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Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering MSE

Sailing

Contact NAME Admissions

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Nathalie Fiveland

Graduate Coordinator

Nickolas Vlahlapoulus, graduate chair in NAME
Nickolas Vlahopoulos

Graduate Program Chair

Extended Deadline: Application deadline has been extended through May 31st.

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Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Michigan Statistics

NAME research

#1

NAME Program Nationally

21%

Female (FA18) - Rackham

20:1

Faculty-to-Student Ratio

cargo ship at harbor

40%

of the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering industry are UM alumni

NAME research team assembling a research vessel

Why Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Michigan?

As a small department in a large college, our students can experience close relationships with peers and instructors, while taking full advantage of the diverse opportunities across the campus. Our system-oriented curriculum and training provide our students with broad engineering and leadership skills, not only making them sought-after by ship design and marine engineering companies, but also preparing them for careers in other industries such as automotive, aerospace, and energy.

Wherever you go in the field, you will find Michigan NAME graduates making things happen. Our alumni hold leadership positions in government, academia, and industry. Our graduates work in every facet of the field, including:

  • Ship design
  • Shipbuilding
  • Offshore structure design/construction
  • Yacht design/yacht building
  • Naval combatant and support ships
  • Small craft
  • Coastal engineering
  • Marine environmental engineering
  • Shipping and transportation
  • Fishing industry
  • Engineering support to ocean scientists.

NAME offers a Master of Science and Engineering (MSE), a traditional 30 credit coursework option, and a  Master of Science (MS), a 6 credit Research Thesis and a 24-credit coursework option.

students
NAME research raft

What can you do with an MSE in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering?

Michigan NAME graduates work in almost every field that touches water, including:

  • Offshore energy – wind, oil and gas exploration
  • Watercraft design – military, competitive, commercial and recreational
  • Great Lakes and ocean shipping
  • Coastal erosion prediction
  • America’s Cup racing teams
  • Policy and consulting

Like all Michigan engineers, NAME graduates skills and knowledge of engineering principles means they can also take jobs in automotive, transportation, and robotics; the opportunities are endless.

underwater robots tested by NAME
NAME Marine Hydrodynamics Lab test tank on central campus

Align your interest

Graduate students in our department have learning opportunities in broad technical areas:

NAME underwater autonomous equipment
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Design of Complex Systems
  • Marine and Offshore Structures
  • Design, Production, and Management
  • Dynamics, Controls, and Marine System Integration 
  • Manufacturing
  • Marine Engineering
  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • Structural and Hydro-Acoustics 
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Robotics and Autonomy
  • Yacht Design

Courses Offered

Individualized plans of study will be developed by students in consultation with an advisor. Refer to the Bulletin for course descriptions.

Canoe testing in the MHL test tank
Marine hydrodynamics lab tank

Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies Program (SUGS)

Current University of Michigan engineering students can complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years with SUGS by taking some graduate-level classes during their undergraduate years, so you can save yourself one semester and complete a master’s with only two additional semesters.

Oracle sailboat received engineering support by NAME professors

Practice Your Purpose

There is a rich variety of experiential learning opportunities to help you find your niche, connect with people who share your passion, and gain hands-on experience that’ll set your resumé apart from the stack.

Graduate Student Involvement

NAME students assembling a research vessel with equipment
Michigan RobotX

Michigan RobotX

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autonomous boat being tested
UM:: Autonomy - Autonomous Boat Team

UM:: Autonomy - Autonomous Boat Team

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Human powered submarine
Human Powered Submarine

Human Powered Submarine

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NAME students sailing
U-M Sailing Team

U-M Sailing Team

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Canoe team research
MCCT - Michigan Concrete Canoe Team

MCCT - Michigan Concrete Canoe Team

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Professional Development

NAME structural research project
Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC)

Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC)

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The Quarterdeck Honor Society

