Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Unit

DITEN’s Polo Navale (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Unit) has its origins in the “Regia Scuola Superiore Navale” (RSSN), founded back in 1870. It later became “Regia Scuola di Ingegneria Navale” making up the early core of what would eventually become Genoa’s School of Engineering. 

The historical heritage related to the formation of the RSSN and its first years of activity consists of ancient and rare books, acts and documents relating to the formation of the school, teaching materials, drawings and technical prints, models and teaching components, mechanical calculation devices and drawing tools, and it is preserved by the Library of the Department and the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Unit of DITEN. In digital form it is available in the site: 

Over the years, the original school underwent several changes as confirmed by the various institutions that have followed each other in the long history of Naval Architecture in Genoa and in Italy:

   • 1870-1905 Regia Scuola Superiore Navale,
   • 1905-1932 Regia Scuola d’Ingegneria Navale,
   • 1932-1936 Regia Scuola d’Ingegneria,
   • 1936-1972 School of Engineering - Istituti di Architettura Navale e di Costruzioni Navali Mercantili,
   • 1972-1993 School of Engineering - Istituto Policattedra d’Ingegneria Navale,
   • 1993-2010 School of Engineering - Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Technologies (DINAV)

Since 2010, in compliance with applicable national regulations concerning university and scientific research organisation, DINAV was initially merged with the Department of Electrical Engineering of the School of Engineering and later contributed to form DITEN, which is now part of Genoa University Polytechnic School. This reorganization process has also recognised the fact that Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering - which have always been globalised and highly multidisciplinary - can further develop provided it includes all the other fields which, following the introduction of computers, are now part and parcel of engineering studies and practice.
Skills and competences regarding the three traditional areas of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering - namely Naval Architecture, Ship and Offshore Structures and Ship Propulsion, Systems and Equipment - are available at the Polo Navale. Scientific research is conducted in collaboration with Italian and foreign Classification Societies, manufacturers and shipyards, research institutes and Universities under national and international research projects, with both public and private funds.
Representatives of Polo Navale are members of national and international boards, such as ITTC (International Towing Tank Conference), ISSC (International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress), IMO (International Maritime Organization), technical and scientific committees of leading Classification Societies and of the International Association of Classification Societies, etc.
Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering studies, while distinguished into the three above mentioned areas, are strongly interrelated and focus on concept and design engineering of vessels and marine installations, of different types, uses and sizes, with focus on integration processes of all the different components required for their construction. Also, issues concerning production technologies and processes of ships and offshore structures, as well as technical support to their technical  management and operations, are covered.
The main research lines, developed based on analytical, numerical and experimental methods, can be summarised as follows:

    • Studies of hull shape, ship resistance and propulsion, manoeuvrability, seakeeping, safety and stability, with focus on free surface and wave motion hydrodynamics
   • Studies of environmental effects on ship and offshore structures, evaluation of loads acting on structures, structural response analysis, scantling assessments based on theoretical and numerical deterministic and probabilistic models (structural strength, fatigue, vibration and noise tests, etc.)
   • Studies of technological processes for construction and technical management of ships and offshore structures, including life cycle assessment
   • Studies of the design and reliability of propulsion systems and related machinery, equipment and systems for on board services, safety equipment and automated management and control systems with focus on consumption and emission reduction
   • Environmental impact analysis of ships and marine transportation systems

Computational facilities for theoretical/numerical activities are available at Polo Navale for its research, educational and experimental activities. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of propulsion plants and vessel dynamics as well as fluid structure interaction simulations. Polo Navale also has three highly qualified laboratories, namely an Experimental Hydrodynamics Lab (IDRO), a Marine Structures Testing Laboratory (MaSTeL), and a Drives and Experimental Automation for Marine Systems Laboratory (DrEAMS), properly equipped to conduct standard and non-conventional Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering testing also at shipyards and on board.
Polo Navale is a full member of WEGEMT, a network of about 40 European Universities in 17 different countries qualified to issue ‘Naval Architect & Marine Engineer’ degrees, which organises higher education courses attended by foreign students. As a matter of fact, for many decades now, 50% of Italian Naval Architects and Marine Engineers - including Officers of the Italian Navy - have graduated from the University of Genova.

The Bachelor’s Degree programme in Nautical Engineering and the Master’s Degree programme in Yacht Design, exclusively taught in English, are unique programmes. In the latter, Master’s Degree curriculum, also ergonomics and aesthetics - essential for yacht design - are taught in addition to traditional naval architecture and marine engineering skills.
Thus, Polo Navale is still actively helping to promote and develop design and construction know-how for future ships and marine facilities, while integrating theoretical and experimental research work in the field of naval architecture, ship construction, marine installations and related automated control solutions.

The research activities of the Unit are organized in Operational Units, which are groupings of one or more people for carrying out research activities. 

Within the Unit, organized modules of resources in terms of space and equipment called laboratories are identified, which can be the place of activity of the various operating units.


Last update 10 November 2023