Human Powered Submarine Races Under-Way

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The 2nd European International Submarine Races are now under-way at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin at Haslar, Gosport – Europe’s biggest covered water freshwater space. Nearly 100 students from ten universities around the world are jockeying for position in this unique engineering and sporting event, which sees pilots in SCUBA gear pedalling furiously in their totally submerged submarine around the huge tank, which is the size of an international soccer pitch.

Teams have come to take part in these human-powered races in the submarines they have designed and built from École Polytechnique de Montréal (with Archimède), and École de Technologie Supérieure (with Omer 9) from Canada; Rhine Waal University of Applied Sciences (with Inia) from Germany; University of Delft (with WASUB 4) from the Netherlands; University of Auckland (with Taniwha) from New Zealand; University of Michigan (with Odyssey) and University of Washington (with Laurie Belle) from the USA; and three teams from the UK with University of Bath (with Menrva), University of Plymouth (with Mayflower), and University of Warwick (with HPS Shakespeare).

Some are coming with two-man subs, others with the more traditional one-man one in order to take part in this exciting engineering and sporting challenge; all can be sure of one thing – a highly stimulating week that will put their skills thoroughly to the test.

The judges, headed by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hill will be judging them on overall speed, on the week’s top speed, and on agility, innovation and on the best presentation. Full information on the course; and on the awards is at

The sponsors

The races – which last all week – are sponsored by QinetiQ, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the Babcock Group, BMT Defence Services, and James Fisher Defence; with BAE Systems the most recent sponsor to pledge their support.

“We are delighted to sponsor the European International Submarine Races”, says Tony Burbridge, Engineering & Commissioning Director, BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines. “Submarines are one of the most complex challenges known to man, so it's fantastic to see such enthusiasm for engineering events such as this.” He goes on to explain: “At BAE Systems, we engineer, manufacture and support the innovations that strengthen security at home and around the world.  For generations, we’ve delivered advanced defence, aerospace and security solutions that keep our nation at the forefront of modern capability. Our people manage some of today’s toughest challenges, delivering the most complex programmes.

“Our story is about 32,800 people in the United Kingdom who work on innovations that make us safer, manufacturing that builds our prosperity, and exports that bolster our economy and strengthen our allies around the world. That’s work that inspires us.  That’s work that protects lives and builds strong nations.  That’s BAE Systems.”

Open Day at eISR

On Wednesday 9 July, the eISR plays host to a Graduate Fair and series of Master Classes, with a stimulating range of speakers including Huw James, the adventurer, astronomer and outdoors enthusiast, who will wrap up the day (full programme attached).

The evening before will see an IMarEST Stanley Gray Lecture ‘Vision, Calamity and Perseverance: From Early Submarines to Autonomous Submersible’ being given by Gwyn Griffiths, Principal & Founder, Autonomous Analytics,  takes place to coincide with one of the eISR networking events being held at the RN Submarine Museum, Gosport. Registration for the Open Day is free of charge but has now closed. To register for the IMarEST Stanley Gray Lecture is also free to attend, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – further information at

School visits

On Thursday in the afternoon from 13:00 to 15:00 schools including Brune Park, Chamberlayne and Henry Cort have accepted the invitation to come along to see what excitement an engineering degree could bring them in future years.