The predecessor of the Department of port and waterway engineering is the major of port and hydraulic structures and the major of waterway regulation engineering of Nanjing navigation engineering school founded in 1955. It has rich historical heritage and good social recognition, and has trained a group of senior professionals including academician Lin Ming. The major of port, waterway and coastal engineering includes the site selection, planning, design, development and protection of rivers and coastal areas, and the repair of seawalls, cross sea bridges and coasts in estuaries and coastal zones. It is an applied interdisciplinary subject that serves the national strategies of shipping power and blue land and is closely integrated with intelligent, ecological and environmental protection technologies.

The Department trains students to master the scientific and technological methods and modern technical means for solving engineering problems such as port and waterway engineering, coastal and offshore engineering, and to have the scientific research ability, innovation ability and organizational management ability, so as to become leading talents with national feelings and international vision in the relevant engineering fields of the major.