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Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering
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EN426: Port and Harbor Engineering

Catalog Description

EN426: Port and Harbor Engineering (3-0-3)

This course covers the planning and design of deep-draft marine terminals and small craft harbors, with emphasis on ship characteristics relevant to port design, ship maneuvering and channel design, dredging, ship berthing considerations, port-related structures, floating terminals, offshore moorings, and port security. The course exposes students to an empirical field of study where most design information is obtained from charts, graphs, or empirical equations in an engineering design manual rather than from rigorous theory. Lecture material is supplemented with guest speakers, “real world” case studies, and a day-long field trip to visit port and harbor facilities in Baltimore.


  • Unified Facilities Criteria Manuals: Waterfront Construction, Piers and Wharfs, Mooring, Small Craft Harbors


  1. Understand ship characteristics that influence port planning and design.
  2. Design navigation channels given anticipated vessel traffic.
  3. Calculate mooring forces on fixed and floating marine terminals, then design mooring systems to resist those forces.
  4. Design port structures including wharves, piers, dolphins, and floating docks.
  5. Conceptually plan a medium-sized marine terminal or small-craft harbor given basic port requirements.

Class Topics

  1. Port and Vessel Types and Functions
  2. Operational and Environmental Loads
  3. Pier and Wharf Structural Design
  4. Berthing Loads and Fender Systems
  5. Pile and Bulkhead Design
  6. Port and Terminal Planning and Layout
  7. Moorings and Mooring Forces
  8. Design of Floating Structures
  9. Navigation Channel Design
  10. Deterioration, Inspection, and Repair of Marine Structures
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