Credits: 5

Schedule: 25.02.2019 - 27.05.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Spyridon Cheirdaris

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

The course is delivered by Associate Professor Spyros Hirdaris with contact details as follows :

of Engineering, Aalto University

of Mechanical Engineering (Marine Technology Group)

5, Room 213a

14300, 00076 Aalto, Finland



You can contact Dr. Hirdaris by email and if arrange a meeting as appropriate. 

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Can assess and explain the meaning of the general model of a rigid body motion in 6 degrees-of-freedom and its applicability in ship dynamics. Can describe common approximations to the general model known as linear seakeeping and assess their applicability and deficiencies. Can describe the general theory of surface waves and modelling of regular and irregular waves. Can assess, using the learned mathematical models, the dangers associated with ship operation in irregular surface waves. Can understand the concept of loading of rigid and flexible ship idealizations in waves and apply principles of hydrodynamic modelling for rational ship design. Can understand the basic principles of hydrodynamic model testing and full-scale measurements.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Ship theory in terms of seakeeping and loading. Linear surface wave theory. Ship motions in 6 degrees of freedom. Strip theory, 3D panel methods for the evaluation of rigid body motions and hull girder loads. Introduction to hydroelasticity of ships. Equipment for motion control. The non-linear effects of surface waves, ship dynamics and motions and loads. In the assignments, students assess the seakeeping and hull girder loads of their concept ship by applying state of the art hydrodynamic modelling principles. Introduction to experimental and full-scale measurement methods.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

Ship dynamics and associated
subjects (e.g. hydrodynamics, fluid structure interactions, CFD etc.) are
usually not well digested by students who tend to switch off and avoid them.
For this reason it is imperative to link theory with practice in terms of
calculations and design impact.This course attempts to bridge the gap
between theories and practice, introduce students to sophisticated technical
principles and their application in design and design assessment. The course
requires understanding of the basics of physics and
MEC-E1004 Principles of Naval Architecture. There are also links with
courses on:

  • Fluid Mechanics  (code : KJR C2003)
  • Computational Marine Hydrodynamics (code :
  • Ship Hydrodynamics (code : MEC-E1010)
  • Dynamics of Rigid Bodies (code : MEC-E1010)
  • Random Loads and Processes (code :
  • Ship Structures and Production (code : MEC
    – E2007)
  • Principles of Naval Architecture (code :

This course offers knowledge
to the courses MEC – E1030, MEC – E2007, MEC – E1004 mentioned above. The link
with MEC – E2007 on ship structures and production is critical as it runs in
parallel to this course. It also links up with the individual MSc individual
project module that usually runs in a sponsored working environment for a
period of 6 months.

Skills: Group assignments in the form of a ship design
exercise helps with digesting technical principles of ship design that link
with ship dynamics, enables the use of NAPA CAD / ship design software and
helps the students develop presentation and reporting skills. These skills are
essential in academia and industry. Students will:

  • understand and apply principles of ship dynamics (hydrodynamics,
    dynamics and structural mechanics) for design synthesis, development and
    maritime safety assessment.
  • be able to assess state-of-the-art ship
    by CAD packages (NAPA)
  • will develop effective group work,
    communication, technical reporting and presentation skills





To observe and explain
physical phenomena associated with seakeeping, resistance, propulsion and
manoeuvring of ships progressing in waves. This will be achieved by
interpreting engineering principles for the analysis of ship dynamics and
their use for ship design.

C1. Introduction to the basic principles of ship
dynamics (ship resistance, propulsion, seakeeping, manoeuvring) and their
application in ship design / operations for safety


To explain the meaning of
practical methods for the assessment ship dynamics associated with
resistance, propulsion, dynamic stability and motion control.


C2. Principles of ship dynamics for ship
resistance, propulsion, motion control and stabilisation



To explain the general
theory of surface waves (linear and nonlinear) and interpret modelling
assumptions for use in computational models and experiments used for ship


C3. Linear and nonlinear surface wave theory



To classify, synthesise,
explain common approximations to the general models known as six degree of
freedom seakeeping, wave-loading models, and assess their applicability and
deficiencies for application in design development and operational management

C4. Ship theory for seakeeping and loading (rigid
body dynamics, hydroelasticity of ships, model tests and full scale



To explain the basic
principles of added resistance and manoeuvring models in waves, as well as
analyse and synthesise their use for ship design and the management of
maritime safety.


