Marine Engineering is a branch of engineering which deals with the design, construction, installation, operation of machinery and systems of ships along with other marine vehicles and structures. Marine Engineering Courses in India are mostly provided by institutes which are located in regions which are near the sea, like Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Tamilnadu, Kerala etc. This is because the subject study requires training and research in marine habitat. Marine Engineering is mainly concerned with research conducted in oceans and coastal or inland waters connected to the sea. Marine Engineering courses deal with construction and maintenance of ships and other sailing vessels. Marine Engineering is allied to mechanical engineering, although the modern marine engineer requires knowledge (and hands on experience) with electrical, electronic, pneumatic, hydraulic, chemistry, control engineering, naval architecture or ship design, process engineering, steam generations, gas turbines and even nuclear technology on certain military vessels. They are responsible for selecting the ships' machinery, which may include diesel engines, steam turbines, gas turbines and for the design of mechanical, electrical, fluid and control systems throughout the vessel. They are the members of a ship's crew who are in charge for managing a team of marine technicians and craftspeople. The construction, operations and maintenance of the engine room are the main obligation of a Marine engineer. In fact, they are the overall in charge of the engine and its crew, and ensure the safety and standards of the marine body. The role of Marine Engineers has widened and smoothened with modern development and electronic navigation.
In Merchant navy ships, the career path of a Marine engineer progresses periodically by undergoing several examinations conducted by the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India. After passing Class IV - Part A examination, a candidate with a four year BE course will be appointed as a Junior Engineer Officer as he is a beginner in this profession. After successfully completing Class IV - Part B examination, he becomes qualified to sail as Watch Keeping Engineer Officer. With experience, capability and job opportunities available, he can become Second Engineer and ultimately the Chief Engineer which is the highest post, within 6-7 years. Chief Engineer would be in charge of supervision in which he should make sure the safe running of all engines, machinery and all other equipments on the ship. The second Engineer will take care of the daily work of engine room. As the third engineer is in charge of the main engine, the fourth engineer will be responsible for the generators and the small pumps. The junior Engineers are the trainees. The people who join without a license is the other category are called as engineering cadets.
Some of the specialized fields of Marine Engineering are -
Command and Control System
Weaponry and Weapon Systems
Navigation Systems and Equipment.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Research
Marine Renewable Energy Research
Offshore Extractive and Infrastructure (Cable Laying)
Information and Communication Systems and Equipment
Content of Marine Engineering Courses
The study of this field includes all or few of these –
Heat Engines and Boiler Chemistry Lab
Marine Hydraulics & Fluid Machinery Lab
To develop an organising quality, team spirit, practical thinking and common sense.
To help candidates to develop an aptitude to be calm under pressure and to manage the situation.
To be always have updated knowledge and have awareness of the latest developments.
To inculcate patience in engineers as an essential skill because they are working with big equipments and engines
To arm students with entrepreneurship skills for occupying important & key positions in varied & diversified industries - from IT sector, to consultancy organisations such as price water house coopers & DCL, to brick & mortar companies - power, steel, electronics/white goods, to service sector organisations like hotel industry etc.
Basic Requirements for Marine Engineering Courses
The minimum educational qualifications for pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering or Nautical science is plus two or equivalent with high percentage of marks in science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. These courses are of 4 years duration. Chennai School of Ship Management offers Alternate Training Scheme (ATS) of three years to become a Marine Engineer. BE in Marine Engineering / Nautical Science and PG Diploma in Mechanical Engineering are the basic qualifications to become a Marine Engineer.
Good health is required to be a good Marine Engineer. Physical fitness is a must and there are certain medical norms that need to be met to get entry into the Marine Engineering courses. The minimum height should be 150 cms. with correlated weight and proportionate chest with minimum 5-cm expansion. He should also pass a medical fitness test for sea service under standard norms and with eyesight 6/6 with no colour blindness.
Above 80% of the goods transportation happens through sea. For international export and import of freights, countries mainly depend on ships and other water vessels. Marine Engineering is the most basic profession as far as ships and navigation is concerned. So the demand for Marine Engineers is ever present. Public and private shipping companies are the main hirers of Marine engineers. Marine Engineers can take up employment in different foreign and Indian shipping companies and with the port and harbour departments. The latest developments in moving natural gas from ports to the pipeline, offer excellent opportunity for future graduates looking to work port side. They are in great demand as they are the one's who design and build pipelines and other equipments. They can also opt for any job that a mechanical or electrical engineering graduate hunt for.
Some of the Shipping Companies that conduct campus interviews are Shipping Corporation of India, Great Eastern shipping, Varun Shipping, Wilco Ship Management & Transport Pvt. ltd. etc. Marine Engineers have lucrative career options abroad also. The American Bureau of Shipping, an internationally recognized organization, recruits freshers and trainees with almost no experience. The bureau deals with developing rules based on principles of naval architecture, marine engineering and related subjects. Other countries like France and U.K also recruit young marine engineers. A vast many with entrepreneurship skills, are very successfully running their own business establishments too. Needless to say, the Savings Potential while at the Merchant Navy, has assisted in setting up their own business establishments. While many Marine Engineers have dedicated their post-Merchant Navy services to Academic Institutions related to Marine Engineering, a number of them also hold enviable & highly respected positions.