At Subsea Expo, Subsea UK has announced that it will sponsor an initiative which inspires budding subsea engineers for a second year.
The body which represents the US$13.1 billion (£9 billion) subsea industry has now committed over $29,000 (£20,000) to the Scottish MATE ROV competition. The initiative, organized by the Robert Gordon University (RGU), encourages young engineers to design and test underwater machinery with help from industry mentors.
Subsea UK joins BP, which has supported the competition since its first year, as headline sponsors, with ROVOP and The Underwater Centre in Fort William providing additional support.
The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used underwater in the oil and gas, defense, oceanology and marine renewables industries.
Last year’s competition was won by a team from Peterhead Academy who, along with runners up from Mackie Academy, are displaying their winning remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to thousands of delegates at the Subsea Expo 2016 exhibition and conference.
“The value of extra-curricular work, particularly in engineering, should not be underestimated,” said Blair Paton, principal teacher, faculty of technologies, at Mackie Academy. “The MATE ROV project allows students the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, and apply them to a real life problem, giving a real insight into the world of subsea engineering and technology.”
“With all the recent bad news about the oil and gas industry, it is more important than ever to continue to inspire young people about our sector,” said Neil Gordon, Subsea UK chief executive. “Initiatives like MATE ROV are dynamic and practical ways of attracting young people into engineering and the exciting world under the sea.”
The annual event, which is co-ordinated by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center in California in partnership with Aberdeen’s RGU, involves teams made up of pupils from schools across Scotland.
MATE’s international student underwater robotics competition consists of an international event and a network of 28 regional contests that take place across the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, Egypt, Russia, and Turkey. The competition consists of four different classes that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements.
Image: ROV/Big Partnership Group