MSc Offshore & Dredging Engineering

Offshore & Dredging Engineering concerns the sustainable utilisation of resources and space in the ocean environment. On the one hand, this relates to the extraction of resources such as energy and materials, while preventing irreversible impact on the ecosystem, and on the other the responsible use of space in synergy with the environment, for instance for the development of offshore wind parks.

Consequently, offshore developments can no longer be considered in isolation, but should be seen as a part of the entire ocean system, within which numerous other human and natural activities take place. This requires a system perspective on all offshore developments. Such a system perspective also implies full life-cycle analyses, based on the principle of circularity and the avoidance of irreversible changes in the natural environment.

What you will learn

Within this context, tomorrow’s offshore & dredging engineers should be prepared for leadership in highly complex technosocietal systems, while recognizing that the demands of these roles will be continually evolving. Even more than today, future offshore & dredging engineers will be called upon to demonstrate synergistic combinations of technological knowledge, professional competences, multi-disciplinary experiences, and effective personal attributes.

In accordance with the TU Delft Framework for Future Master Education 2020-2030, the MSc programme Offshore & Dredging Engineering educates future professionals, who:

  • master state-of-the-art disciplinary knowledge.
  • are trained to act successfully in an interdisciplinary environment and have freedom of choice to define their own ‘profile’ within a bandwidth.
  • are encouraged to continuously develop professionally and personally based on conscious individual goal setting.
  • develop societal awareness and sharpen their emotional and ethical intelligence in a systematic way, with ample room to learn from failure.
  • are educated for a successful career, not only for their first job.

The curriculum of the programme is well-balanced between theoretical learning (“what”) and the application of theoretical knowledge in creating solutions for future societal challenges (“how”).

Scope

In the foreseeable future, important developments in offshore & dredging engineering will take place in the field of wind energy. The continuously growing turbine structures and energy parks will be installed in deeper waters with harsher environmental conditions, requiring novel foundation structures, and, eventually, floating offshore wind turbines will become most common. Within the next decade, a gradual rise of floating PV (photovoltaics) and ocean energy converters – wave and tidal – is expected.

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The conversion of sustainable energy to electricity and synthetic fuels will take place offshore, requiring accompanying infrastructure, including trenched cables and pipelines and socalled energy islands. In this respect, the cutting of hard rock – also relevant for the development of ports and waterways – remains an important challenge.

In the meantime, it is expected that the deep-sea mining industry matures, for which the environmental impact needs to be minimised, and underwater robotics and operations become increasingly relevant, whereas offshore and dredging engineers contribute to the protection of coastal areas to mitigate the consequences of climate change, and novel techniques are required for dredging lakes and reservoirs all over the world.

Because of the energy transition, innovative dredging processes are required for vessels with alternative propulsion mechanisms. Minimisation or mitigation of turbidity is a primary goal, to ensure the sustainable future of the field. In a general sense, digitalisation is an ongoing development in all disciplines of offshore & dredging engineering, paving the way for advanced control systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence. At the same time, existing offshore activities need to be operated, maintained and, eventually, demounted in the most sustainable manner, making use of the technological state-of-the-art.

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