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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMA167 - Marine structural engineering
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPNAV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: D
Minimum participants: 8
Maximum participants: 50

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination, part A 6,0 c Grading: TH   6,0 c   16 Jan 2015 am L,  16 Apr 2015 am L,  19 Aug 2015 pm L
0211 Written and oral assignments, part B 1,5 c Grading: UG   1,5 c    

In programs



Professor  Jonas Ringsberg


MMA131   Marine structural engineering MMA166   Ship structures advanced course

Course evaluation:


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Mathematics (including mathematical statistics, numerical analysis and multi-variable calculus), mechanics and strength of materials and engineering materials.


The purpose of the course is to give professional knowledge of design loads, structural characteristics of marine structures (with emphasis on ship structures) and how to carry out analysis of their strength. Limit state design methodologies are taught to demonstrate how to make safe designs and analyses of lightweight stiffened shell structures that are typical of ships and offshore structures. The theory is general while the application is on ship and offshore structures. Examples of fatigue design principles are discussed continuously during the course together with some examples.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After finishing the course, the student will have professional knowledge in marine structural engineering and how to make safe designs of marine structures. The student will have professional competence to systematically solve general problems which concerns the structural integrity of structures, in particular stiffened lightweight shell structures. After completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • identify and discuss which loads a marine structure is subjected to,
  • use and interpret classification rules in order to design lightweight structures according to given design criteria,
  • carry out full strength analyses (by means of limit state design criteria) of ship and offshore structures,
  • understand and discuss the meaning of the effective flange concept, - identify and discuss the functionality of the structural elements in a ship structure, both from a global and local perspective,
  • understand the functionality and suggest modifications of a ship or offshore design in order fulfill design criteria,
  • carry out a structure stability and buckling analysis of a stiffened thin-walled lightweight structure, and
  • critically evaluate and compare various design concepts with respect to material, geometry and structural aspects.


The course is divided into four parts: design rules and aspects of marine structural engineering, engineering beam theory applied on marine structure designs, the effective flange concept, and structural stability of beams and stiffened shell structures. Examples of fatigue design principles are discussed continuously during the course together with some examples.

  • Design rules and aspects of marine structural engineering:
    • Examples and categorization of various types of marine structure designs.
    • Identification and categorization of loads that act on marine structures, such as wind, wave and impact loads.
    • Study of design rules according to classification societies.
    • Limit states designs.
  • Engineering beam theory applied on marine structure designs:
    • Normal stresses/strains due to axial loading conditions.
    • Normal stresses/strains due to bending (Bernoulli's hypothesis, Navier's theory).
    • Normal stresses/strains due to torsion (Vlasov theory).
    • Shear stresses/strains due to bending.
    • Shear stresses/strains due to torsion (Saint-Venant, Vlasov and mixed torsion theory).
    • The effective flange concept:
    • Objective with the concept and motivation to why it must be considered.
    • Calculations using the summation method.
    • Calculations using the elementary case method.
  • Structural stability of beams and stiffened shell structures:
    • Introduction to ultimate strength analysis.
    • Overview of methods useful for structural stability analysis.
    • Structural stability of beam structures (Euler theory, geometric imperfections, influence from lateral loads, etc).
    • Analysis of large-scale realistic stiffened shell structures with regard to their stability characteristics and progressive collapse.

Three mandatory assignments should be presented: (i) structural arrangement of a typical ship (literature survey), (ii) numerical general stress analysis of a beam girder, and (iii) stress and buckling analysis of stiffened plate structure.


Teaching is in the form of lectures, tutorials and three mandatory assignments.


J.W. Ringsberg (2012). MMA167 - Marine Structural Engineering. Division of Marine Design, Department of Shipping and Marine Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.


Written exam and three passed assignments.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.