Ocean Engineering, B.S.

Ocean Engineering, B.S.

What is an Ocean Engineering Degree?

Ocean Engineering BSOcean engineering is a multidisciplinary field of technology applied to the ocean environment that combines aspects of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering with naval architecture and applied oceanography.

Students working towards an ocean engineering degree gain fundamental expertise in chemistry, math and physics and build in-depth knowledge of coastal processes, ocean systems and design technologies. Whether you want to develop a new way of preventing coastal erosion, design jetties and seawalls, or become a naval architect, an ocean engineering degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in engineering with experience in environmental science and instrumentation.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Florida Tech is listed among the Fiske Guide's "Engineering/Top Technical Institutes" and Parade Magazine's College A-List in Engineering.

Gain Practical Experience

Studying for an ocean engineering degree at Florida Tech gives students a unique opportunity to study in a marine environment given the university's close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. For example, ocean engineering is field intensive and seagoing; students often participate in research projects on board chartered vessels in the open sea.

As a senior, you'll complete an exciting design project in collaboration with a team of your peers. Together, you'll conceptualize, design, construct and present a machine or structure that fulfills a real-world need. You'll present your project to industry leaders and employers, and may compete in international competitions. As a result, you get practical experience, an expanded professional network and perhaps even a pre-graduation job offer.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, ocean engineering degree students build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), the Marine Technology Society, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, student government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers seek out graduates with an ocean engineering degree from Florida Tech. Employers that have recruited our students for internships and careers include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Navy, Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp., Environmental Protection Agency, EPCOT, National Science Foundation and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their ocean engineering degree, many of our students go on to graduate school at universities such as Florida Tech, University of Alaska, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and Cambridge University (UK).

Why Pursue an Ocean Engineering Degree at Florida Tech?

There are many reasons why Florida Tech is the perfect ocean engineering university for you. First, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits Florida Tech's ocean engineering program. In addition, Florida Tech is listed among the Fiske Guide's "Engineering/Top Technical Institutes" and Parade Magazine's College A-List in Engineering.

Another obvious advantage to studying ocean engineering at Florida Tech is the university's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and frequent access to its marine environment–something that not every ocean engineering university can offer.

Accreditation

ABETThe undergraduate aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering and software engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

100% of Our Professors Hold Doctoral Degrees in the Field

Another benefit to choosing Florida Tech as your ocean engineering university is being able to work alongside top ocean, civil, electrical and mechanical engineers, as well as renowned oceanographers, meteorologists and environmental scientists, virtually all of whom conduct research.

Our faculty is a big reason why we are considered a top ocean engineering university. Many professors are also registered Professional Engineers, and are active researchers that encourage eligible students to join the research teams in the department. They teach all the classes offered in the program and are always available to students for advising.

Personalized Learning – Small Class Sizes

Because Florida Tech has an intimate learning environment with small class sizes and low faculty-to-student ratios, students develop active working relationships with professors and are often hired to assist their professor in research work. The faculty also works closely with other professors in oceanography and environmental science, which gives students an opportunity to conduct research in these fields - something usually not found at another ocean engineering university.

Ocean engineering at Florida Tech is hands-on, field and laboratory intensive, and seagoing. Senior students also participate in faculty-led research projects that have included topics in ocean energy, beach erosion, sediment transport and design of high-speed small-craft.

Laboratory Facilities An Ocean Engineer Wishes For

Facilities are important to any ocean engineering university, and Florida Tech doesn't disappoint. In addition the shared ocean science labs, ocean engineers have access to laboratories for fluid mechanics, wave dynamics, underwater technology, corrosion and biofouling, instrumentation, materials and electronics.

There is also a fleet of small craft for shallow-water testing, and the MV Thunderforce, a utility and research vessel, is chartered for larger projects. Students also have access to machine and welding shops, fiberglass fabrication facilities, and materials testing rooms.

Students interested in underwater vehicles have access to two, multimillion-dollar Bluefin Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, certainly making Florida Tech a unique ocean engineering university.

