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MMO5003 Modern ship design: Safety, Limitations and Hazards

Course description for academic year 2018/2019

Contents and structure

The course emphasizes on the understanding of physical phenomenon rather on numeric understanding of the physics governing the safety of ships.

Regulations regarding ship stability, fire protection, and fire extinguishing will be discussed. Accident reports will therefore be used as tools for this part of the course.

YouTube videos will be used to introduce important aspects of the course. The course will thereafter use real cases to highlight the various physical aspects.


Course Contents

  • The physical environment
    • The wave climate
      • Regular waves
      • Irregular waves
      • Breaking waves
      • Ocean currents
    • Wave spectra
    • Wind and wind gusts
  • The naval architect
    • Key considerations for vessel design, design basis
      • Buoyancy, load line
      • Center of gravity
      • Metacenter
    • Geometries of modern vessels
      • Bow design
      • Girder design) structural analysis
      • Double hull
      • Ballast design
        • Sloshing
    • Selection of engine type
    • Role of risk analysis in ship design
  • Vessel motions
    • The six degrees of freedom of motion
    • Response Amplitude Operators (RAOs)
    • Added mass and drag
    • Encounter frequency
    • Stabilizers
    • Ani-roll tanks
  • Ship Stability
    • Basics of initial stability
      • Flat bottom vessels
        • The design of the Viking ships
      • Vessels with triangular geometry
    • The GZ-curve
    • Intact stability
    • Dynamic stability
    • Damage stability
    • Twin-hull vessels
    • DNV rules and requirements
  • Role of management
    • Learnings from Gustav II Adolph¿s Wasa-ship.
    • Oil tanker Braer
  • Loss of stability
    • Concem
    • Overloaded passenger ferries
    • Estonia
    • Rockiness
    • Bourbon Dolohin
    • Gaul
  • Ship fire accidents
    • Structural fire requirements.
    • Detectors and alarm requirements.
    • Fixed and manual fire extinguishing systems.
      • Scandinavian Star accident
  • Aspects related to evacuation and rescue
    • Rescue means
    • Release of rescue means
  • Computer tools
    • Orcaflex
    • Computer program for true ship geometry



Learning Outcome


The student:

  • Knows important stability issues.
  • Knows operational issues related to safe ship handling.
  • Has practical understanding of how wind, wave, damage and fire affect ship stability.
  • Knows how different cargoes influence on ship stability.


The student:

  • Can use modern stability documentation in order to analyze:
    • Loading limitations.
    • Weather implications.
    • Stability for damaged ship.
    • Stability for ship at fire.

General Qualifications:

The student:

  • Can contribute to new thinking and development within the field of naval architecture
  • Understand and can discuss problems related to stability of floating devices.
  • Can analyze problems related to stability.
  • Can communicate about stability related issues with both specialists and the general public.
  • Has the foundation to acquire new and more advanced knowledge related to stability.

Entry requirements

Expected pre-knowledge

  • General Notion of stability
  • Forces and Moments
  • Centre of gravity and center of Buoyancy
  • Stability curves
  • Hydrostatic curves

Recommended previous knowledge

NAB1021 Hydrostatics and stability, NAB2007 Ship construction, NAB2059 Loading Techniques 1 and NAB2060 Loading Techniques 2 or equivalent.

Teaching methods

Teaching Methods:

The course is based on lectures; tutorials and practical assignments (related to naval architecture and implications on judgement of stability and structural fire-protection)

Compulsory learning activities

Compulsory work will be specified in the semester plan.

It is compulsory to attend to one of the sessions.


Portfolio assessment, 100%.

Examination support material

All available aids allowed.

More about examination support material