the junior and senior years, can be substituted for OCE 495 and 496.

Professional Practice Degree Program (Accelerated Five-Year B.S./M.S. Degree Program). The Ocean Engineering Professional Practice Degree Program, built on our existing B.S. and M.S. degrees, addresses the need for a five-year degree program that prepares students to practice engineering at the highest possible level. Admission requirements for the program are junior standing in ocean engineering, an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher, and 3.20 or higher in engineering courses. Program requirements include the following: meet all degree requirements for B.S. and M.S. in ocean engineering plus OCE 491 or 492 (3 credits) focused on a research project led by an engineering faculty member; OCE 500 Ocean Engineering Design Studies (6 credits) (topic areas must be different from M.S. thesis project), ISE 500 (3 credits), OCE/ELE 550 (3 credits); and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination offered by NCEES. Upon completion of the program, students earn both the B.S and M.S. degrees in ocean engineering. Additional program information can be obtained by contacting the department chairperson.

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