FAU's Human Powered Submarine Team Competes in 13th International Submarine Race

Submarine Race

Florida Atlantic University's Human Powered Submarine (HPS) team won the second fastest time in the two-person category at the 13th International Submarine Race (ISR) at the David Taylor Model Basin, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD), West Bethesda, Maryland.

The FAU team entered the two-person propeller driven submarine, FAU-Boat II with ocean engineering students MacKenzie McGukin and Catherine Streit navigating the 100 meter straight underwater course. The FAU-Boat II, reached a speed of 1.97 knots, making them the second fastest team in this category. Due to technical difficulties the team was not able to enter the more popular one-person category for this competition.

"The team faced many challenges at this ISR but they never gave up," said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., chair of the FAU department of ocean and mechanical engineering. "Being able to develop teamwork skills and utilize the engineering knowledge they are learning in a hands-on event are invaluable lessons that our students will be able to take away with them after they graduate."

The 11-person team made up of all ocean engineering students with the exception of Joey Ingicco, a mechanical engineering major included Streit; McGuckin; Daniel Luvisi; Broc Dunlap; Michael Perry; Will Wiard; John McGinn; Jon Bryant; Corey Page and John Denton. The team was also was guided by team advisor and FAU machinist, Anthony LaVigne and Fred Knapp, FAU senior lab teaching instructor.

"Most of our team are new to the HPS competitions," said Luvisi. "Based on what we've learned at this event we plan on modifying our techniques and updating our vehicles to better prepare for the next competition and continue on the FAU HPS legacy."

The goal of the race is to design and build a one or two-person underwater vehicle, using the principles of hydrodynamic design, buoyancy, propulsion, guidance systems, underwater life support and systems engineering. The teams race their vehicles using SCUBA equipment in NSWCCD's 3,200 foot-long model basin. At the end of the week-long competition, the winning teams are recognized for best overall performance, innovation, speed, best use of composite materials and spirit of the race. The 23 teams that participated this year comprised of local and international high school and college students from the United States, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Oman, Russia, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

About the FAU Human Powered Submarine Team Competitions:
The submarine race is a contest that was originally launched by FAU Ocean Engineering off the Riviera Beach coast in 1989,and has grown to include the participation of universities, colleges, corporations, research centers, high schools and privately sponsored teams from all over the world. Later, the competition was moved to the David Taylor Model Basin, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD). FAU set its first official speed record in the International Submarine Race (ISR) in June 1994. At the eighth ISR in 2005, the team placed second overall in performance, claiming six out of nine possible awards while breaking FAU’s fastest time with 6.1 knots with a 15-year-old retiring submarine and former Guinness Book world record holder. In 2009 and 2011 the team won first place for speed and second place in the overall competition at the 10th and 11th ISRs. In 2012, the Talon 1, navigated a 175-meter slalom or zigzag course to win for agility, the Overall Runner-Up award and had the fastest lap on the second day of racing at the 1st European International Submarine Race (eISR) at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin testing facility in Haslar, Gosport, England. hps.fau.edu

July 21, 2015