The University of British Columbia (UBC) has two ways for engineers to take advantage of opportunities in naval architecture and the shipbuilding industry.
Since 2013, the UBC Department of Mechanical Engineering has offered a one-year program for engineering degree-holders to earn a Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (M.Eng. NAME) degree. UBC is the only centre for naval architecture and marine engineering studies in western North America.
The program is technical in focus. The courses cover ship structures, hydrodynamics, marine engineering, ship production, ship dynamics and project management. The program includes a computer-aided design project and also a four-month paid internship at a marine company or agency. Group design projects in collaboration with naval architecture firms have included a trimaran ferry for Papua New Guinea (with Robert Allan Ltd), an icebreaking charter yacht (with Ron Holland Design), and an offshore patrol vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard (with Vard Marine).
Most students in the program are recent civil or mechanical engineering graduates. So far there have been 27 alumni. According to 2014 graduate Justine Dagenais, “Having small size classes, a close knit group of students and interesting courses were only some of the advantages. The chance to get a job in the industry for a summer’s internship was an added bonus, as it provided working experience and contacts.”
Beginning next year UBC will offer a one-year program that combines engineering with business training. The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) program will be jointly administered by the Faculty of Applied Science and the Sauder School of
Business. The program was developed for engineers with some experience who want business and leadership training to advance their careers.
One of the degree options will be in naval architecture and marine engineering. MEL NAME graduates will be capable of overseeing ship procurement, ship design or shipbuilding operations.
The program will devote 60 percent of courses to the technical aspects of the industry value chain, with 40 percent going to leadership, business and management. Technical courses will cover the same subjects as the M.Eng. NAME program. Leadership, business and management courses will include project management, sustainability, analytics for applied sciences, organizational leadership, and business acumen for technical leaders.
The Master of Engineering Leadership program was developed after consultation with alumni, engineers and industry executives. According to UBC, there is a demand for a new type of engineering education. Elizabeth Croft, Associate Dean of Education and Professional Development at the Faculty of Applied Science, comments, “To advance as technical lead, engineers need to develop a strong sense of business skills in leadership, project and organizational management, sustainability and finance. Being able to combine a leadership foundation with technical study is a real win.”