Professor and two students utilizing engineering equipment


Department of Computer Science, Engineering & Mathematics

Gerald R. Prendergast, PhD


Dr. Prendergast obtained his MS degree and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, CA.  His research studies focused on the modeling and simulation of underwater explosions and the resulting low frequency whipping response of nearby surface ships.  He also holds an MS degree in Education from Old Dominion University and received his BS degree in General Engineering from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. 

Prior to joining the faculty at University of South Carolina at Aiken, Dr. Prendergast served in the US Navy as a nuclear-trained surface warfare and engineering duty officer for more than 20 years.  During his naval career, he primarily served in the operations, maintenance, and program management of aircraft carriers, to include tours on USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) and USS ABRAHAM LINCON (CVN 72).  He also held positions of leadership at the Pentagon, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and in the Future Aircraft Carriers Program Office (PMS 378). 

Courses Taught

Courses scheduled to teach in 2018 - 2019


ENCP A101 Introduction to Engineering I

ELCT A221 Circuits

ENCP A200 Statics

ENCP A380 Introduction to Systems Engineering 


ENCP A102 Introduction to Engineering II

ENCP A260 Introduction to Mechanics of Solids

ENCP A330 Introduction to Vibrations


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, 2010

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School, 2004

M.S. in Education, Old Dominion University, 2000

B.S., General Engineering w/ minor in Secondary Education, 1992

Professional Memberships

American Society of Engineering Education

American Society of Naval Engineers

Research Interests

As an Engineering Duty Office in the US Navy, Dr. Prendergast’s previous research interests centered on the survivability of naval warships, with a specific focus on the whipping response of surface ships following an underwater explosion. 

Having retired from the Navy in 2017, Dr. Prendergast is now shifting his research to investigate methods to improve the effectiveness of engineering education.


Prendergast, G. R., & Kwon, Y. W. (2010). "Optimizing the Modeling and Simulation of Underwater Explosion Gas Bubble Dynamics in the DYSMAS Hydrocode". Paper presented at the 81st Shock and Vibration Symposium held in Orlando, FL and hosted by the Shock and Vibration Information Analysis Center (SAVIAC).

Prendergast, G. R., & Kwon, Y. W. (2010). "Underwater Explosion Whipping Response of Monohull vs Trimaran Vessels".  Paper presented at SAVIAC’s 81st Shock and Vibration Symposium held in Orlando, FL.

Prendergast, G. R., Shin, Y. S., & Harris, G. S. (2007). "Whipping Analyses of the DDG-51 Class Full Ship Model".  Paper presented at SAVIAC’s 78th Shock and Vibration Symposium held in Philadelphia, PA.