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With the founding of the Chair of Naval Architecture in the academic year of 1968-69 at the then Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Rijeka, formal teaching, research and professional activities in the fields of naval architecture also began. The Chair of Naval Architecture had the task to organize, for the first time, teaching from the shipbuilding course “Fundamentals of ships and equipment” and “Resistance and ship propulsion” with naval mechanics adaptations within the studies of mechanical engineering. Prof. Zlatko Winkler was appointed the head of the Chair. At his incentive studies in naval architecture were established in the academic year of 1969-70, and soon it became apparent that it was necessary to include a larger number of renowned and prominent experts and teaching associates. 

In line with the reorganization of the Faculty in 1970, the Department of Naval Architecture was established. In 1974 group courses in naval architecture were organized, group courses in ship theory, group courses in ship construction, group courses in shipbuilding and group courses in ship design.

At the same time as the strengthening of educational activities, the Department at the start of the 1970s also developed scientific research work in the field of naval architecture and ocean engineering, in collaboration with other departments of the Faculty as well as in cooperation with other academic and scientific research institutions at home and abroad.

In addition to the fields of naval architecture and ocean engineering technologies, the Department also focused on other scientific and interdisciplinary areas, primarily in mechanical engineering, transport technology and ecology. In any case, it should be highlighted that the Department was also the initiator and organizer of a whole series of notable professional and scientific meetings, seminars, symposia and so on. Based on the development of new fields and expanding its activities, the Department of Naval Architecture, ten years after its establishment, changed its title to the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. The scientific activities of the Department generates studies in the areas of ship and ocean engineering structures design, then in the area of ship resistance and propulsion, seakeeping, ship strength and ship construction, technologies in building ships and the organization of shipbuilding production. The Department is comprised of five chairs which develop, combine and put together educational scientific and expert activities in their own narrow fields. Four laboratories also work within the Department: the laboratory of shipbuilding, the laboratory of ship hydromechanics, the laboratory of ocean engineering and the laboratory of computer engineering in naval architecture.

Today the successful and well-established studies in naval architecture have, over the last decades, evolved into several developmental stages of teaching and scientific research activities, primarily relying on the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, even though classes in naval architectural studies with the relevant faculties are included in virtually all the Faculty’s departments. The scientific and professional orientations of the Department’s members, as in the connections with the shipbuilding industries of the region, greatly affect the creation of academic programs in the whole training of future naval architectural professionals. The Department’s collaboration with shipyards and other shipbuilding companies has also enabled the valuable involvement of external collaborators, which in that way transfers part of its contents directly onto the students.

The scientific-research work at the Department is carried out within the framework of projects which were mainly financed by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and now by the University of Rijeka and the Croatian Science Foundation. The results of the scientific research works are published in prestigious international and national journals and at meetings. Those to highlight are the journal “Brodogradnja” (“Shipbuilding”) and the symposium “The Theory and Practice of Shipbuilding, in memoriam of Prof. Leopold Sorta” in which members of the Department have significant roles. The Department actively collaborates in the organization and work of the “Conference on Marine Technology, in memoriam of the Academic Zlatko Winkler”, which is held at the Faculty of Engineering, as well as of the international congress “International Maritime Association of Mediterranean (IMAM)” in which it regularly participates. The Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka, via the Department, became a permanent member of this international association in 2002.

Some former and current members of the Department have also been receivers of high accolades, and it is also possible to refer to their works in many bodies such as the Section of Ocean Engineering and the Section of Marine Technology of the Scientific Council of Maritime Affairs at HAZU, the Technical Committee of the Croatian Institute of Standards and Professional Commission of the Review of Technical Disciplines of the Croatian Register of Shipping. It is worth mentioning that through the scientific research work many original software packages have been created, as well as to highlight the activities of certain members in various innovative services and the certifications of vessels.

Recognizability of the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering is reflected through its activities that can undoubtedly find its place in the shipbuilding, metalworking and processing industry, designing and consulting companies, insuring and classification societies, companies for the development of technical software, small shipbuilding and shipping and transport organizations.




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