Marine Institute

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Part of a series on professional development and


Marine Institute logo

Marine Institute

The Marine Institute, generally referred to as Marine (though the fully qualified name is "The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador") offers 3-year undergraduate diplomas in Naval Architecture as well as Marine Systems Engineering.




Marine's main campus contains the worlds largest flume tank, originally for the study of fishing nets (though utilization is much more diverse today). MI also has access to the tow tanks at NRC and the cavitation tunnel at Memorial University, both on the valley campus of MUN.


MI houses a six-degree of motion bridge simulator, based upon a Boeing flight deck simulator chasis. MI also maintains static simulators & develops simulator software, such as for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Offshore Safety and Survival Center

Marine offers saftey and survial training in Offshore Petroleum and marine transportation. Center trains personel in the use of emergency equipment and response techniques. Unique equipment includes:

  • Survival tank with Helicopter Underwater Escape Trainer
  • Numerous lifeboats and life rafts
  • Fire training simulator
The F/V Anne S. Pierce

Holyrood base

Marine is currently developing a shoreside facility in the Conception Bay South community of Holyrood.

Anne S. Pierce

The Anne S. Pierce is a training and research vessel owned by the Marine Institute. It is used for various training courses and some minor research. (See Anne s pierce)


While core course material remains similar, the regular inclusion of projects provide a fair amount of variability in students study year-to-year, often including community projects.

First Year

A common first year exists at Marine, with introductory physics, chemistry, communications, calculus, and electronics. Spring session is held, with an introduction to naval architecture concepts, such as ship types, framing systems, and lines plans, and an introduction to AutoCAD.

Second Year

Courses are taken in the following subjects;

  • Mechanics & Materials
  • Steel Structures
  • Ship Outfit
  • Resistance & Propulsion
  • Vessel Stability (Small angle, large angle, and damaged)
  • Regulations

Introduction is provided to GHS for stability, AutoShip for hull design, and Ship Constructor for structure.

Third Year

The third year consists primarily of a design project. Students design from scratch a vessel to meet a supplied mission profile, following the design spiral through to the contract design phase. The design requires documented adherence to all flag state, classification, and international regulations (such as fire plans, scantlings, tonnage, floodable lengths, & stability) while meeting the owners specifications and demonstrating a positive economic return. In their final semester, students must present their design to invited industry guests, instructors, and their fellow students. A RINA prize, sponsored by Oceanic, is awarded to one of the students based upon the quality, practicality, and uniqueness of their vessel. In addition to project courses, consisting mostly of deliverables deadlines, there are also courses in project management, quanitity surveying, composite construction, and shipboard electrical systems.

Example Course Projects

Extensive use of student projects provide oppurtunities for both independent study and group work. Some examples of projects (from various courses and years) are;

  • Anne S. Pierce Survey - Reports are made on various design qualities of the Marine vessel Anne S. Pierce during a tour & trip out on the North Atlantic.
  • Lines Extraction - A lines plan and autoship hull model are produced from an existing hull or hull mold.
  • Lofting - Students source a lines plan, model, or table of offsets & loft a large-scale version by hand.
  • Tow Tanking - A ship model is tow tanked for resistance and again for propeller performance. Collected data is analyized to predict ship performance.
  • Scantling Books - An example ships structure (i.e., the Point Chebucto) is evaluated and documented as per Lloyd's Rules & Regulations for Shipping.
  • Stability Booklet - A stability booklet is produced for an example hull, to Transport Canada regulations. In some years, these hulls have been third year project ships past.
  • Structural Model - An example vessel (such as the Maersk Nascopie) is divided into sections roughly equal to blocks. Complete structural models to accurate scales are then created from foamboard and cardstock.
  • Model Construction - An example hull is supplied, to which students create a scale model or mould of either wood or composite construction.
  • Hull Weight Study & Price Estimation - A composite hull is supplied with lamination schedule. A weight study & costing analysis is produced & compared to actual values.
  • Hullform Development - Research of a small boat type (i.e., driftboat), followed by full design & report.
  • Ship Rigging - Development of complete custom rigging for a sailboat, based upon first-principles analysis & design of constituent parts.
  • Semisubmersible Upgrade - Development of a 3rd-generation upgrade package for an example drill rig.
  • Inclining test - Performed on a representive model after a predictive estimation.
  • Unit Breakdown - An example ship is broke down into units. Students document all structure in their unit, working with eachother to ensure self-alignment.
  • Cardboard boat race - Naval architecture students volenteer at a local cardboard boat race. Typically, on the day, MI will run one cardboard boat, non-competitively.
  • Aker H-3 Upgrade - An example H-3 oil rig is supplied with the newly required VDL. Students propose methods for maintaining stability criteria and propose an upgraded ballast system to match (i.e., additional columns, sponsons, enlarged pontoons, etc.)

After completing their diploma, students have the option of continuing their education at Memorial University towards either a bachelor of maritime studies or bachelor of technology. Oppurtunities exist in the United States and England for advanced placement in bachelor/masters programs.


Students are provided with a modern Lenovo thinkpad laptop starting in the second year. This laptop comes preloaded with licensed copies of AutoCAD, Rhino, AutoShip, GHS, NavCad, and Microsoft Office. The laptop lease program is expensive, almost matching tuition costs, but does come with a decent warranty and some level of support. Two continous roll A0 plotters are available for plotting drawings.

Student Life

The Marine Institute is part of the St. John's ocean technology cluster, as such students have access to a wealth of resources. Marines other roles include a naval training academy, officer and engineering programs, materials testing, ROV and instrumentation programs, and environmental programs. As a result, there are machinery simulators and experienced contacts within the schools regarding all matters of ship operations. The library maintains subscriptions to most professional body transactions and conferences, as well as numerous marine magazines. Current regulations are available (such as Lloyd's Rules & Regulations). For projects, particularly those involving ice, the National Research Council-Institute of Ocean Technology is readily accessible with its own specialists and library.

St. John's also has a working harbour. Offshore oil workboats are a common sight, as are fishing, coast guard and research vessels. Cruise ships regularly stop into the port during the summer and autumn seasons. The local shipyard generally gives an annual tour to students of their drydocking and machining facilities, as well as their projects at the time.

Student-instructor ratio's are low, by the final year often approaching parity. The experience level of instructors is high, and they generally have extensive access to industry examples and connections. Placement rates for graduates are particularly high, with most students graduating with multiple job offers.

External links

  • Marine Institute [1]
  • Offshore Safety and Survival Center [2]
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