A review on the progress and research directions of ocean engineering

Sasan Tavakoli, Danial Khojasteh, Milad Haghani, Spyros Hirdaris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reviews research in ocean engineering over the last 50+ years with the aim to (I) understand the technological challenges and evolution in the field, (II) investigate whether ocean engineering studies meet present global demands, (III) explore new scientific/engineering tools that may suggest pragmatic solutions to problems, and (IV) identify research and management gaps, and the way forward. Six major research divisions are identified, namely (I) Ocean Hydrodynamics, (II) Risk Assessment and Safety, (III) Ocean Climate and Geophysics: Data and Models, (IV) Control and Automation in the Ocean, (V) Structural Engineering and Manufacturing for the Ocean, and (VI) Ocean Renewable Energy. As much as practically possible research sub-divisions of the field are also identified. It is highlighted that research topics dealing with ocean renewable energy, control and path tracking of ships, as well as computational modelling of wave-induced motions are growing. Updating and forecasting energy resources, developing computational methods for wave generation, and introducing novel methods for the optimised control of energy converters are highlighted as the potential research opportunities. Ongoing studies follow the global needs for environmentally friendly renewable energies, though engineering-based studies often tend to overlook the longer-term potential influence of climate change. Development and exploitation of computational engineering methods with focus on continuum mechanics problems remain relevant. Notwithstanding this, machine learning methods are attracting the attention of researchers. Analysis of COVID-19 transmission onboard is rarely conducted, and 3D printing-based studies still need more attention from researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113617
Number of pages36
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ocean engineering
  • Global demands and concerns
  • future challenges
  • Ocean hydrodynamics
  • Risk assessment and safety
  • Ocean climate and geophysics
  • Control and automation in the ocean
  • Structural engineering and manufacturing for the ocean
  • Ocean renewable energy


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