Introduction to Ocean Science and Engineering

Photo of student's submersible vehicle just beneath water's surface.

Students design, build and test a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for their final class project, shown here being tested near Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (Photo by Prof. Alexandra Techet.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2006



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features a video and photos of students field testing their lab projects, and readings from Robert Stewart's free online text Introduction to Physical Oceanography. The course employs several innovative hands-on teaching modules whose pedagogy is summarized in a conference paper linked from the syllabus page.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of science and engineering necessary for exploring, observing, and utilizing the oceans. Hands-on projects focus on instrumentation in the marine environment and the design of ocean observatories for ocean monitoring and exploration. Topics include acoustics, sound speed and refraction, sounds generated by ships and marine animals, sonar systems and their principles of operation, hydrostatic behavior of floating and submerged bodies geared towards ocean vehicle design, stability of ocean vessels, and the application of instrumentation and electronics in the marine environment. Students work with sensor systems and deploy them in the field to gather and analyze real world data.

Archived Versions

Techet, Alexandra. 2.011 Introduction to Ocean Science and Engineering, Spring 2006. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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