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SD2708 Hull Structural Design 6.0 credits

This is a course on design of large complex structures. The main focus is on ship hull structures, but the basic principles and methods are valid for arbitrary structures such as bridges and buildings. The largest ships are well over 300 metres long, and are thereby the largest mobile structures that we humans have ever created. Whether you are facing the task of designing a large tanker, a canoe, a sailingboat or a ferry, the fact that the ship is moving puts specific demands on structure optimization. At the same time ship structures are subjected to large and complex loads from the wind generated sea. The objective of this course is that you after finishing should be able to handles these challenges in design of ships and other complex structures.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SD2708 (Autumn 2010–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Lectures on principal layout of a hull structure, the function of the different structure elements, hull loads, and classification rules. Application of beam theory, plate theory and finite element methods in the analysis of ship structures. Project where each student design the structure for a certain ship.

Intended learning outcomes

The learning objectives are that you after finishing the course should be able to:

  • explain the principal layout of a hull structure and the function of the different structure elements,
  • explain what loads a ship structure is subjected to and how these loads are predicted in design,
  • explain how global and local strength (for the whole hull girder and the local structure respectively), stiffness, buckling and fatigue is treated in the design process,
  • apply your knowledge in structure mechanics and technical beam theory from earlier courses in the analysis of global as well as local strength and stiffness,
  • apply finite element methods in direct calculations of local hull strength,
  • explain the purpose and structure of classification society rules,
  • design of a ship hull according to class rules based on rule requirements and direct calculations,
  • make a preliminary estimation of the hull structure weight,
  • discuss hull structural design aspect by using correct terminology,
  • present technical work in writing, in line with standard requirements on content, disposition and language.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Base programme T, M, P, F or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


Rosén, A., Course binder, KTH Centre for Naval Architecture, 2010.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • ÖVN1 - Project Works, 6.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

ÖVN1 - Exercises, 6.0 credits, grade scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Other requirements for final grade

Project home work and other assignments (ÖVN1).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Ivan Stenius

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SD2708

Offered by

SCI/Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Ivan Stenius (

Supplementary information

Replaces SD2704.

SD2708 will be replaced by SD2722 from HT15.

30 students maximum.