Ocean Engineering, Ph.D.

Ocean Engineering, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering

Ocean Engineering PhD

PhD programs in ocean engineering are not available at every university, but Florida Tech offers a diverse program built on a multidisciplinary approach that includes many sub-fields in engineering. In fact, it is one of the only ocean engineering doctorate programs that includes training in ocean engineering, naval architecture, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, and coastal management.

Professional Mentorship from an Expert Faculty

Florida Tech’s ocean engineering PhD program provides everything you would expect from a large university in a more intimate, focused environment, where professors mentor students, class sizes are small, and there is opportunity for hands-on research in some of the most diverse coastal environments in the world.


Students seeking an ocean engineering PhD interact with experts at environment-oriented businesses and organizations that provide unique learning opportunities, research guidance, and internships. The university has close relationships with numerous organizations including:

  • 45th Weather Squadron of the United States Air Force
  • NASA Kennedy Space Center
  • Hubbs Sea World Research Institute
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
  • Marine Resources Council
  • National Weather Service

In-Depth Research

As a leading research university, graduate students earning an ocean engineering PhD get out in the field and conduct research in real-world scenarios. Students have a chance to work with national research organizations and institutes, including:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Mineral Management Service
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Federal Emergency Management Association
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Scripps Oceanographic Institute
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Plus, Florida Tech’s coastal location is the perfect environment for students in an ocean engineering PhD program. The most diverse estuary in North America, the Indian River Lagoon, is just minutes away, as is the Atlantic Ocean.

Laboratories and Facilities Designed for Ocean Engineers

Facilities are an important factor for graduate students doing research in an ocean engineering PhD program. In addition to the natural laboratories surrounding the university, Florida Tech’s facilities are very appealing to ocean engineering students:

  • Florida Tech Anchorage (Evinrude Marine Operations Center) facilities include docks, electrical power, and storage for nautical equipment, supplies, and scientific equipment. It also has a fleet of small craft for accessing research sites, including pontoon boats, jet skis, Robalo and Boston Whaler boats, skiffs, and a Chris Craft powerboat.
  • The Structures Laboratory supports instructional experiments such as compression and tensile testing, with research and teaching activities focused on the mechanical behavior of metallic, concrete, plastic, and composite materials and structural forms.
  • The Fluid Mechanics Laboratory houses hardware used for experiments to measure fluid properties and verify the laws of conservation of fluid motion.
  • An underwater technology laboratory enables hands-on research using underwater robotic systems, and includes equipment such as oscilloscopes, high-range power supplies, frequency generators, and voltmeters, among others.
  • The Marine Materials Exposure Site at Indian River Lagoon offers a seawater exposure site for the evaluation of biofouling and corrosion characteristics of materials.

Ocean Engineering Careers

Ocean engineering is a fast-growing field with rapidly expanding opportunities as people increasingly turn to the oceans for food, transportation, and energy. Because ocean engineers study all aspects of the ocean environment, employment opportunities are global in nature and can include such positions as creating remotely operated vehicles, developing underwater structures, capturing the energy of waves and turning it into electricity, and more. When comparing ocean engineering PhD programs, Florida Tech provides the type of training and research experience a doctoral student needs to find a challenging and rewarding career in any number of industries