Naval architects work on the design of ships and similar maritime vessels, and supervise their construction and maintenance.
Many ships and marine structures, such as cruise ships, warships, oil tankers, and oil rigs are very large and complex. Modern engineering is therefore largely a team activity, involving the participation of engineers and professionals from different fields and disciplines.
However, the naval architects take overall responsibility for the project. They also play a special role in ensuring that the team produces a safe, economical and suitable design for a new ship or marine structure.
Naval architects must have knowledge of many branches of engineering, in addition to being experts in all aspects of ship design, including operation, appearance and safety.
They keep up with advances in high-tech areas, such as computer-aided design (CAD) programs and calculation programs.
A boat must be stable and strong enough to navigate in all kinds of weather conditions. It must also be as comfortable as possible for passengers and crew, and present maximum stability for rough seas. The external appearance of a vessel is an important consideration for architects working on passenger ships and yachts.
In construction and repair tasks, naval architects take responsibility for the sections of the shipyard. They organize the supply, inspection and testing of materials and parts. They are also responsible for deciding how many employees are needed on each project.
In the technical departments, these professionals manage the expenses and aspects related to the supply of materials. They study ways to get the parts and equipment needed for the project, and to manage budgets.
Some naval architects work as ship inspectors. They work around the world to build boats that are safe. They examine the blueprints of the vessels at their design stage, ensuring that they are strong and stable, while making efficient use of energy.
During construction, boat inspectors conduct inspections to ensure that the quality of the work and materials meet the rules and regulations. Once the boat is in operation, inspectors continue to do routine inspections on a regular basis, to ensure that the boat owners properly repair any damage and maintain the safety standards of their boat.
They can also work as consultants, providing clients with engineering solutions, technical and commercial assistance, and performing project management and support tasks.
Some naval architects also do research and development work, and those with excellent grades in their training can work in colleges and universities as professors and lecturers.
Depending on the type of work, many naval architects must travel within a national and international area.