Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering


Recent News

Department Seeks New Faculty Candidates

The Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, invites applicants to apply for a full-time, tenure track, faculty position at the assistant, associate, or full professor level.

Naval Architecture + Marine Engineering

The department seeks applicants in all areas of naval architecture and marine engineering, including acoustics and vibration, marine hydrodynamics, marine design, dynamic control and systems response, fluid-structure interactions, marine engineering, marine robotics and autonomy, naval engineering, offshore engineering, and structural mechanics. Candidates are required to have a doctoral degree in a relevant discipline. The successful candidate is expected to establish an independent research program and to contribute effectively to the Department’s undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. The College of Engineering is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Applicants should send a curriculum vitae, a brief statement of present and future research plans, a statement of teaching experience and interests, and the names of at least three persons who can provide letters of recommendation. Materials should be submitted to

All applicants will be acknowledged. The University of Michigan is a non-discriminatory/affirmative action employer and is responsive to the needs of dual career families. Please send any comments or inquiries to Ms. Sallie Kne at

Regents Approve Two New Faculty Chairs in NAME

A hearty congratulations go out to our two newest faculty chairs! 

Jing Sun, Michael G. Parsons Collegiate Professor of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, College of Engineering
Jing Sun

Steven L. Ceccio, ABS Professor of Marine and Offshore Desgin Performance, College of Engineering

12/2/13 Studio portrait of Steve Ceccio

In Memorium, Harry Benford

Harry Benford

Harry Benford, a U-M alum and former NAME professor, passed away on June 6, 2015 at the age of 97.

Benford served the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from 1948 through 1983. Benford was an internationally recognized pioneer in the scientific application of economic principles to ship design and marine investment decisions.  In 1982 the title of Professor Emeritus was conferred, but he continued to be active and valued contributor to the department on a voluntary basis until 2007.

Prior to his years in academia, Benford worked in engineering analysis, production planning, and cost estimating at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia from 1940 through 1948.  He served as chairman of NAME from 1967 through 1972. He served on the Executive Committee of the College of Engineering from 1962 through 1966.

Benford was awarded the President’s Prize in 1957 and the Linnard Prize in 1962 by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers for the outstanding papers presented before a Society section meeting and the Society’s annual meeting, respectively. In 1976, he was awarded the David W. Taylor Medal, which was and remains the highest award SNAME confers for technical achievement.  Due to his innovative and important contributions to the methods of ship production, He had been an invited lecturer in essentially every maritime nation of the world.

Along with his penchant for world travel, Benford enjoyed photography and compiled carefully structured albums of his handiwork. He and Betty, his first wife, were both members of the First United Methodist Church. They were known in Ann Arbor for their association since 1956 as faculty advisors to the U of M Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He was also the author of a widely read book about the Gilbert & Sullivan operas.

His love of life and devotion to his family, students, and colleagues will be greatly missed.

In Memorium, Howard Bunch

Howard Bunch

Howard Bunch, a former NAME associate professor, passed away on April 7, 2015 at the age of 88.

Bunch joined NAME in 1976.   As an expert in ship production, and he introduced a sequence of specialized courses and organized a then unique summer internship program to give students practical shipbuilding experience. Bunch established the Marine Systems Division at the U-M Transportation Research Institute in 1982 and served for 12 years as its head. In 1985 to 1986, he was acting director of UMTRI. Bunch served as special assistant to the Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy, and he was an Associate Director of the Office of Naval Research-Europe.  Bunch was the founding editor of the Journal of Ship Production in 1985, and he served as the founding Chairman of the Education and Training Panel of the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP), where he focused on technology transfer.

Prior to his years in academia, Bunch worked at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, at Olson Labs in Dearborn, Michigan, and as a private consultant.

For his contributions to the field of ship production, Bunch was named a fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and he received the society’s William H. Webb medal for outstanding contributions to education in 1993.

In 1996, Bunch was conferred the title of Associate Professor Emeritus, but he was an active volunteer in NAME thereafter.  Upon his retirement, he continued to consult on various aspects of ship production, traveling to China, Europe and South America to conduct research and present short courses.

As a man working in the world of academia with only a MBA, Professor Bunch achieved many of his accomplishments through the virtues of hard work, integrity and creativity, but also from the power of his personality and from being a kind and caring person.  He will be missed.

