Texas A&M human-powered sub takes fourth


Fifteen ocean engineering students from the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University raced their human-powered submarine, The 12th Mantaray, to fourth place overall with a speed of 5.8 knots at the 13th International Human-Powered Submarine Races (ISR) June 22-26. The ISR, which took place in West Bethesda, Maryland, at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD), saw 27 teams compete, and was hosted by the Foundation for Underwater Research and Education (FURE).

18462873923_3d70bae0d2_o.jpgThe Texas A&M team was made up of Sara Clark, co-team leader, Dylan Sanderson, Kevin Ariyanonthaka, pilot, Melanie Tidwell, Chris Williams, pilot, Alyssa Bennett, Martina Garcia, Ben Torrison, Jake Taylor, Colton Wylie, Raylene Hylland, pilot, Hannah Huezo, Lauren Waldron, David Patterson, co-team leader and pilot, and Amanda Massingill. All four pilots completed several races over the course of the week, and the team took third place in the collegiate division for a one-person propeller submarine and second place in the female pilot category. Patterson’s speed of 5.80 knots broke the all-time Aggie speed record of 5.50 knots set in 2013. Hylland’s performance in the female pilot category saw a top speed of 3.02 knots.

mKSOlfBSzIXa2YUPn21PET5y2BsfyxxLruQ8aQtxedw.jpgAt the end of the weeklong competition, the winning teams were recognized for best overall performance, innovation, speed, best design outline and spirit of the race. This year, teams from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman and United Arab Emirates competed in the races. Each team designs and builds a one- or two-person "wet" submarine, relying upon the principles of hydrodynamic design, buoyancy, propulsion, guidance systems, underwater life support and systems engineering. The teams race the submarines using scuba equipment for a 100-meter stretch in NSWCCD’s 3,200 feet long model basin.

Human-power has been the chosen propulsion plant since the first ISR was held in Florida in 1989 because of its safety, fairness and the unique engineering challenges it provides. The ISR has been hosted at NSWCCD since 1995. Since 1989, the ISR competition has grown to include participation from universities, colleges, corporations, research centers, high schools and privately sponsored teams from all over the world. The purpose of the ISR is to inspire high school and college-age students of various engineering disciplines to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, delve into the broad areas of underwater technology, and provide an educational experience that translates their theoretical knowledge into reality.

The Texas A&M team was sponsored by the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Offshore Technology Research Center, Haynes Coastal Engineering Laboratory, Marine Technology Society (Houston Section), Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (Texas Section), Machine Works, TASCO Auto Color, Classic Collision, Baumann Marine, Oceaneering, Baxter & Knoll, Penske Truck, Texstars, Diab, Duna, OE Reunion, Texan Scuba, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, and InterMoor.

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