88297 - Harbour Engineering

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Gender equality Clean water and sanitation Decent work and economic growth Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The course focuses on the design and management of coastal structures and harbors, as well as the assessment of their environmental impact and sustainability. Tools for the analysis and design of coastal defenses, onshore approach facilities and harbors (docks, breakwater etc) will be discussed. Student will learn how to assess sea forcings (waves, currents) and design coastal structures in the presence of climate change and human impacted environment.

Course contents

The teacher will adopt an innovative approach to learning, which makes extensive use of interaction with students. Accordingly, students will be given the optional opportunity of delivering presentations to the class and the public, developing software, preparing open source contributions to be published on the web, substitute the final assessment of learning with a continuous time and interactive verification. The educational approach adopted by the teacher takes the technical application as the central thread of the lectures. An intensive interaction with the students will be established through web based discussions (see also https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/155 and https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/60. An example of tutorial is given at https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/130).

The lectures include: (1) Introduction to coastal and harbor engineering; (2) The coastal environment and terminology; (3) Coastal protection; (4) harbour layout, shore infrastructure and utilities; (5) Fundamentals of port structures design, design codes, guidelines and functional requirements; (8) Salt water intrusion; (9) Climate change impact and mitigation.

Computer based exercises will be developed which will focus on technical applications.


The teachers will prepare dynamic documents to support the learning process, which will be made available in the form of open web pages, which will be open to interactive contribution by students (see https://www.albertomontanari.it/?q=node/130).

Teaching methods

Students should preliminarily possess knowledge of ocean engineering and in particular wave theory.

The course is taught through lectures. Part of them are dedicated to the solution of practical exercises, that are developed at the computer.

Assessment methods

If the student opts for the traditional assessment of learning, the preparation of the student will be assessed through an oral colloquium whose duration is about 30 minutes. The student may present at the exam a brief report of the exercises that were developed during the course. Students are asked to reply to 3-4 questions focusing on the topics that were treated during the lectures. Students may be asked to solve a short exercise. The exam is passed if the student proves to be prepared on the theoretical principles and analytical derivations that were taught during the lectures. The teacher will explicitly mention to students during the lectures what are the basic questions that one needs to rigorously address in order to pass the exam. The speaking capability will also be evaluated but it is not a cause of failure. The laude is reserved to students who are excellently prepared and prove to have integrated their preparation with personal in-depth analysis.

If the student opts for the continuous assessment of learning, teacher will propose to student activities with interaction among students and the professor. These activities will be continuously evaluated. After the completion of the lectures teacher will propose an evaluation of the above interactive activities, which may lead to proposing a final mark without the need for the student to take a full final exam (a shortened exam may be proposed if the interaction was not fully developed). If the evaluation of the interactive activities is not satisfactory the student will be allowed to take the final exam according to the traditional assessment.

Teaching tools

The teachers will made available notes on the web. Scientific papers will be distributed during the lectures as well as summaries of recent research outcomes.

Lectures will be delivered with the physical presence of the teacher and will also be made available via online streaming.

Moreover, the teachers make available videos of the lectures at http://www.youtube.com/user/albertomontanari/videos?view=1.

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Montanari

See the website of Renata Archetti