US Naval Academy
Established in 1845, the US Naval Academy is the undergraduate college for the Navy that prepares students to become professional officers in the US Navy and Marine Corps. The Academy's admissions standards are among the highest in the nation and the program hosts one of only a few "true" ship design undergraduate programs in the US, averaging 23 Naval Architecture graduates per year, also among the highest in the nation. Importantly, the instruction draws on the experience of current and former naval officers.
The Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Department and the Systems Engineering Department both have extremely well-respected programs within their respective disciplines. While faculty concentrate on pedagogical responsibilities, nearly all maintain very active research programs, acquiring external grants and other support from a variety of institutions, including NIST, NSF, NSWC, NRL, ONR, US Army Corps of Engineers, and a variety of industrial partners. The Naval Academy faculty possess extensive expertise in ship design tools, composite materials, conventional & innovative ship propulsion systems, and total ship systems integration.
The Naval Academy Hydromechanics Laboratory (NAHL) is a world-class testing facility that supports much of the faculty research at USNA. The primary purpose of the Laboratory is to further the education of midshipmen. All midshipmen receive instruction in the Laboratory during the course of their studies. Those who major in Ocean Engineering or Naval Architecture participate in more advanced laboratory work. Midshipmen in these majors often undertake independent research projects which involve NAHL staff and facilities. The secondary purpose of the NAHL is to support research for Naval Academy faculty and for outside organizations. Faculty in the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering use the facilities for research of ship resistance and propulsion, ship motions in wind and waves, basic ocean wave mechanics, and wave-structure interaction. The Laboratory staff also performs testing under contract to various Navy, governmental and private organizations. The NAHL's 380 foot towing tank (breadth 26 feet; depth 16 feet) is used to evaluate models up to 25 feet in length. The tank is equipped with two towing carriages, a dual flap wavemaker, a planar motion mechanism for maneuvering experiments, fans for simulating over-water winds, and has a high speed test towing capability. The NAHL's circulating water channel is used for flow visualization, measurement of force and pressure distribution on submerged bodies, and propeller thrust and torque measurement. The test section has a free surface, and pressure can be varied from +6 psi to -12 psi. This allows demonstration of cavitation effects on propellers and hydrofoil sections.