This year’s lineup also included teams from the University of Washingto n,
Each team in the competition was allowed a limited length of time to make as many runs as possible through an underwater “speed trap” where Model ing Basin cameras and timers generated the official results. The importance of d esign and practice were apparent throughout the competition as some submarines z ipped the length of the pool in fairly straight lines, while others occasionally veered off course, struck a side or bottom of the pool, or surfaced before reac hing the finish line.
The team from Virginia Tech entered a non-propeller craft with the curved bow of a mechanical squid and the tail of a mechanical dolphin. The Virginia Tech s ub set a Guinness World Record speed of 4.110 mph in the one-person non-propelle r driven class, narrowly surpassing the old record in that category set by a UCS D team in 2000.
The 2002 UCSD team switched to a propeller-driven model that they dubbed R 20;Inviscid,” a scientific term for frictionless flow. This year’s t eam modified Inviscid to maintain its strengths while fixing minor flaws. “ ;We’ve tried to keep our submarine simple and robust,” said John McC ague, captain of this year’s UCSD team and a senior in mechanical engineer ing at the Jacobs School. He chose to study mechanical engineering at UCSD partl y out of a desire to participate in the submarine race.
In addition to McCague, the undergraduates on this year’s UCSD team inc luded Patrick Anibaldi, Landon Carlson, Ilya Gavrilyuk, Billy Middleton, and Dan iel Smith. Soren Harrison and Thomas Phillips were senior team members, Ray Sera ydarian was the UCSD faculty advisor, and Tomas Malphus was the senior non-facul ty advisor.
Each team member who entered the water during the 2004 Human Powered Submarin e Contest was required to be dive certified, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and a full-time student. The annual competition is sponsored by ASME to provide college-level students with an opportunity to appl y what they’ve learned in the classroom to a challenging real-world situat ion. Students must not only design and build their submarines, but they must als o raise roughly $20,000 to $30,000 in outside funding to build their subs from s cratch. They also must learn to work as part of a team in a variety of situation s.
This year’s awards were based on measured speed, innovative design, saf ety consciousness, and construction and operation. In addition to winning the fa stest one-person propeller-driven category, the UCSD team won a second place awa rd for operation of its sub, and third place awards for both safety consciousnes s and sub manufacture. “Everybody is so friendly. There is no cut-throat c ompetition,” said Ray Seraydarian, the UCSD faculty supervisor of this yea r’s UCSD team. “It’s fun for everybody to see how each of the teams has solved problems faced by all of us.”