Marine Engineering is an integrated engineering effort and cannot be categorized under a single engineering study. On board ships marine engineers deal with a number of machinery including marine propulsion engines, electric power generation and distribution systems, air conditioning and refrigeration machinery, boiler and steam systems, cargo pumps, hydraulic power systems, fuel oil and lubricating oil system, compressed air system, control engineering, computer controlled monitoring and alarm system, potable and sanitary water system, sewage treatment plant, etc. The complexity of these systems increases since they are housed in a vessel floating in water and is subjected to a variety of stresses.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
The duties and responsibilities of Marine Engineer and Naval Architect is entirely different. As mentioned earlier, a marine engineer is responsible for all the machinery on board, those related to propulsion system as well as cargo loading and discharging system. Apart from this all other auxiliary systems are also taken care of. Each engineer on board is responsible for a set of machinery allocated to them. They are supposed to take care of those machines by condition monitoring system and preventive maintenance system. Any breakdown maintenance must also be attended when happens.
Navel Architects are concerned with design and construction of the ship, considering complex types of stresses on the hull and other dangers that the ship encounter in its service life. Design of the pipe line systems, positioning different machinery considering their functional and operational requirements and stability of the ship are also their areas of interests. A well designed ship makes the life of an engineer easy.
Engineers must recognize the need for the adoption and use of a code of safe practices for all respects of ship and ship machinery operation and maintenance. All maintenance and operational procedures should conform to guidance, notes, rules or codes issued by the Administration and National ans International bodies. In any situation in which there is a doubt or difficulty, a senior officer must be consulted.