Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia

The cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a rocky outcropping off the coast of Italy and partially sank.

Wrecked, aground and listing at about 70 degrees, with used lifeboats in foreground

position of wreck on the shore

Profile of stranded wreck with oil booms around it

Securing wreck site and protecting environment is an ongoing problem. The ship must be moved before it does any more damage to the fragile coast or breaks up and can not be removed by sea. details

The video describes the current situation and the plans to re-float the Costa Concordia. Once upright, and stabilized with vast floatation chambers, the ship will be towed to a shipyard where it will be taken apart for scrap.

You are on the engineering team that will plan and oversee the work. Your job is to ensure that important elements of the operation are not overlooked. The information in the video and images as well as web resources are available.

QFocus : Right and re-float the cruise ship Costa Concordia

  • QFT question-storming – open, closed, prioritize, 3 that best address need for a new design
  • select one question to work through the Engineering Design process steps

ASK – identify the problem

  • The ship can’t stay where it is.
  • It may break apart in a big storm.
  • There is fragile coast line around its location.
  • The ocean is really deep just a few miles away.

IMAGINE – brainstorm, explore similar solutions, possible improvements, materials, methods, new ideas

  • what has to happen, how would you do this

PLAN – design, work out what it takes to build, any special tools, prototype, scale model, mathematical model, CAD

  • what are some of the challenges, what would you need to know more about

CREATE – build it, try it out – test it, use it

  • how would you do this

IMPROVE – make it better, additional features

  • a simpler solution
  • a more complex solution


  • vocabulary, concepts – leavers, buoyancy, metallurgy,

Learn more…