MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Department of Ocean Engineering

After more than 12 years as Department Head, Professor T. Francis Ogilvie decided that it was time to return to the good life as a professor. The new Department Head (Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis) assumed his responsibilities September 1, 1994. In addition, Professor Henrik Schmidt was appointed Associate Department Head.

The Visiting Committee for the Department of Ocean Engineering met on March 1 and 2, 1995. The overall assessment of the two day meeting was one of truly uniform enthusiasm and approval on the part of the faculty, the students, the committee members and the senior administration of MIT. An overall plan was developed that will allow the department to hire new faculty which will allow it to embark in new areas and strengthen its existing activities. One such position has been approved for Fiscal Year '96.


The Department's new undergraduate program was inaugurated in the Fall of 1993. The new curriculum focuses in five areas:

Hydrodynamics and Oceanography

Structures and Materials

Dynamics and Wave Propagation

Mathematics and Computation


All subjects in our new undergraduate curriculum have already been offered at least once except for the second design subject which is scheduled to be offered for the first time in the fall term of 95.

Professor T. F. Ogilvie has assumed responsibility for teaching our introductory fluid subjects. Professor Henrik Schmidt will be joining Professor Koichi Masubuchi to teach the structures component of our Marine Structures and Material subject. Professor Michael S. Triantafyllou with the assistance of Dr. Thomas R. Consi, taught the first subject of our two-term design sequence for the first time this spring. For our design subjects we have elected to emphasize the integration issues in complex ocean systems, using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) as an example.

When we introduced the new undergraduate curriculum in 1993, the Department also introduced a minor in Ocean Engineering. This new program is intended for undergraduates who wish to broaden their overall education. This program is specifically recommended to students who eventually plan to practice their major discipline in an ocean related application, or who intend to pursue later graduate education in Ocean Engineering or Naval Architecture.

The Department, in collaboration with the MIT Sea Grant College Program, continues to be very active in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Examples of some of the undergraduate research projects undertaken during the latest fiscal year include:

A "sparker" for deployment on an AUV. The sparker generates sound that can be used to map the seabottom and sub-seabottom.

Autonomous Surface Vehicles to be used in a variety of coastal studies such as pollution monitoring and shallow water bathymetry studies.

Seakeeping Studies of a Submerged Aquaculture Pen. Submerged pens are an essential ingredient in open ocean aquaculture systems.

Our faculty and staff continue to be active in the freshman seminars. The purpose is to integrate freshmen into the research life at MIT and make them aware of possible opportunities in the marine field.


In 1993 our focus shifted from undergraduate to graduate education issues. Our first major initiative was the development of a new professional program leading to a Master of Engineering emphasizing the multidisciplinary nature of marine environmental problems. The content and structure of the new program combine into a coherent curriculum the key ingredients of marine systems - management, engineering/technology, and marine science. This program provides professionals with the needed breadth to work in the marine environmental field, from understanding the legal, political, and economic context to designing a mitigation system for cleaning up pollution; from designing safe, environmentally friendly ships to developing monitoring systems for studying global climate change or measuring ocean pollution. The program's flexibility allows candidates to custom-design their curriculum to fit their professional needs. With a strong emphasis on problem solving, practical applications, and field experience, the program provides a hands-on familiarity with the field.

The Department's new Program in Marine Environmental Systems was offered for the first time last September. It is one of four new Master of Engineering professional programs offered in MIT's School of Engineering to meet the challenges of a changing economy. The program is directed by Professor Judith Kildow, with an advisory committee including Professors Alan J. Brown, J. Robert Fricke, Jerome H. Milgram, Henrik Schmidt, J. Kim Vandiver, Tomasz Wierzbicki, and Dr. Charles Mazel.

Recognizing the rapidly growing needs in the marine field for practical training in solving environmental problems, we developed this program to produce professionals who can bring understanding and effective management to complex marine systems. Graduates are now able to concentrate in any of the following areas:

Marine Monitoring, Measurement, Instrumentation

Safety of Marine Systems

Management of Marine Resources

The program is structured to enable students to customize their subject selection and research agenda to their particular career goals, and combines the attributes that provide both the substance and the skills for a successful career. The program is applied, hands-on, and multidisciplinary, stressing team and individual problem solving for marine environmental systems. We have a cooperative program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to complement our strengths. The program produced its first graduates this June.

Our next major initiative includes revision of our graduate curriculum. Professors Brown, Ogilvie, Vandiver and Schmidt (Chair) have been asked to work with the faculty of the department and our colleagues at WHOI to come up with a revised graduate curriculum to reflect recent advances in our field. In order to increase the efficiency of the instructional enterprise at MIT, faculty from our department and other engineering departments share the instructional duties of some of the basic subjects offered in various engineering departments. For example, Professor Fricke will be teaching two joint subjects with Mechanical Engineering that deal with the principles of acoustics and structural acoustics. Professor Patrikalakis will be teaching a subject on application of structural mechanics jointly with Professor Connor of Civil & Environmental Engineering.


Ocean Environmental Management, by Ernst G. Frankel, Prentiss Hall Publishers, December 1994.

Computational Ocean Acoustics, by Finn B. Jensen, William A. Kuperman, Michael B. Porter, and Henrik Schmidt, AIP Press, New York (1994)

Teaching TQM in Service Industries: A Different Approach, by Henry S. Marcus, Western Decisions Sciences Institute, Maui, Hawaii (1994)


The Department's faculty and staff pursued a variety of outstanding research programs, including some that are receiving wide attention inside as well as outside the field of Ocean Engineering. For a ship related project the Joint Industry Consortium on Tanker Safety is highlighted in the report. This project was initiated in 1992 and was in response to the Exxon Valdez accident and ensuing OPA 90 Mandate. The specific goals of this multiyear research project is to develop computational models to predict grounding damage resulting for a variety of hull construction types (single hull, double hull, intermediate deck tankers) in a variety of grounding scenarios. The second goal of the project is to develop hull fabrication methods (including welding) which will improve a ship's ability to withstand grounding and collision accidents. The third goal of the project will be to produce a state-of-the-art computer program to be used to assist the maritime community in the design of safer tankers. The final product of this research is to provide the shipbuilding community with a tool which will help develop new performance standards that not only minimize environmental risks, but also keep the construction costs of a new tanker fleet under control.

