The Department of Marine Engineering was established in 1974 in the School of Engineering of the then College of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. When the Rivers State University of Science and Technology was established in 1980, it inherited the assets and liabilities of the College and the Department commenced a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) programme in Marine Engineering. It became the first and only University then in Nigeria with a Department that runs Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture programmes at Bachelors and Masters Degree levels. The B.Tech programme is designed to produce Marine Engineers and Naval Architects for the Shipbuilding/Repair Industries, Shipping, Oil and Gas Industries; Fishing Companies; Classification Societies; Navy, etc. Students acquire sound and extensive knowledge in the theory and practice of ship design and construction, ship power plants and equipment design, and repair, maintenance and management of ship power plants, auxiliary machines and ship hull, as well as shipboard management.

Until 1986, most of the very senior academic staff of the Department were recruited from Poland based on a bilateral agreement between this University and the Technical University of Gdansk, Poland. The then Rector of the Gdansk Technical University - Late Professor J. Stalinski was the first Polish staff and Head of the Department in the Faculty of Engineering of the University. He contributed immensely to the development of the Department and was responsible for planning and equipping of the laboratories to an international standard.

In 1984 and 2004 the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN), the body set up by Decree No. 5 of 1970 to control the practices of the engineering profession in Nigeria visited the Department followed by National Universities Commission (NUC) in 1995 and 2000 and gave full accreditation to the Bachelor’s degree programme in Marine Engineering. In 2005, Marine Engineering was the only Department in the Faculty of Engineering that was given full accreditation by NUC. Currently the programme is fully accredited.

The Department has well equipped laboratories for the specialized courses in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. It has close association with Nigeria’s shipbuilding and offshore structures construction / repair yard - the Nigerdock Nigeria PLC, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping – EMEA and the Institute of Marine Engineers, Science and Technology, London. The Department has effectively maintained the requirements needed for the award of a very good degree in Marine Engineering to achieve the realization of our national needs and the aspiration of a developing nation for the maritime industry. 

 Presently, the Department runs programmes that lead to the award of B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD degrees and PGD Certificates in Marine Engineering. The undergraduate programme is designed to provide fundamental knowledge and then deepen the students’ grasp of Marine Engineering. It also introduces them to the techniques and tools of research; develops in them the spirit of enquiry and generally prepares them to face challenges and solve problems in the field of Marine Engineering and related disciplines.