Florida Tech's Backyard ... a Habitat Perfect for Ocean Engineers

In terms of location, the average ocean engineering university simply cannot compete with Florida Tech. The ocean right is in our backyard, just minutes away. The Atlantic Coast boasts 72 miles of beaches and many opportunities for outdoor activities, either for research purposes or just for fun. What's more, the most diverse estuary in North America, the Indian River Lagoon, is also nearby and the Florida Keys and the Everglades are a few hours' drive.

The local area also provides students with a wide range of sporting, shopping and entertainment activities, including Kennedy Space Center and Orlando tourist attractions.

How Will an Ocean Engineering Degree Prepare Me for the Future?

Ocean engineering internship opportunities provide our students with hands-on work experience to prepare them for the career world. Some of the companies providing ocean engineering internship experiences are:

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • Center for Coastal Studies

Organizations like these and others, including government agencies, allow students to work side-by-side with experts in the field on challenging and exciting ocean engineering internship projects.

Test Your Project in a Real-World Oceanic Environment

Alongside research conducted during ocean engineering internship experiences, opportunities for research in local ecosystems are plentiful for Florida Tech students. Student field projects allow ocean engineering majors to design and create functioning projects for a variety of uses, all tested in real-world oceanic environments. Ocean engineers have access to laboratories for fluid mechanics, wave dynamics, underwater technology, corrosion and biofouling, instrumentation, materials and electronics.

Past student research projects included:

  • Sebastian Inlet real-time oceanographic and meteorological data
  • Artificial reefs in the Mexican Caribbean
  • Remotely operated surf rover
  • Autonomous underwater vehicles

Students frequently patent their work on such innovative projects. Student field projects put Florida Tech students in a very competitive position when looking for ocean engineering internship opportunities and careers.

Join Clubs and Organizations to Enhance Your College Experience

Florida Tech chapters of the Marine Technology Society, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers work to establish networking opportunities between students and professionals in the field. This can help members find ocean engineering internship positions and possible career opportunities.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is a student-run organization that participates in engineering challenges and competitions utilizing the knowledge they gain at Florida Tech.

What Can You Do with an Ocean Engineering Degree?

Students who graduate with a degree in ocean engineering are likely to find ocean engineering jobs such as designing structures and vehicles for marine environments, from aircraft carriers and submarines to sailboats and tankers.

Ocean engineering jobs involve everything from preventing coastal erosion, designing jetties and seawalls to working as a naval architect. Success in this profession requires a strong background in engineering, combining it with in-depth experience in experimentation and hands-on design.

Career Outlook

Ocean engineering jobs are organized among five areas of concentration:

  • Coastal Engineering
  • Hydrographic Engineering
  • Marine Vehicles (Naval architecture)
  • Marine Materials and Corrosion
  • Underwater Technology

Information about ocean engineering jobs can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The handbook provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

According to the Department of Labor, employment of ocean engineers and naval architects is expected to grow 17 percent through 2020. The need to design ships that can transport goods and energy across the globe will help spur employment growth for ocean engineering jobs.

Additionally, marine engineers are in demand for such occupations as maintaining offshore oil rigs, updating fleets to meet new federal requirements in transporting oil and gas, and designing cargo ships that better protect the environment through less pollution.

Check the handbook for ocean engineering jobs and other related careers.

Career Options

Ocean engineering careers can include the following:

  • Ocean Engineer
  • Marine Engineer
  • Naval Architect
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer

Although fairly specialized, ocean engineering offers an exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding career path for graduates of Florida Tech.

Entry-Level Salary Expectations

Because ocean engineering jobs are very specialized, entry-level salary expectations are not reported by PayScale.com -- an online salary information company that helps people obtain accurate real-time information on job market compensation

However, the website does provide information on similar careers and can give you some insight on what you might expect in for a career in ocean engineering:

Mechanical Engineer: $60,100 – $91,900
Environmental Engineer: $47,900 – $89,700

Check PayScale.com for the most recent information on these and environmental science careers.

Potential Employers

Ocean engineering jobs are available with such organizations as:

  • Rockwell Aviation
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Boeing
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Science Foundation
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Graduate Degree

Rather than starting employment immediately after graduation, 20 percent of Florida Tech Ocean Engineering grads go directly to graduate school, either at Florida Tech or at several other prestigious institutions including:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Alaska
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of North Carolina
  • Cambridge University (UK)
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