The Quarterdeck Honor Society

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Research

NAME bow research
Design, Production, and Management

Design, Production, and Management

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NAME naval architecture research
Dynamics and Control

Dynamics and Control

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NAME research
Hydrodynamics

Hydrodynamics

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Steve Ceccio working on NAME research
Marine and Offshore Structures

Marine and Offshore Structures

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NAME research tank
Marine Renewable Energy

Marine Renewable Energy

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NAME autonomous underwater research
Robotics and Autonomy

Robotics and Autonomy

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NAME research
Structural and Hydro-Acoustics

Structural and Hydro-Acoustics

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NAME student sailing
Yacht Design

Yacht Design

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NAME students doing research
All Research

All Research

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Alumni Bios

Each of these alumni were once in your shoes, deciding on a master’s degree. Explore their educational path and how it set their life in motion.

Image of Harleigh Seyffert

Harleigh Seyffert

MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2016; MSE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2016

Technical University Delft (Netherlands)

Postdoctoral Researcher

Image of Andre Douglas

Andre Douglas

MSE Mechanical Engineering, 2012; MSE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2012

John Hopkins University

Section Supervisor, Applied Physics Lab

Image of Bruce Martin

Bruce Martin

MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2011

Floating Systems

Concept/R&D Engineer

Image of Valerie Barthelemy

Valerie Barthelemy

MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2014

Sport Vlaanderen, Belgian National Team

Professional Triathlete

Image of Esteban Castro

Esteban Castro

MSE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2013; MSE Electrical Engineering - Systems, 2015

Crown Hydrodynamics LLC

Principal and Consultant

Image of Jess Reid

Jess Reid

MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2017

Boeing

Fluid Systems Standards Engineer

Image of Tyler Groll

Tyler Groll

MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

Shell Oil Company

Offshore Engineer

Image of Harleigh Seyffert

Harleigh Seyffert

University of Michigan, BSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2014

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2016

University of Michigan, MSE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2016

University of Michigan, Ph.D. Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2018

Technical University Delft (Netherlands)

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Career Summary

Beginning at the Michigan Marine Hydrodynamics Lab, Harleigh researched and helped design a new beach structure for the towing tank and designed and fabricated a bow for the Department of Defense Autonomous Combat Vehicle project.  Moving on, Harleigh performed a dynamic buoy motion analysis on a facility that experienced buoy integrity issues and recommended an improved buoy design to mitigate future failures for an engineering group.  Later on, Harleigh developed an in-house automated program to calculate mooring line fatigue damage on deep- draft semi-submersible platforms due to Vortex Induced Motion and enabled capability to benchmark & verify future contractor work.  Harleigh is currently researching extreme combined loading scenarios on complex marine vessels and structures, and the waves which lead to these scenarios, as well as reduced-order reliability models and studying how to integrate performance analysis into the design procedure

Awards 

  • Rackham Merit Fellowship Recipient: 2014-2015
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship: September 2016-2019

What excites you about your career?

  • My career is exciting because I can combine intellectual freedom and interesting technical challenges with opportunities to travel the world and interact with people from industry, government, and academia. 
  • Getting a Michigan NAME degree means that wherever you go, you will see a familiar face and people will know where you came from. My Michigan NAME experience has opened up so many doors. 
  • The ability to choose how I want to apply my knowledge and where I want to do that is amazing, and not something that everyone gets. 

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

  • The best part of joining NAME was joining a department that follows you long after you graduate (in a good way). I made friends that I still regularly see and talk to today- even while living on a different continent. I still regularly see Michigan professors and students at conferences. I met my husband in the NAME department! A NAME degree is wonderful and will give you so many opportunities to do good work and travel around the world. But in getting that degree, you’ll also get to interact with great people that you’ll still know years down the line. They don’t call us the Michigan mafia for nothing!

