Ocean: Hydrodynamics and Marine Engineering


The aim is to provide the students with the scientific and technical knowledge in hydrodynamics and ocean engineering to allow them to address societal issues linked mainly to energy (offshore oil, marine renewable energies) and maritime transport (building of environmentally-friendly ships and transport of offshore wind power).

With regards to the offshore oil sector, sustained global demand for fossil fuels is driving engineering firms and oil companies (Subsea7, Saipem, Technip, Total, Doris Engineering, SBM Offshore, Principia etc) to develop new technological solutions for prospection and production in increasingly difficult environments: deep sea areas, the Arctic, etc. The issue of decommissioned offshore structures also needs to be addressed.

The industrial development of Marine Renewable Energies will be significant in the coming years. In Europe, 25 GW of offshore capacity has been installed and connected to the grid. In France, seven projects for offshore wind farms and 4 pilot projects for floating wind turbines are in the development phase. Offshore wind will very soon represent 10% of the wind energy produced in France.

Other sectors (underwater generators, offshore floating wind turbines, wave energy, ocean thermal energy) are currently under development by the main industry players (Naval Energies, EDF, Idéol, Saïpem, SBM Offshore, etc.) The short term objective is to build prototypes for testing at sea. 

New opportunities are set to appear in the naval sector over the coming years in response to different challenges at national and European level: building of more environmentally-friendly ships (improved performance and lower fuel consumption, waste reduction etc) and of vessels specifically designed for the transport or maintenance of offshore wind turbines.

Contribution to sustainable development goals

Learn more about Centrale Nantes' commitment to the 17 sustainable development goals

International students can follow this specialisation, taught in French, via:

  • A double degree programme - Open to international students selected by our partner institutions. Selected students spend two years studying courses from the engineering programme at Centrale Nantes. This usually includes one year of the common-core engineering curriculum followed by one year of specialisation. Double degree students are typically accepted after successfully completing two or three years of higher education in their home institution.
  • The fast-track engineering programme: Open to students with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in science. Our fast-track programme gives international students who are qualified to bachelor level the opportunity to gain the 'diplôme d'ingénieur' in just two years.
Course Content
Autumn Semester Spring Semester
Marine environment & hydrodynamic loads Advanced hydrodynamics
Numerical hydrodynamics 1 Shipbuilding & maritime economy
Introduction to hydrodynamics Fluid-structure interaction
Seakeeping and stability Marine wind energy
Numerical hydrodynamics 2 Project 2
Experimental hydrodynamics Internship
Ship manoeuvrability and moorings
Lifting bodies & propulsion
Project 1

Download 2022/23 syllabus
Examples of projects and internships

Examples of past projects

  • Large-scale modelling of coastal currents (Naval Group)
  • Floating wind farm architecture (LHEEA-CN)
  • Numerical simulation of cylinders for riser sizing (HydroOcean)
  • Numerical study of the aerodynamic performance of a vertical axis wind turbine (LHEEA-CN)
  • Flow control in the naval sector (Naval Group)
  • Study of innovative anchoring systems for floating wind turbines (Innosea)
  • Neptune project - Design of a sports catamaran made from biocomposite (G. Dupont)
  • Anchor-line fatigue and sensitivity to environmental conditions (LHEEA-CN)

Examples of past internships

  • Aeroelastic calculations with hydrodynamic coupling on offshore wind turbines, Bureau Veritas, France
  • Offshore data analysis and study of anchor line fatigue, University of Exeter, England
  • Modelling the dynamic behaviour of an anemometer, Ecole Navale, Brest
  • Study of models using the coastal environment software MIKE FM, DHI company, Horshol, Denmark
  • Study of an offshore facility, Innosea, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Estimation of hydrodynamic loading on wind turbines installed on the sea bed, EDF-EN, France
After the specialisation

Industry sectors

  • Offshore oil
  • Marine Renewable Energies
  • Naval engineering
  • Maritime transport
  • Research (private or public sector)
  • Coastal engineering
  • Numerical simulation in hydrodynamics and fluid mechanics

Career Prospects

  • R&D engineer
  • Installation and operations engineer (MRE offshore)
  • Project engineer
  • Quality engineer
  • Production management engineer
  • Supply chain manager
Published on November 2, 2015 Updated on March 21, 2023