A team of engineering students from Warwick University has been awarded first prize for innovation at the 2015 International Submarine Races (ISR).
The competition, which took place at the Carderock Naval Facility in Maryland, USA, involved the team designing and building a one-person pedal-powered submarine, and taking on 30 international teams in a series of challenges. Being on this side of the Atlantic, the Warwick students faced the additional challenge of designing their sub so that it could be transported to the competition by air.
“We managed to reduce flight costs by designing a ‘fold away’ submarine,” explained Richard Freeman, the team’s project leader. “The chassis can be dismantled into four separate sections and can be packed up into a far smaller crate.”
After arriving safely in the US, the team and the sub competed in a week-long series of events including both straight line and slalom courses. The overall winner was decided based on a range of criteria, such as design, manufacture, performance and lessons learned. Individual prizes were awarded for speed, agility, presentation, and innovation.
As well as taking top honours in the innovation category, Warwick received an honourable mention in the Best Design Report Award, taking home $1,000 in prize money. This year’s event marks just the second time the team has competed in ISR, having finished second in the UK and fourth in the world in 2014.