Engineering students qualify for International Underwater Robotics Competition

A group of engineering students from across the faculty have qualified for the finals of the International Underwater Robotics competition organised by the Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre (MATE) at Long Beach City College in California.

Under the supervision of Dr. Plato Kapranos, Senior University Teacher for Materials Science, the students are tasked with designing and building a remotely operated submarine to solve problems based on real-life situations faced by seaports and how robots can help address these problems.

Out of 65 teams from 17 different countries competing, the engineering students are the first team from England to enter the competition and the only team from the UK competing in the advanced category. The team was formed by a group of nine students from the departments of Automatic Control & Systems Engineering, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Kapranos said: “We are grateful for the support we have received from our sponsors as it has made possible the forming of this group, named Avalon after the legendary island in Arthurian legend, and the design and manufacture of the underwater robot representing Sheffield and Britain, aptly named ‘Cuppa’. This has already been a fruitful exercise for the students from the point of ‘learning by doing’ and the actual competition in California promises to be a fantastic experience for this group of young Sheffield Engineers. Of course winning a trophy would be the icing on the cake.”

The project has been funded by the Faculty's Outreach fund; the ACSE, EEE, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Departments that contributed towards travel & accommodation in the US; the Alumni fund; USE and Thales.