Ship designers use experience and standards to guide their solutions to technical problems. Automation and optimization algorithms, despite their limited exposure in the maritime industry, could reduce this effort and help make trade-offs between new technologies. Marine electrical systems are procedurally designed with repetitive calculations, while marine power plants are designed by best practices and time-intensive trade-off studies. We developed a marine engineering design tool that aids with electrical system and power plant design, combining automation and optimization to minimize engineering time. This tool could prove valuable for the concept phase of ship design, allowing engineers to draft and evaluate options quickly and easily. We demonstrated that automation and optimization are applicable to complex design problems in the marine industry and accessible at the undergraduate level.

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