Symposium Highlights Groundbreaking Academic Research

Professor Matthew Johnson-Roberson spoke at the ABS University Partnership Symposium, held in Houston in August 2015, which brought together academia and industry in a forum at which top US universities presented the results of ABS-funded research initiatives. Open discussion during this event allowed both academic and industry participants to provide input that will be used to refine ABS research efforts. The research highlighted at the Symposium is among the many projects that will function as building blocks for the Class of the Future, which will be more condition-based, more risk-based and more continuous.

“ABS is investing in research that will drive game-changing innovation and technology,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J Wiernicki. “Our global innovation ecosystem includes ABS engineers and scientists at six technology centers around the world, partnerships with prestigious academic institutions, scholarship programs, and contributions to academic infrastructure and chair endowments.”

ABS Advancing Tech Uni Partnership - Matt JR

U-M Patented technology uses ‘vortex induced vibration’ to harvest hydrokenetic energy. 

A device to harvest energy from the St. Clair River — first tested in Port Huron in August 2010 — could be returning to the blue water. Vortex Hydro Energy is about six months into a three-year preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study placing a patented hydrokinetic power generating device in the St. Clair River. The device uses technology patented through the University of Michigan to harness the power of “vortex induced vibrations,” said Michael Bernitsas, a professor of naval architecture, marine engineering and mechanical engineering at U-M.


 Professor David J. Singer named SNAME Fellow

Dr. David J. Singer is an Assistant Professor in the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering department at University of Michigan College of Engineering. He earned his B.S.E., M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in NA&ME and a M.S.E in Industrial and Operations Engineering all from the University of Michigan. He is a SNAME Fellow and the editor of the Journal of Ship Production and Design. 

Dave Singer

Professors Perlin & Ceccio release Mitigation of Hydrodynamic Resistance

NAME Professors, Marc Perlin and Steve Ceccio have released a new book about the methods to reduce hydrodynamic drag. This text presents the state of the art in friction drag/resistance reduction technologies for BODIES and crafts operating in liquids at and beneath the free surface. It is useful for professionals with backgrounds in advanced fluid dynamics as well as by academics teaching introductory graduate courses in this area. Active control of resistance will include a discussion of friction reduction, for example through the injection of gas that can form air layers and polymers that initially reside adjacent to the hull, including the use of partial and super cavities. The book discusses passive resistance control achieved through changes in the overall hull shape and appendages, including the application of lifting bodies, bulbous bows, and stern flaps. It also addresses passive reduction of skin friction through the application of hull coatings and other elements of hull husbandry.



Professor Dave Singer is SNAME Distinguished Service Award winner 

NAME Professor, David Singer is named 2014 SNAME Distinguished Service Award winner for dedicated personal service and/or technical contributions to the Society.

Dave Singer

Student wins Best Student Paper at Robotics Conference

PhD student, Ryan Wolcott, wins Best Student Paper at Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems for “Visual Localization within LIDAR Maps for Automated Urban Driving”  resulting in a new visual localization algorithm that allows a car to precisely know where it is at sub-lane precision to enable autonomous driving without having to rely on GPS, which is fragile for a number of reasons (multi-path, low-accuracy, GPS-denied conditions).  The new algorithm allows for matching a forward looking dash-cam image to a pre-built 3-dimensional LIDAR map of the environment. Read the paper HERE and watch the video HERE.


Could computers captain the world’s cargo ships?

At any given moment, there are some 55,000 cargo ships at sea, plying the world’s oceans. They are transporting the goods and the groceries, fuels and food, cars and computers that form the backbone of global trade. But they also carry a heavy environmental cost when it comes to carbon emissions. Far from our big cities, less visible than our pollution-belching industries and motorways jammed with idling cars, giant cargo ships are also adding their considerable carbon footprint. NAME Assistant Professor, Matthew Collette, discusses the future of autonomous shipping. Read more HERE.


Panama Canal Centenary

The Panama Canal was opened 100 years ago, this week. Listen as NAME Assistant Professor, Matthew Collette discusses its impact on naval architecture and the future of shipping.

Matt Collette3

Monty Hall’s, The Ghost Ship of Thunder Bay

On November 27, 1875, the schooner Cornelia B. Windiate left Milwaukee with 21,000 bushels of wheat. Bound for Buffalo, New York, the 136-foot vessel was over-laden and facing the perils of a late season final run with all the ice and storms that November on the Great Lakes promised. The Windiate never reached Buffalo, and for over one hundred years was presumed to have gone down in Lake Michigan. Watch as the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory and director, Marc Perlin, help  to uncover the secrets of the sunken ship, the Cornelia B. Windiate.  (MHL featured at 32.35)

Human Powered Submarine takes on Gosport, England and the European International Submarine Races

The European International Submarine Races challenges teams of university students to design, build and race human-powered submarines against the clock on an out-and-back course. The concept combines engineering design challenge with technical skill development and sets them in a unique and exciting.


