Women Engineers Play Key Role in Submarine Races

Posted By Gabby DelGatto
Monday, June 23, 2014

MOre than 100 young people from 11 universities from six countries on three continents gather to take part in the European International Submarine Races. The event organizers are celebrating National Women in Engineering Day by highlighting the strength the involvement of women had in teams.

“Twenty percent of the participants are women, and we celebrate the complete equality of roles in the teams,” says Race Director, Prof William Megill. “Some will have taken a very active role in the design of their submarine, which will be racing against the clock fully submerged with the pilot in SCUBA gear pedaling round a grueling slalom course. Some will act as pilot, while others will play pivotal roles in the event. In fact, three teams are led by women engineers, and one by a woman dive master.

Whether from home or overseas, they all come to enjoy competing against each other in a unique sporting and engineering challenge, in Europe’s largest fresh water space.

“Perhaps the view of Talia Sherrard from the Southampton University team with their sub ROGER (Running On Green Energy Research) best sums up their attitudes, she says: ‘I am really excited to be part of the Southampton team competing in the eISR. We have a great group from a diverse range of backgrounds and research areas that I can’t wait to see what such a multidisciplinary team can produce. We are all enthusiastic and looking forward to this fun new challenge ahead. I am sure that the women in all the other teams would thoroughly agree, and we look forward to meeting them in just a couple of weeks’ time in Gosport.”
Women are also represented on the races’ expert judging panel. Liz Whitrow, a naval architect with BMT/Program Manager for Canadian Victoria Class submarines, reprises her role again this year as a portion of the five-member panel, led by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hill. 

“And it doesn’t end there,” adds Megill. “Our student-led video reporting team is all women.”
Teams and submarine names
Teams competing for the 2014 awards are: École Polytechnique de Montréal, and École de Technologie Supérieure from Canada; Rhine Waal University of Applied Sciences from Germany; University of Delft from the Netherlands; University of Auckland from New Zealand; University of Michigan and University of Washington from the USA; and four teams from the UK with University of Bath, University of Plymouth, University of Southampton, and University of Warwick.

Their submarines (in university order) are Archimède, Omer 9, Inia, WASUB 4, Taniwha, Odyssey, Laurie Belle, Menrva, Mayflower, ROGER (Running On Green Energy Research), and HPS Shakespeare.
Open Day at eISR
On Wednesday 9 July, the eISR plays host to a Graduate Fair and series of Master Classes (open to all)  with a stimulating range of speakers including: Huw James, the adventurer, astronomer and outdoor enthusiast; and IMarEST Stanley Gray. Admission to the Open Day is free of charge to all, but registration at www.subrace.eu/careers-fair  is imperative. To register for the IMarEST Stanley Gray Lecture, which is also free to attend, email events@imarest.org.
The eISR is 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.


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