Director of the project, Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki, was technically assisted by Professor Koichi Masubuchi, and Professor Emeritus Frank A. McClintock, twenty-nine students, staff, and visiting scientists and engineers. The Project is supported by a consortium of 24 companies that represent all major classification societies, regulatory and government agencies, shipowners, and shipbuilders from around the world, as well as prominent international academic institutions.

Last January the department agreed to collaborate with FastShip Atlantic, Inc. in the development of high speed containerships for the North Atlantic. The commercialization of such a technology could lead to a rebound in American competitiveness in shipbuilding and an expanded role for the US in global transportation of high value cargoes.

For an Ocean Engineering project the "High Resolution Mapping of Coastal Front Dynamics using adaptive Oceanographic Sampling Networks," is highlighted in this report. This is part of our ongoing joint research with MIT Sea Grant's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Laboratory and is funded by the Office of Naval Research. This is part of a larger collaborative effort that involves the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, British Columbia and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The objective of the project is to develop robust and reliable, high-resolution navigation concepts, high-resolution tomography approaches, and optimal, adaptive sampling strategies for collection of oceanographic and geological data by autonomous underwater vehicles operating in a large aperture sampling network. This research provides a vertically integrated effort to address fundamental research issues in shallow water frontal dynamics which are so far unresolved due to lack of proper instrumentation platforms. However, at the same time the effort will provide a vastly improved adaptive data collection strategy and resolution, of importance to future use of autonomous sampling networks for environmental monitoring, marine resource exploration, tactical oceanography, and mine warfare. Technical supervision of this project is provided by Professor Henrik Schmidt of the department, Dr. James G. Bellingham of MIT Sea Grant, Dr. Mark Johnson, of WHOI, and Professor David Farmer of the Institute of Ocean Sciences.


Professor Arthur B. Baggeroer was elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

Professor Neil Bose, Visiting Professor from Canada, (June 1, 1995 - August 31, 1995) is working in collaboration with Professor Justin Kerwin.

Professor Ira Dyer's appointment as the Weber-Shaughness Professor has been extended for an additional two years.

Professor Odd M. Faltinsen of NTH University in Norway, has been visiting with the Hydrodynamics group for academic year 1994-95.

Professor Ernst G. Frankel retired from his academic appointment in Ocean Engineering effective June 30, 1995. As Professor Emeritus, he continues teaching courses in Center for Advanced Engineering Study and the Sloan School of Management.

Assistant Professor J. Robert Fricke shares the supervision of the Acoustics and Vibration Laboratory, a joint facility, with Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Yueping Guo accepted a position at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Long Beach, California.

Professor Judith Kildow was the driving force behind our successful Master of Engineering Program in Marine Environmental Systems.

Dr. Spyros Kinnas accepted a tenure track position at the University of Texas, Austin.

Professor Jerome Milgram, was once again called upon to work on America's Cup. He was also elected to the National Academy of Engineers (NAE).

Professor Henry S. Marcus has been on sabbatical leave for the academic year 1994-1995 at the University of Hawaii.

Professor Koichi Masubuchi was reappointed Kawasaki Professor for an additional two years. He is primarily responsible for establishing the Sai Murasaki Memorial Fund between MIT and Bunri University in Japan.

*Professor Madayuki Mino of the Faculty of Engineering at Tokushima Bunri University in Japan, was a Visiting Professor from April 15, 1995 - June 30, 1995.

Professor T. Francis Ogilvie stepped down as Department Head after twelve years and has returned to the life of Professor in Ocean Engineering.

Professor Nicholas M. Patrikalakis was promoted to Full Professor of Ocean Engineering effective July, 1995.

LCDR Jeffrey S. Reed, USN, ended his appointment as Associate Professor of Ocean Engineering May 31, 1995.

Professor Henrik Schmidt was appointed Associate Department Head at the start of the Fall Term. In addition, he will remain Associate Director of Sea Grant.

Professor Paul D. Sclavounos was on sabbatical for Fiscal Year 1994-95. He was asked to work on PACT 95, Young America, the American defender of the America's Cup race in the Spring of 1995.

Professor Michael S. Triantafyllou was on sabbatical for the Fall Semester '94.


The annual Robert Bruce Wallace Lecture was presented on March 16, 1995 by Jerry A. Aspland, (retired) President of Arco Marine Inc. His topic was "A Potpourri for the Future." The winners of the 1994 (Justin Manley) and 1995 (Neil Best) Wallace Prize Award were acknowledged and awarded their scholarships.


The winners of the first Martin A. Abkowitz Fellowship Award were Seamus Tuohy, who attended a conference at Computer Graphics International in Leeds, UK, in late June, and Xuemei Zhu, who traveled to Oxford in England to attend the 10th Annual International Workshop on Water Waves and Floating Bodies.


The faculty recognized Professor Ogilvie's many contributions to the Department and the Institute, and in particular his mentoring of younger faculty by the establishment of the T. Francis Ogilvie Young Investigator Lectureship in Ocean Engineering to be awarded annually.


In November, the Department held its annual alumni reunion in New Orleans in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Newly elected Associate Department Head Professor Henrik Schmidt was the featured speaker.

Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95