Advice for Students:

  • Anyone can be an engineer! Even if you don’t see a lot of people who look like you or seem like they come from a similar background, you can still be a successful engineer without giving up what makes you yourself. 
  • Sometimes you have to work hard to convince people that you deserve a seat at the table. But work hard and you will convince them!
  • It can be challenging, but it’s worth it. You just have to believe in yourself first: that you deserve to be there, and that you can do it. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. If you don’t believe in yourself or believe that you deserve to be there, no one else will. But to have confidence that you are just as capable and qualified as anyone else, then everyone else will (eventually) follow suit. Once you’ve decided that you want to be an engineer, you can do it.

Career Timeline

  • Hyundai Heavy Industries | South Korea
  • Chevron Energy Technology Company
  • Civil, Structural, & Marine Engineering Group: Anchors, Moorings, & Risers
  • Michigan Marine Hydrodynamics Lab
  • Global Response and Concept Engineering
  • Technical University | Delft, South Holland, Netherlands
Image of Andre Douglas

Andre Douglas

US Coast Guard Academy, BS Mechanical Engineering 2008 

U-M, MSE Mechanical Engineering 2012

U-M, MSE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 2012

The John Hopkins University, MS Electrical and Computer Engineering 2019

The George Washington University , PhD Systems Engineering 2020

John Hopkins University

Section Supervisor, Applied Physics Lab

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Career Summary

After serving on an operational Coast Guard Cutter, I rededicated myself to pursuing my technical education and accepted a position in the USCG Marine Engineering Post Graduate Program, where I attended the University of Michigan and earned dual Master of Science degrees in Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering in 2012. From there, I served at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center (MSC) in Arlington, VA on the Coast Guard’s elite Salvage Engineering Response Team, a group of highly trained naval architects who stand ready 24-hours a day to support Coast Guard field commanders responding to emergent vessel casualty situations following groundings, collisions, and similar casualties. I combined my strengths and passion to pursue technology when I chose to begin my civilian career at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL) in 2015. During my first year at JHU/APL, I developed an autonomous unmanned surface platform with a revolutionary underwater localization technology to support our submarine force. With a diverse background in applying knowledge to develop live ocean systems and maritime solutions, I earned a promotion to Section Supervisor at the Lab, and I am one of the Lab’s subject matter experts in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My degree enabled me to contribute higher on a technical level having received exposure to various technical concepts covered Michigan’s program. Understanding non-linear behavior in fundamental processes, tackling problems in design optimization, and working in teams during group projects all contributed to my ability to take vague and not very well defined problems and develop novel solutions or insights when collaborating with others.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I am a big fan of FIRST Robotics competitions and mentoring youth. I am not interested in solving easy problems, as I believe we can always push ourselves to reach our true potential. My advice to students would be to tackle your coursework and projects with an open mind because there is usually a piece of an assignment or experience that you can leverage in the future for your career.

Image of Bruce Martin

Bruce Martin

University of Michigan, BSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2009

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2011

Floating Systems

Concept/R&D Engineer

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Career Summary

Outside of undergraduate internships, this is the first company I worked for after graduating. I was recruited out of the MHL after a company-sponsored test program that I helped the lab manage. I’ve spent my career so far working on multiple internal research and conceptual studies, early-stage project development, and then joining project teams to help integrate the new technology into active projects. I was able to support the development of the deepest installed FPSO in the world and was one of the engineering leads for the first in-situ replacement of tendon connectors for a Tension Leg Platform. My newest role is working on the hull and mooring systems for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines, bringing lessons learned from the offshore oil & gas industry, and applying them to the emerging offshore renewable energy market.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My Master’s allowed me to hit the ground running in the technical aspects of the job. Working in an R&D environment, there’s a lot of development from scratch, so the additional depth and breadth of knowledge provided by the graduate program was a great asset. In my initial few years, having the Master’s definitely helped with my technical credibility, while I built up my experience. Doing independent study projects with a few professors provided good lessons in research project planning. Working in the MHL gave a good understanding of how engineering principles could be applied, and a few difficult lessons on how sometimes things can go wrong if you don’t fully appreciate the complexity of what you’re doing.

