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”).
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.
Bottom Founded Structures, Arctic & Wind
Bottom Founded Structures, Arctic & Wind include the fixed tower structures with a piled foundation, but also other structures such as jack-up structures in their elevated operating position or even monopole structures now being used for offshore wind energy applications. Of the roughly 9000 offshore structures in place around the world, a majority is of the fixed type, and even today the majority of new offshore structures being built is of this type.
The Dredging Engineering specialisation involves the design of equipment for moving solids from, to, or over the bottom of the sea in water depths where offshore engineers normally work. The design of more conventional dredging equipment is discussed more or less along the way. This specialisation will always be included in any programme focused on deep seadredging.
Floating Offshore Structures
There are many types of floating offshore structures. Ship-type vessels are used commonly to support drilling rigs in deeper water - often at more remote locations. Semi-submersible platforms are used for this purpose as well and to support many other activities for which a relatively stable operating base is needed. More recent developments include tension leg platforms - a sort of tethered semi-submersible - and spar platforms.
Structural Design & Analysis
Structural Design & Analysis is a generic specialization giving you excellent employment perspectives in- and outside ship, offshore, dredging and renewable energy industries. Are you either a student having an entrepreneurship gene thinking that now it is my last chance to deepen my engineering knowledge, or you are a student willing to become an expert in structural design of future sustainable structures then this specialization is the right choice for you.
Offshore Renewable Energy
Offshore renewable energy plays a significant role in contributing to the energy transition. The ocean offers a vast and untapped potential for energy generation from the marine environment - including offshore wind, tidal, wave, floating solar and ocean thermal energy. Technological advances and innovation are required to reduce lifetime costs of the energy generated and raise the competitiveness of ocean energy technologies with respect to traditional fossil fuel solutions.