The Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Course

The graduate course in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering started at Instituto Superior Técnico in 1980/81, as a natural evolution of the specialization courses that had been taking place between 1970 and 1980, under the control of the Rectorate of the Technical University of Lisbon (to which IST belongs), and at that time already designated as Shipbuilding Engineering.

The start of the above-mentioned specialization courses coincided with the initial operation phase of Setenave, which then needed a great number of Naval Architects in order to function properly. This was the determining factor for several national shipyards to lend their support to start the courses. The Navy also gave an important contribution to this initiative, with some of their Naval Architects giving lectures of their specialised fields.

In 1988/89 decisive steps were taken towards a bigger independent definition of the degree, which encouraged a curricular restructure. This restructure not only widened the scope of the graduate degree, but also changed its designation from Shipbuilding Engineering to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

In 1991, the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Autonomous Section (SAEN) was created, the academic unit at IST responsible for de graduate degree course in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in Portugal. At IST, the designation Autonomous Section is given to a Department which functions as a Department but the different name reflects the situation of a smaller number of full time academic staff.

In 1999/2000, a new plan of studies was introduced that promoted an adaptation of the course to market trends. With this in mind, three specialization fields were created, namely: Ship Design and Shipbuilding, Machinery and Maritime Systems, and Maritime Transportation and Ports, sectors where naval architects with specialized capabilities are needed and which could be provided by this degree course.

Following this change, the name of the graduate degree course changed to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, reflecting the importance of Naval Architecture in this degree, given that it is the main scientific area of the course.

In 2006, as a consequence of the implementation of the Bologna Agreement, two cycles of studies were created, the first corresponding to the Undergraduate Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with a duration of 3 years, and the second corresponding to a Master degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with a duration of 2 years.