Qualifying teams announced for human-powered submarine races (eISR 2018)

Associations, IMarEST, Underwater Shipping — By on June 19, 2018 at 9:31 PM

Submarine-4 UVIC

In July, university teams from around the world will travel to QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin in Gosport, UK to compete in the fourth biennial European International Submarine Races. This unique engineering and sporting challenge has students design, build and race human-powered submarines in a demanding underwater slalom course.

There are only 12 places on the starting line, and the competition began eleven months ago as teams vied to qualify for those coveted starting spots. 18 teams from Europe, the US and Canada powered through countless sleepless nights to design, build and test their submarines. The twelfth spot was hard-won: in the design equivalent of a photo-finish, three teams cleared the last of the reporting hurdles almost simultaneously – cries of joy and anguish went up across Europe as the Final Twelve were announced. Four Canadian, five American, and three European teams from the Netherlands, Germany and Poland will compete in July for the eISR cup, a carved glass sculpture depicting Alexander the Great testing the world’s first submarine in the Bosporus.

1: Technical University of Delft; Wasub 8

2: Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal; Archimede 6

3: Florida Atlantic University; HPS Atlantic

4: University of Victoria; Chinook

5: Ecole de Technologie Superieure; Omer 11

6: Technical University of Gdansk; Nautilus

7: University of Michigan; Bluefin

8: Rhine Waal University; Rivershark

9: University of British Columbia; Skookumchuk 4

10: Texas A&M University; Hullabalooga

11: University of California, San Diego; Vaquita

12: University of Washington; Knotty Dawg


The excitement of the races draws talented engineers into the marine sector and cultivates the essential skills, such as leadership, problem-solving and working to strict deadlines, they will eventually require in their careers. The event also helps create a larger pool of highly-skilled and creative graduates to meet industry needs.

The imagination and inventiveness of the submarine designs is a unique way to inspire schoolchildren to go into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. In its previous editions, the event’s impact has been amplified through extensive media coverage by leading news organisations and through an Open Day held in parallel to the competition. The Open Day includes fun interactive science and engineering activities for kids and a marine engineering-themed Careers Fair for older students. There will be backstage opportunities to meet the student teams and see how a submarine works up close.

IMarEST is a partner in the UK’s Year of Engineering, a campaign to encourage young people to consider a career in engineering and help mitigate the shortfall currently being experienced in this profession. Engineering UK’s 2018 report found that 61% of businesses are anxious about a lack of applicants to fill their high-skilled jobs. It forecasts more than 124,000 additional engineers and technicians with core engineering skills are will be needed each year for the next decade. Through initiatives such as the submarine race and its 5-Year Graduate Pathway (an early career support plan), the IMarEST is committed to closing this skills gap and meeting its strategic goal of supporting the development and sustainability of the marine sector.

The European International Submarine Races and associated Open Day are the IMarEST’s flagship student event. The 2018 races are sponsored by QinetiQDefence Equipment & SupportBabcock InternationalBAE SystemsNational Oceanography CentreSociety for Underwater Technology and MLA College and supported by Royal NavyMarine SocietySea Cadets UK and Incredible Oceans

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