A ship is such a massive structure that it often compels us to think as to what does it takes to build such a gigantic thing. What does it take to make a ship? And more than that, who makes them? Designing a ship is not only a challenging task but also an interesting one. It requires the application of engineering principles to the ocean environment.
A visit to a ship building yard or a shipping company would answer most of your questions, but that wont help you to figure out as to what are the processes that goes behind the making. In this article, we will go through the various activities performed by the ship building personnel and briefly try to understand as to what they do.
The person who has studied the art of ship breaking is known as a naval architect. The main job of a naval architect is the process of planning and drawing of any kind of floating structure. Thus the job involves basic design of the ship, including estimating ship stability and hull form. A sailor or a ship personnel has to work on a ship throughout but a naval architect’s job expects him to work both on ship and land. The main activities that a naval architect is involved with during the lifecycle of the ship construction process can be enumerated as:
- Sketching preliminary design
- Detailed drawing layout.
- Planning and construction
- Launching and dry-docking
The Making of a Naval Architect
A naval architect goes through a rigorous training for a couple of years, which also includes an intership. He is trained to be proficient in structures, construction,concept design and subjects such as hydrodynamics and hydrostatics. Nowadays the designing and structuring of a floating vessel is generally done on computers with the help of specialised softwares. Each and every qualified naval architect is expected to be well versed in the operating of such softwares. These softwares uses analytical data to generate blue prints of sea going vessels, considering various parameters such as sea stability, resistance, hull development, powering, steering etc.
After a few years of experience a naval architect is expected to take up the management of the entire yard or a specific project which includes duties such as planning, production and compex operation of fitting out. Also in the present competitive word, its the the need of the situation that a naval architect continuously upgrade himself with technology and managerial skills. This is necessary because every company is looking out ways to make savings with the existing techniques and equipments by adopting new processes and practices.
Thus to become a naval architect, the following steps are required.
- A graduation in naval architecture/ ocean or marine engineering
- An apprenticeship in a shipping company
- Higher degree pertaining to the requisite skills.
Employment Prospects & Job Profile
A naval architect can be absorbed by a shipyard, shipping company, naval dockyards, ship design bureaus, navies , naval architecture consultancy firm, offshore structures installation company and oceanographic institutions. At an entry level a naval architect will perform a job of production manager to oversee the making of new ships. If he is asked to design the ships, he has to make detailed drawings of the ships after the concept drawing has been made.
A good naval architect has to be compatible with complex structural calculation. He also has to conversant with sophisticated structural softwares such as Ansys, NISA and Pro engineer. For detailed drawings for the production, he will be using Ship design Packages like TRIBON or General Engineering Packages like CATIA
The process of construction is a demanding job which will involve high stress levels due to the conflicts arising out of the overlapping of different ship systems.
In case you want to get a deep insight of the job you can check out the following site related to naval architecture.