Advice to Students

Try to get as much hands-on experience you can, outside of the classroom. Student engineering teams, research, time in engineering labs, all of those provide opportunities to put theory into practice, which is a huge help. Specifically for NAME, involvement in SNAME and Quarterdeck provides great exposure and networking opportunities to people in the industry. Outside of classroom and professional activities, find student organizations that excite you, whether sporting, social, service, etc. 

Image of Valerie Barthelemy

Valerie Barthelemy

University of Michigan, BSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2013

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2014

Sport Vlaanderen, Belgian National Team

Professional Triathlete

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Career Summary

Valerie began with in a more traditional manner working as a Naval Architect Contract Engineer with Maritime Research Associates before taking the unconventional route: going to the Olympics.  Since 2017, Valerie has been a Professional Triathlete for Team Belgium, employed by Sport Vlaanderen.  As a member of Belgian National team Valerie has been a part of development program for Olympic Qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and has won numerous medals in competitions.

Awards

  • 2019: Ranked top 80 in the World.
  • 2019: Bronze Medal World Cup China
  • 2019: Bronze Medal World Cup Italy
  • 2018: Bronze Medal European Championship Mixed Relay Team.
  • 2018: Belgian National Champion (Olympic Distance)
  • 2017: European Cup Winner Wuustwezel
  • 2017: Belgian National Champion (Sprint Distance)
  • 2017: Belgian National Champion (Olympic Distance)

What excites you about your career?

  • The possibility to achieve a lifelong dream of being an Olympian. 
  • The ability to inspire young women that any goal, whether that be an Engineering degree, or an Olympic qualification, is doable with dedication, hard work, and a good support network.

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

  • Varsity Member of UM Swimming and Diving team

Advice for Students:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the department for help. Being a student athlete at Michigan was only possible thanks to the flexibility of the Naval Architecture department, and especially scheduling help from Warren Noone. I was able to take classes out of the “traditional sequence,” in order to fit my curriculum into 4.5 years, and balance my athletic commitment. Warren was always open to a good chat, and a pre-exam pep talk. It’s a small department, which serves as a family within the large University.
Image of Esteban Castro

Esteban Castro

Webb Institute, BS Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2011

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2013

University of Michigan, MSE Electrical Engineering – Systems, 2015

University of Michigan, Ph.D. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, 2016

Crown Hydrodynamics LLC

Principal and Consultant

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Career Summary

Right after graduating from the University of Michigan, I worked at NSWC Panama City Division as part of my service commitment to the SMART Scholarship. During this time, I worked on interesting projects and with great people, but I got the entrepreneurial itch. Consequently, after NSWC Panama City I jumped into establishing a multi-physics analysis firm, where I currently work on organizing proposals, collaborating with other colleagues, and dreaming on what I have always dreamed about—cool boats, science, and technology. If I was suddenly placed in my current position without the experience I gained from past academic and professional projects, I would not have the confidence in continuing this path.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My Master’s degrees provide me a broad technical knowledge which I can tap into when analyzing new problems and solutions, the humbleness in knowing that there is always more information to learn from, and the confidence to explore new material—both individually and with others.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

The UMich communities are a great way to connect with others and make new friends. I cherish the time I did in the Ballroom Dance Team and Michigan Cycling Team. These student group experiences are ones that you will be hard-pressed to find after college, so do not hesitate in joining a community.

Image of Jess Reid

Jess Reid

University of Michigan, BSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2014

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2016

University of Michigan, MSE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2016

University of Michigan, Ph.D. Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2018

Boeing

Fluid Systems Standards Engineer

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Career Summary

After college, Jess worked as a Marine Engineer at ExxonMobil for just over a year before transferring to Boeing to work as a Fluid Systems Standards Engineer at The Boeing Company

What excites you about your career?