Read more about the competition HERE.

 Getting nerdy with 200 families

They took the campus by storm. Three hundred and eighty alumni and children stretched across North Campus June 26 and 27, dabbling in drones and bones, rockets and radioactives.

No, it wasn’t a hostile takeover. It was the second annual Xplore Engineering summer camp, designed especially for alumni to introduce their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to the joy of engineering through a variety of hands-on experiences.


“Diving in the Deep” was taught by Dr. Laura K Alford and recreated James Cameron’s dive to the Mariana Trench use a water bottle and weights. The teams were shown a short video summarizing Cameron’s descent to the deepest part of the ocean.  The session was a tremendous success; the parents, kids, and instructors had a lot of fun. This experiment is based on the pressure and buoyancy lab that Dr. Alford uses in her Engr 100 Into to Engineering class, and all participant seemed to like that this was a ‘real thing’ engineering do.

Find out more about the Xplore Engineering Camp HERE.

NAME students visit Hyundai shipyard & University of Ulsan

Four NAME students take an intensive three week tour of Hyundai’s Korean shipyard and visit the University of Ulsan’s School of Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering.

Hyandai visit - 7-14

Follow along on their blog as they navigate the country and learn all about Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering across the globe!

Engineers row in royal regatta

Between July 2-6, a squad of Michigan rowers will represent the Block M on the River Thames, an hour west of London. A total of 494 crews have entered this year’s Regatta, comprised of 107 crews from 20 overseas countries. More than 100,000 spectators, including much of the Royal Family, will be in attendance.

The club-varsity Men’s Rowing team has won seven consecutive American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championships. Now, for the second time they’ve been invited to compete in one of the most prestigious international regattas in the world. Twenty-four out of sixty-four oarsmen on this year’s team were engineering majors. An even larger percentage of engineers, seven of twelve, are on the small squad headed to the Royal Henley Regatta.  Read the full article HERE

Automated vehicle test facility to open this fall

No university in the world has an automated vehicle test facility like the one that will open this fall on North Campus, University of Michigan officials say.


Under construction this summer, the patent-pending Mobility Transformation Facility will be 32 acres of simulated city center and four-lane highway. It’s designed to let researchers test how automated and networked vehicles respond to rare but dangerous traffic events and road conditions. Such testing is a vital step in making sure these advanced vehicles can operate safely in the real world, researchers say.

“The type of testing we’re talking about doing – it’s not possible to do today in the university infrastructure,” said Ryan Eustice, an associate professor of naval architecture and marine engineering. “Every time a vehicle comes around the loop, it can hit something unusual. That will give us a leg up on getting these vehicles mature and robust and safe.” Facilities like this are also very rare in the auto industry, the researchers said.

Read the full article HERE

Engineering 100 students take on Underwater Vehicles

First-Year Engineering Students in Professor Julie Young’s ENG 100 class worked together to design, build, and test remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that can close valves and collect data underwater. Students learned and utilized principles in topics such as 3D modeling, buoyancy, and teamwork in constructing and operating their vehicles.

The class culminated with a competition pitting ROVs against each other at Canham Natatorium at the end of the semester.

Titanic Revisited: Naval Architect, Stephen Payne tells about the world’s most famous ship

Watch Naval Architect, Stephen Payne’s MconneX lecture in our Peachman Series, Titantic Revisited. In April 1912, Titanic, the largest ship in the world was lost on her maiden voyage. A ship of legends, many myths have grown up surrounding the ship. Queen Mary 2 naval architect, Stephen Payne, presents a lecture to set the record straight and set the ship in the right historical context.

Group of engineering students enjoy rare opportunity to spend weekend onboard FLIP

A group of NAME students were surprised with a rare opportunity to spend the weekend on-board a one-of-a-kind engineering marvel – The FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) marine research lab! The entire FLIP II and Scripps team, pictured from left to right: Tom Golfinos, Mike Sypniewski, Vittorio Bichucher, Jonathan Holbert, Harleigh Seyffert, Phillip Cenzer, and Captain William Gaines.Scripps

NAME is going social! Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for the latest NAME updates.

NAME Social (2)