Carnegie Mellon University
June 24, 2013

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Engineering Students Compete in International Human-Powered Submarine Races

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /
Event: A team of Carnegie Mellon University engineering students will take the plunge at the 12th annual International Human-Powered Submarine Races (ISR) developed to showcase the principles of hydrodynamic design.

"This is our first time to enter, and we are extremely excited about the competition," said Nicholas Harrington, a CMU sophomore in mechanical engineering from Miami. Other team members include 2013 CMU alums Bradley Schneider, Jayon Wang and Siri Ramos. 

The CMU participants will compete against 20 teams from the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany and Oman in a competition judged on how teams design and build a one- to two-person "wet" submarine, relying on the principles of buoyancy, propulsion, guidance systems and underwater life support, and systems engineering. The CMU team is participating in the one-man non-propeller category. Other categories include one- and two-man propeller driven and non-propeller driven.

"Our entry, Carnegie Aquanauts, consists of a polycarbonate shell, a yellow air tank, a grey tube that fills with air for buoyancy, a metal emergency release buoy and handles, and a black neoprene skirt for hydro dynamics," Harrington said.

Since 1989, the competition has grown to include participation from universities, colleges, corporations, research centers, high schools and privately sponsored teams worldwide. The teams race the homemade submarines in a 3,200 foot-long model basin at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. The event is hosted by the Foundation for Underwater Research and Education.

At the end of the weeklong competition, winning teams will be recognized for best overall performance, innovation, speed, best use of composite materials and the spirit of the race.

When: June 24-28

Where: David Taylor Model Basin, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, West Bethesda, Md.