Marine Engineering - Systems Design & Development 

Gibbs & Cox applies the fundamentals of system engineering processes to all of our projects.  As a full service, multi-discipline engineering and design services provider, we are uniquely qualified to not only support the identification and definition of requirements, the selection of appropriate verification and validation means, and the integration of these elements into fully compliant systems, but also to ensure that the impacts to surrounding systems are well understood and ensure the performance of the overall platform.

Typical System Engineering projects within Gibbs & Cox include:

  • Research and Development
  • Functional System Development
  • Engineering and Design Integration
  • Performance Assessment
  • Test and Trial Support
sample image 1.jpg

Research & Development

Gibbs & Cox continues to provide level of effort support to U.S. Navy and industry research and development activities with an emphasis on total ship concept development and in integrating advanced systems into the shipboard environment.  Our total ship concept development spans:

  • Displacement monohulls
  • Advanced semi-planing and planing hulls
  • Multi-hulls

Gibbs & Cox experience in advanced or high performance ships and craft involves early phase development; which includes not only total ship designs but development of algorithms and other basic technology for input to the design process. Throughout these ongoing efforts, Gibbs & Cox continues to be in the forefront of Hull, Mechanical & Electrical (HM&E) system development and technology improvements.  Our expertise in understanding the detail design challenges of implementing new technologies into the demanding environment of a naval combatant allow us to add value to research and development activities by identifying design features that, when incorporated, will make the developmental systems easier to integrate into the ship.  Gibbs & Cox utilizes an extensive suite of software tools to develop and optimize hullforms, while maintaining the ability to perform such tasks through traditional means.

Among the advanced technologies Gibbs & Cox has supported the development of are:

  • Integrated Power Systems
  • Advanced Degaussing Systems
  • Composite materials
  • Hybrid electric propulsion systems
  • Highly producible modular designs
  • Zonal power and auxiliary systems architectures
  • Renewable energy
  • Advanced high-power weapons and sensors


Test and Trials Support

Gibbs & Cox routinely supports tests and trials for government, industry (commercial) and private (recreational) clients.  This support can be performed in a variety of environments:

  •  in equipment manufacturing facilities (for factory acceptance testing)
  • at land-based test facilities (for proof of concept testing) in the shipyard (for equipment and system tests)
  • pier-side (for full system operational testing)
  • at sea for full ship trials. 

Engineering, design and program management personnel participating in these tests gain firsthand knowledge of any operational challenges, and can work to resolve any issues identified on the spot.

Functional System Development

Gibbs & Cox has a history of evolving ship system designs from early-stage feasibility studies to fully engineered and designed systems documented by detailed fabrication drawings.  The key to our success in functional system development is the application of a phased-development process, where the level of detail associated with the system design is gradually increased for each successive design product before the start of Detail Design.  This process has been successfully executed on every Gibbs & Cox total ship detail design program, and features the development of a variety of design and engineering products, including:

  • System diagrams from concept to production-level
  • Engineering calculation packages
  • Inquiry specifications for system components (to request data from vendors)
  • Build Specifications for system fabrication and installation
  • Purchase Specifications for procurement of components
  • Fabrication drawings for each system, including detailed component arrangements and complete bills of material

Gibbs & Cox utilizes an extensive suite of software as part of our functional system development process. Our software suite ranges from word processors, spreadsheets, and graphics tools to more elaborate computer-aided design and engineering tools.

Gibbs & Cox has applied this functional system development process to a number of recent programs, including:

  • Littoral Combat Ship
  • DDG 51 Flight IIA
  • Australian Air Warfare Destroyer
  • T-AKE Contract Design
  • T-AGM(R) Preliminary Design
  • DD 21/DD(X) Blue Team

Engineering & Design Integration

Gibbs & Cox leverages our shipboard detail design experience and applies that practical knowledge to our early stage engineering and design projects.  In addition, there are a number of technical disciplines that span the full spectrum from initial concept and feasibility studies to full detail designs, including:

  • Configuration Management
  • Reliability and Maintainability
  • System Safety
  • Environmental Safety and Occupational Health
  • Noise, Shock and Vibration Engineering
  • Topside Design and Arrangement
  • Human Factors/Human Engineering

Gibbs & Cox is a recognized leader in the fields of noise, shock and vibration engineering for shipboard applications.  Our expertise in the design and engineering of ships and ship systems installations to withstand the rigors of near-miss underwater explosions is unparalleled. Some noise, shock and vibration tasks typically performed by Gibbs & Cox include:

  • Airborne noise predictions
  • Ship radiated noise predictions
  • Resilient mount specification and application engineering
  • Noise requirements and specifications development
  • Application of advanced isolation techniques
  • Dynamic Design Analysis Method (DDAM) Shock Analysis
  • Transient Shock Analysis
  • Shock trial grooming inspections
  • Test procedure development
  • Test and trials planning and support
  • Post-test inspection, documentation and analysis
  • Shafting, equipment and hull girder vibration analysis

Performance Assessment

Gibbs & Cox, Inc. has a number of programs available to support performance assessment of ship designs. Our broad range of experience covers assessment of conceptual designs all the way through evaluation of existing platforms. Gibbs & Cox, Inc. can offer a range of solutions to optimize a ship based on the customer’s requirements. Prediction of speed-power characteristics is achieved using NAVCAD, ASSET, and the G&C developed program SPEED. Sea keeping is evaluated using VisualSMP, which produces polar plots of the operational envelope of a candidate ship though a range of speeds and headings. Maneuvering prediction is conducted using AGILESHIP which, when combined with NAVCAD, becomes a powerful design tool for the development of rudder and propeller sets. Gibbs & Cox, Inc. also uses specialized software to analyze the radar cross-signature of a candidate design to influence the topside arrangements of the ship. We also make use of the 3D visualization software RHINO in working
with compartment arrangements and for aiding in human systems integration.

We work with model test facilities the world over to plan for and conduct model tests to verify speed-power, stability, sea keeping and maneuvering characteristics.


Human Factors

Gibbs & Cox, Inc. has been applying human engineering principles in the development of our designs for decades. The purpose of implementing human engineering design criteria, principles and practices is to achieve a superior design through the integration of the human into the system being designed. Human engineering principles are based on standard human ergonomic criteria, accounting for free volume for movements of people as they perform operations and maintenance in normal and emergency conditions.

Human engineering design criteria provides for adequate physical, visual and auditory links between personnel and personnel and their equipment. As we apply human engineering principles to our projects, the elements of achieving system effectiveness, safety and ease of operation and maintenance becomes ingrained in our design products. Gibbs & Cox, Inc. also uses the human engineering principles in the quality checks accomplished through the design control process. This insures that the design product is developed with human engineering principles and evaluated with the same principles. The ultimate result is a system design that is tailored to achieve the mission of the system through the integration of the human into the system.

Gibbs & Cox, Inc. can provide customers with tailored human engineering criteria to fit a particular mission or project. We are very familiar with the human engineering requirements of the U.S. Navy. Their high standard of personnel safety, ease of system operation and desire for easily maintained equipment has become our standard in the application of human engineering principles. This value added element of engineering and design can improve any system oriented project.