The Michigan Engineer News Center

Charting Our Course

M-SEA: A Vision for the NAME of Tomorrow| Medium Read

The world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers shape global developments in commerce, security, energy, human migration, food supplies, and climate. Countries around the world are investing heavily in marine technologies to understand the impact of the marine domain on our collective future. The University of Michigan is uniquely positioned to lead the nation – and the world – by developing the premier center for teaching and research in this space. Michigan Engineering has the nation’s only department combining undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME). To secure another century of global leadership and service to society, the department completed a recent strategic planning process. The M-SEA vision resulted from this process.


To meet the emerging challenges in research and engineering education that is central to the M-SEA vision, modern test facilities within the academic setting are critical. Weaving together the instructional, community, research, and student project spaces is necessary to support ever-growing needs in both traditional as well as emerging areas.

More inviting and flexible learning spaces and labs are required to support group coursework from a students’ first days on campus through their capstone experience. Because research goes hand-in-hand with teaching, keeping faculty and curriculum at the forefront of technical developments in the marine domain requires modern research labs that transform infrastructure. Examples include marine structure simulation spaces, control and power spaces, visualization spaces, and wet features capable of supporting testing for subsurface and surface autonomous systems, vessels, renewable energy devices, and simulated marine environments.


Through the M-SEA vision, NAME is exploring its future, striving to be at the forefront of innovation in teaching and research while retaining the small-community feel our students treasure – and integrating into the larger university. At the University of Michigan, NAME can leverage our physical location between the new Ford Motor Company Robotics Building and the heart of North Campus to serve as a hub for student interactions and research activity. We strive to support our quarterdeck and community events, as well as student project groups such as human-powered sub, concrete canoe, and UM::Autonomy.

M-SEA is providing the department a transformative opportunity to sustain its long tradition of excellence, innovation, and being “second to none.” Critical to our future will be instilling the unique NAME identity with the Michigan brand, inspiring future naval architects and marine engineers. That unique identity is embedded in our alumni and partners. We invite you to join us – as supporters, consultants, participants and in other roles – in our exciting and unprecedented endeavor to position NAME for another century of achievements. Our faculty, students, and staff are looking forward to working with the NAME community to bring our M-SEA vision to reality.

Portrait of Nicole Panyard


Nicole Frawley-Panyard
Marketing Communications Specialist

Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

(734) 936-0567

219 NAME

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

The facility will accelerate the future of advanced and more equitable robotics and mobility | Medium Read