C5. Added resistance and manoeuvring in waves









to teacher


Lecture, tutorials, video

Group Ship Design



Peers at GALA

·  2 exams;

·  Exam 1  at midterm based on ILO 1 – ILO 3 counts for
30% of final grade;

·  Exam 2 at end of the term
based on ILO 4, ILO5 accounts for 30% of final grade;

·  Group ship design exercise
counts for 40% of grade; 10% of this grade is awarded for submission of
weekly exercises

NB: Students have option for
1 exam at the end of the course on ILO1 – ILO5 that counts 60% of grade. The
remaining 40% is based on group design exercise

·  Students independently via
persemo during midterm and final term of the course

·  There is an opportunity
for feedback assessment on 1-1 meetings or online feedback via MyCourses

·  Peer assessment takes
place on the date of submission of group design projects


Lecture, tutorials, video

Group Ship Design



Lecture, tutorials, video;

Group Ship Design



NAPA Personnel


Lecture and tutorials

NAPA tutorials

Group Ship Design



Peers at GALA


Lecture and tutorials

NAPA tutorials

Group Ship Design



Core Content
(note the cross-cutting
educational intends and purposes of ILO1


Must Know

Should Know

Good to Know


·  Why ships are dynamic

·  What tools are available to
assess ship dynamics?

·  Recognise ship propulsive
control systems, stabilisation equipment, appendages, cargo loads and hull

·  Ship dynamics in the ship
design spiral – practical problems and applications

Basic assumptions in terms of engineering modelling for safe design and
design assessment.

The role of engineering simulations and model experiments.


When we should and how we can we model non-linearity.

The role of rules and regulations.

The importance of design for safety and safety in operations


·  Key ship dynamic control
devices   and systems.

How propulsive, stabilising equipment and hull form choices affect
ship design and help us control ship dynamics.

Dynamic ship stability.

Methods for ship resistance and propeller trust.

Basic propeller, bow thruster, bilge keel and rudder dynamics.

·  Principles of propeller
rudder interaction including oblique flow dynamics.

Comparison of different control systems.

Principles of autopilot steering and equipment.


Why we need to understand waves and their key formation mechanisms for
ship design and assessment.

How waves form and develop (key wave types and patterns).

How wave spectra affect design development and assessment

Linear waves (modelling assumptions and potential flow theory basics).

The influence of bathymetry, ship progression in waves, encounter

Basic principles of wave energy and power.

The statistics of waves (regular waves and irregular seaways, ISSC and
ITTC wave spectra).

Wave spectra and their impact on design (short term and long term wave
statistics, wave energy content, wave period and length, amplitude, slope,
IACS requirements).

Classification of waves on wave period basis.

The impact of extreme and rare wave phenomena on ship design and

Linear versus nonlinear wave theories (deviations from potential flow
theory, key mathematical models and assumptions).

Modelling of random processes and waves by probability theory
(probability methods of extremes).

Principles of wave directionality / spreading in 2D and 3D.

Principles and characteristics of cnoidal, solitary, freak waves and





·  Why we use and develop
methods for seakeeping assessment

·  Identify the six degrees of
freedom (6dof) for a ship

·  Response Amplitude Operators
and basic steps for the evaluation of the response of a 6dof ship in regular
waves and irregular seaways

·  What is the difference
between frequency and time domain methods

·  Practically identify lessons
learnt from accidents and understand the importance of evaluating wave loads
(e.g. sagging and hogging bending moments and shear forces) on ship response

·  What we mean by the term
hydroelasticity and when it may be important

·  Recognise the relevance of
ship seakeeping and associated limiting 
criteria in shipping operations

·  Appreciate different types
of model testing for seakeeping and loading analysis


Structural Dynamics (Newton’s 2nd law of motion for 1dof,
2dof systems)

Principles of free vibration and forced harmonic excitation

·  Damping and linear superposition

Dynamic response mechanisms (quasi static, dynamic, resonance)

Principles of wave radiation and diffraction

Basic ship equations of motion

Potential flow methods for practical seakeeping assessment (strip
theory and panel methods)

Basic Principles of ship hydroelasticity

Methods for motion sickness

Principles of rigid body and flexible back bone hydrodynamic models
(model set ups, sensors, criteria)


The mathematical background to overdamped, underdamped and resonant
structural dynamics

The mathematical background to heave and pitch motions

Different levels and influence of hydrodynamic nonlinearities on the
evaluation of ship motions and loads

Cargo induced acceleration

Coupling of heave and pitch motions

The use of hull condition monitoring methods

Springing and Slamming Assessment

Application of hydroelasticity analysis in design

Principles of hull girder global and local loads in Classification
Rules and Regulations

Operational criteria for voluntary ship speed loss


·  Why and how added resistance
in waves can be analysed

·  The importance of
directional stability and control on ship design and turning ability of ships

·  Basic manoeuvring tests
(turning, zig-zag, spiral, course keeping, acceleration tests) and their role
in sea trials

Principles of hydrodynamic and aerodynamic added resistance in regular
and irregular waves

Principles of motions stability in waves (straight line, directional
and path stability, rudder forces, course and drift angles)

Practical knowledge on weather routing and operational effectiveness

The mathematical background to long term responses in irregular waves

·  The principle of involuntary
ship speed loss ; technical and economic challenges

The mathematical background of manoeuvring models

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Examinations and compulsory assignments.

