Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Miltiadis Kotinis

Committee Member

Sushil Chaturvedi

Committee Member

Ayodeji Demuren

Committee Member

Resit Unal


In this thesis, a framework for the analysis and design optimization of ship propellers is developed. This framework can be utilized as an efficient synthesis tool in order to determine the main geometric characteristics of the propeller but also to provide the designer with the capability to optimize the shape of the blade sections based on their specific criteria.

A hybrid lifting-line method with lifting-surface corrections to account for the three-dimensional flow effects has been developed. The prediction of the correction factors is achieved using Artificial Neural Networks and Support Vector Regression. This approach results in increased approximation accuracy compared to existing methods and allows for extrapolation of the correction factor values. The effect of viscosity is implemented in the framework via the coupling of the lifting line method with the open-source RANSE solver OpenFOAM for the calculation of lift, drag and pressure distribution on the blade sections using a transition κ-ω SST turbulence model.

Case studies of benchmark high-speed propulsors are utilized in order to validate the proposed framework for propeller operation in open-water conditions but also in a ship’s wake.