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Prof David Andrews
Prof David Andrews profile picture
  • Professor of Engineering Design
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

David Andrews was given a new Chair in Engineering Design at UCL in September 2000, following his early retirement from the UK Ministry of Defence where, in his last senior post, he was Director of Frigates and Mine Countermeasures. Having joined the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors as a cadet, he graduated from UCL in 1970 and obtained his MSc in Naval Architecture in 1971. He returned to UCL in 1980 as the MoD appointed Lecturer in Naval Architecture and whilst in that appointment obtained his PhD for his thesis “Synthesis in Ship Design” in 1984. From 1986 to 1990 he was the Warship Project Manager for the Replacement Amphibious Shipping Programme, during which he led a special design study into the replacement of the Royal Yacht. He was subsequently Head of Preliminary Design, where he was responsible for the initial studies on the Royal Navy’s new Aircraft Carrier, Future Attack Submarine, Future Surface Combatant and the Auxiliary Oiler and was the authority on unconventional hull forms. Appointed in 1993 to the MoD Grade 5 post of Professor of Naval Architecture at UCL in 1993, he was responsible for training and education of MoD, including Royal Navy, post-graduate naval architects to the Head of Royal Corps of Naval Constructors.

Since his permanent return to UCL in 2000 he has worked alongside his subsequent three successors as the MoD Professor of Naval Architecture to greatly strengthen UCL’s research portfolio in marine technology. EPSRC, ONR and EU projects in naval architecture have been won due to his initiative, links with the maritime industry considerably strengthened (with CASE and other studentships sponsored by BMT, MoD (Dstl & NDP), Babcock, Rolls Royce). He also organised successful industry workshop with BMT at UCL in 2009 and personally engineered the signature of a MoU between UCL and BAE Systems in naval engineering. He has given many invited presentations to conferences, navies and universities round the world.


He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, for whom he chaired the Membership Committee and the Future Directions Committee and is a Member of Council, the Executive Committee and Deputy Editor of the IJME. In 2000 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering for his developments in ship design methods. In 2005 he was appointed to the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise panel for mechanical, aeronautical and maritime engineering, he was also elected to the EPSRC’s Peer Review College. In 2008 he was asked to present to the US Navy’s first Ship Design Process Workshop and has attended the following three workshops, uniquely for a non-US citizen. He has conducted technical audits for the Research Council of Norway, the European Commission’ Framework 6, QinetiQ’s Marine Division, Dstl and for several industry projects.


Research Summary

David Andrews is acknowledged as the leading international authority on ship design methodology, with particular expertise in naval ship design, including submarine and unconventional vessels. On Trimaran ships he is the author of the most comprehensive set of published learned papers on Trimaran ship design and was interviewed by national media on the first Trimaran ship’s  launch in May 2000. He was also invited to author the multi-hulled vessels chapter in prestigious American SNAME publication “Ship Design and Construction” (2003). His paper on Warship Project Management to the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in 1992 received the comment that the author “is probably the most experienced designer of surface warships in the UK today and, as such, his views ... should be treated with great respect,  ... “.

The production of the SURFCON CAD tool, initiated after his return to UCL in 2000, uses his methodology of the Design Building Block means of graphical representation as a module within GRC Limited’s PARAMARINE ship design suite. This has brought to fruition a more holistic approach to ship design advocated by David for some two decades in the main journals concerned with ship design. The Design Research team he has assembled at UCL over the last decade continues to apply his methodology to many of the critical ship design drivers that were not previously given appropriate attention in the initial stages of ship design. The approach has been applied for industrial partners to Design for Production; identification of naval requirement capabilities; on fast vessels for military and fast integrated transport applications with UK MoD, US Navy and for projects with significant EU and EPSRC funding (totalling some £2M). His seminal medal winning paper in 2003 provoked an extensive written discussion in the RINA Transactions from several very eminent designers and academics, for example: “ an excellent synthetic paper summarising his great experience in ship design and .. his longstanding contributions to ship design, the development of modern design methods and innovative ship design concepts.” Professor A Papanikolaou, Head of Ship Design Laboratory, NTU Athens.

As Chairman of triannual International Marine Design Conference’s Design Methodology Panel, David produced the first State of the Art report on Marine Vehicle Design Methodology in 1997 and the subsequent reports for the 2006 & 2009 IMDCs (and Dfor Layout in 2012). The 2012 article in Proceedings of the Royal Society followed on from two earlier Proceedings papers on design of complex systems and brought together the author’s philosophical investigations (also the subject of a seminar to the RAEng published in 2010) as the international leading authority in marine design methodology. One of the Royal Society article’s referees commented: “ an interesting and insightful analysis. The paper offers an internationally important and useful contribution to the growing body of scientific knowledge about the most technically-difficult design contexts.” The investigations outlined in that paper were drawn on for the invited Keynote Address “Is Marine Design now a Mature Discipline?” given to the IMDC in June 2012.


Teaching Summary

Since taking Flexible Retirement from October 2012 David Andrews now lectures First Year students on Design and on  ship design issues to fourth-year/MSc Naval Architecture students. He also the gives a lecture to the third-year Mechanical Engineering Project course.

Academic Background
1984   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1971   Diploma University College London
1971   Master of Science University College London
1970   Bachelor of Engineering University College London
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