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

Assessment: methods, criteria, scale: Also refer
to Table 2 Appendix 2.

The course assessment for students is
based on 2 exams namely (1) Exam 1 at midterm based on ILO1 – ILO3 counts for
30% of final grade; (2) Exam 2 at end of the term based on ILO 4 & ILO5
accounts for 30% of final grade; Submission of the group ship design exercise
counts for 40% of the final grade; 10% is given to the students based on
submitting their individual course work on a weekly basis and 30% based on
submission of the final design report. This gives incentive to the students to
keep in touch with their group and learn by their piers.

In the exam,
the students have to solve a given set of problems.  Their mark (out of 100%) is converted to a
0-5 grade according to the following scale:


















Students have option to give only 1 exam at the end of the course on ILO1 –
ILO5 that counts 60% of their final grade.

The teacher (professor and NAPA personnel who help
with online tutorials) are assessed anonymously online using presemo software
in the midterm and final term of the course. The professor is available for
independent 1-1 feedback during the course. MyCourses
or e-mails can also be used for independent feedback. Progressive feedback
approach gives opportunity for improvements during the course.

Peer assessment: There is
opportunity for peer assessment after the group design exercise is submitted
and students participate in the panel discussion / presentation.  

General Feedback: Students are
welcome to give informal or formal feedback collectively or independently
verbally during tutorials, emails or MyCourses.

assessment and general feedback
is collected and used to develop both students
learning as well as the course itself by developing methods delivery,
assessment, feedback, lecturing, course work etc..

audit from experts:
At the GALA event the state of the art / real life
ship design developed by the students is judged by a panel of experts. This
helps to audit learning and reward a best prize award to the best design group
(it is noted that this event takes place in parallel to MEC-E2007).

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Contact hours 40 hours
Independent work 95 hours
In total 135 hours (5 cr. = 135 hours)

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

Overall the amount of work for a students is 135 hrs (= 5CR under the
ECTS system) and for the teacher(s) 135 hrs.  Students are expected to balance their time
as a group and independently and dedicate in
5 – 10 hrs of work in relation to every lecture (approx. 1hr for
preparation, 2.5 hrs for independent self-study and 3hrs for group work).
Additional time relates with final submission and preparation for exams. In
this way they learn of the value of individuality and teamwork. On the other
hand teachers amount of work is 138 hrs (130 hrs for professor and 8 hrs for
NAPA company demonstrators). This is considered healthy balance in terms of achieving
academic excellence.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Lewis, E. V. Principles of Naval Architecture - Motions in waves and controllability, Vol. 3, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Chapters 8 and 9

Lloyd, A.R.J.M, Seakeeping – Ship Behaviour in Rough Weather, John Wiley & Sons, Chapters 3-4, 8-14, 18-24

Rawson, K. J., Basic Ship Theory - Ship dynamics and design - ch.12 Seakeeping, Volume 2

Matusiak, J., Dynamics of a Rigid Ship, Aalto University

Bishop R. E. D. and Price W. G., Hydroelasticity of ships. Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

My courses work space includes information on presentations, scientific papers, NAPA tutorials etc. Key text books for this course are:

  • Lewis, E. V. Principles of Naval Architecture - Motions in waves and controllability, Vol. 3, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (USA), Chapters 8 & 9, ISBN-13: 978-0939773022.

  • Lloyd, A.R.J.M, Seakeeping – Ship Behavior in Rough Weather, John Wiley & Sons, Chapters 3-4 / 8-14 / 18-24, ISBN-13: 978-0953263400.

  • Rawson, K. J., Basic Ship Theory - Ship dynamics and design - ch.12 Seakeeping, Volume 2, ISBN 9780750653978.

  • Matusiak, J., Dynamics of a Rigid Ship, Aalto University Aalto University publication series on Science and Technology; 2/2017, ISBN 978-952-60-7262-3.

  • Bishop R. E. D. and Price W. G., Hydroelasticity of ships. Cambridge University Press, 1979, ISBN 9780521017800.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Kul-24.4140 Ship Dynamics

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Basics of physics; recommended to attend MEC-E1004 Principles of Naval Architecture – course or equivalent

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Please refer to Welcome screen of the course


Registration and further information