  • I work with complex fluid systems across all airplane programs and at all phases of production, from new design to legacy aircraft. The projects and scope of work are really exciting. I love that I can ‘see’ so much of the company in my daily work. I am constantly learning, and I get to manage complicated problems in a company where I am empowered.
  • Switching from the energy industry to the aviation industry is a huge career highlight of mine!

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

  • I loved my time at the University of Michigan, especially my time in the NA&ME department! My favorite student organization was Quarterdeck. I had so many cool, fun experiences engaging with the maritime industry and I was able to develop many interpersonal skills that I use in my career through Quarterdeck. I will also always fondly remember late nights and early mornings senior year in the computer lab working on design projects.

Advice for Students:

  • Work hard, and enjoy the work! The University of Michigan is a competitive school, that will open so many doors for you. It’s also a place with great people and a strong community, so make friends and study hard!

Career Timeline

  • ExxonMobil
  • Boeing
Image of Tyler Groll

Tyler Groll

University of Michigan, BSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, 2014

University of Michigan, MSE Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

FE and PE Certifications

Shell Oil Company

Offshore Engineer

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Career Summary

I started at Shell immediately after graduate school, and for the past 4 years have mainly been involved in 2 multi-billion dollar projects, Appomattox and Vito. Both are semi-submersible floating production facilities in more than 1500 meters of water. My job has primarily focused on marine aspects of these platforms, including marine transportation, platform installation, offshore mooring design and installation, marine tow, as well as hull design and construction.

What excites you about your career?

  • I get to play an integral part of the life cycles of multi-billion dollar assets every day, which presents a different set of exciting challenges. Having the capability to be able to see how choices we make in a design stage are implemented into real life is a humbling experience, especially for projects that have a life cycle of concept design to execution of multiple years. 

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

  • I was part of a science and engineering fraternity (called Triangle), that also doubled as social group, which brought many like-minded people together. I loved the camaraderie that it brought, but there was a strong academic focus which helped keep my discipline to study and focus on classes. 
  • I enjoyed Quarterdeck society has it brought industry back to connect with students on a weekly basis, and served as a platform to make connections. 
  • It is incredible how many of the classes that I took at Michigan I use on a regular basis, as an engineer in Shell you are expected to be multi-disciplined. 

Advice for Students:

  • Take advantage of a study abroad! Put in the work during your sophomore or junior year to understand what universities across the world have applicable transfer credits for your undergraduate classes. You would be surprised how flexible different classes are, and how you can rearrange schedules to meet credit requirements.
  • Take advantage of internship opportunities to explore the different industries that can be applicable within the NAME discipline. I was fortunate enough to work in a naval shipyard, a commercial yard, and the oil and gas industry in three consecutive years, which enabled me to know what type of work I wanted to be involved in for my career. 

Career Timeline

  • Shell Oil Company

Research Videos

Oil rig platform in the ocean.

Industries & Occupations

Oil rig platform in the ocean.
  • Offshore Industries
  • National Defense
  • International Trade and Shipping
  • Coastal and Great Lakes Shipping
  • Oil and Gas Exploration
  • Regulatory Industries
  • Research
  • Transportation Industries
  • Boat Design and Manufacturing
Oracle sailboat received engineering support by NAME professors

Companies

Oracle sailboat received engineering support by NAME professors
  • United States Navy
  • Maersk
  • ExxonMobil
  • Chevron
  • Mastercraft
  • American Bureau of Shipping
  • BMT Designers and Planners
  • MARIN, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands
  • Kady Krogen Yachts
  • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding
  • Airflow Sciences Corporation
  • BP Americas
  • General Dynamics
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
  • Military Sealift Command
  • Yamaha Motor Manufacturing
student working in a NAME lab
NAME alums on a sailboat racing team

Salaries

Discover the value of a master’s degree!

On average, U-M graduates with a master’s degree in an engineering field can earn 15-25% more than those with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  Use the links below to research average salaries based on a U-M engineering master’s degree, experience level, and desired work location.