Major Sponsors Support Human Powered Submarine Races

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The Lloyds Register Foundation and the Babcock Group have come on board to support twelve teams of University engineering students from six countries on three continents who will be taking part in an exciting engineering and sporting challenge in four months’ time.

The five-day long second biennial European International Submarine Races (eISR) will take place 7-11 July at the biggest covered fresh water space in Europe - QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin at Gosport, England.

Having designed and built their submarines, the teams from Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, USA and UK will race them flooded, piloted and pedalled by a scuba diver, competing against the clock, around a demanding slalom course in the tank which measures 122m x 61m and is 5.5m deep (approximately the size of an international soccer pitch). The teams will be aiming to improve their times continuously over the course of the week, as they make vital adjustments to their submarines (maybe even rebuilding them), proving they can rise to demanding engineering challenges.

 “The Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the Babcock Group have joined our growing number of sponsors who also include QinetiQ, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST),” says Race Director, Prof William Megill, FIMarEST. “The support of all four organisations is greatly appreciated.”

Lloyd’s Register Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.

“I am delighted that Lloyd’s Register Foundation is supporting the European International Submarine Races 2014,” says Professor Richard Clegg, Managing Director, Lloyd’s Register Foundation. “The students taking part gain valuable educational experience in engineering as well as finding out what it’s like to develop winning technology in a collaborative and competitive environment, with a focus on making sure their product is safe and reliable.”

Jeff Owen, Director Capability & Future Business Babcock International Group explains: “Babcock International Group is delighted to be supporting the European International Submarine Races.  We attended the event in 2012 and recognised that it is a great opportunity to show our commitment to developing young engineers, and an excellent way of raising the awareness of the fact that the marine industry offers tremendous technology and engineering challenges to inspire future engineers.

“The races offer a great opportunity for young engineers to demonstrate how they apply the theory of their undergraduate course into practical engineering development, in a competitive team environment.

“With our business growing internationally, we are delighted to see teams entering from across the globe, giving us an opportunity to network with future engineering talent from countries which have a Babcock International Group business.”

About the teams
The teams taking part this year are École Polytechnique de Montréal with Archimède, École de Technologie Supérieure, the 2012 overall winners, with Omer 9 and University of British Columbia with Skookumerchuk all from Canada; Rhine Waal University of Applied Sciences from Germany with Inia; University of Delft from the Netherlands with WASUB 4; University of Auckland from New Zealand with Taniwha; University of Michigan with Odyssey, and University of Washington with Laurie Belle both from the USA; and four teams from the UK with University of Bath with Menrva, University of Plymouth, University of Southampton with ROGER (Running On Green Energy Research), and University of Warwick with their aptly named HPS Shakespeare.

The eISR judging panel will be chaired by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hill, KBE, FIMarEST and comprises experienced submarine engineers. As well as the overall award to the fastest, most manoeuvrable submarine, there will be other awards made including the week’s fastest sprint speed, agility, and the most innovative design. There is also an award for the best presentation.

Graduate fair and master classes
On 9 July the eISR will play host to a graduate fair and to master classes covering underwater technology in all its guises; and formal and informal social events will take place throughout the week.

Capturing the imagination of school pupils – and company guests
Schools and engineering clubs in and around the Gosport area will be invited to see parts of the races. “We want to show budding young engineers just how exciting it can be to take a concept from the paper and computer stage right through every element of building and then put it to the test under competition rules – we’d like to inspire them to consider marine engineering degrees as a result of the eISR,” says William Megill.”We will also be inviting guests from military and civilian organisations to see for themselves the astonishing capabilities of the students.”