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Submarine students dive into international competition

Warwick SubEngineering students at the University of Warwick are working to achieve their dream of designing and building a human-powered submarine.

On July 7, the Warwick Sub team of seven finalists will be competing in the four-day European International Submarine Race (eISR) at Gosport’s Ocean Basin, the biggest covered water space in Europe. However, their first challenge on the path to glory will be raising enough funds to enable them to manufacture the vessel.

Submarine pilot and former president of the Warwick Sub Aqua Club, Cameron Blackwell, said:

“There are a multitude of challenges we face in the design, manufacture and testing of the submarine on top of organisational aspects such as sponsorship. We hope our entry emerges victorious in all categories but in order to do any of this we need help and are searching for a potential business to sponsor us.

“Of course, the biggest challenge is to produce a submarine that has both speed and agility.”

Working with the School of Engineering and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the team has access to world-class manufacturing technologies.

Dr Greg Gibbons’ advanced rapid prototyping facilities in the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation provides the team with capability to 3D print the entire customised propeller – allowing an optimised design to be achieved, without sacrificing performance.

This final year project will see Warwick Sub go head to head with opposition from across the world where teams will be judged on speed, design and performance. Additional prizes will be handed out for top speed, agility, innovation and manufacturing. The tests include a U turn and slalom competition, as well as a twenty five metre race where the Warwick team is aiming to beat the speed record of 8.09mph; currently held by a team from Montreal.

The Warwick team includes: James Fairbairn, Cameron Blackwell, Shane Wickramasuriya, Ben Cadge, Richard Kemp, Edward Morris and Lingesh Coneti.

Team supervisor Dr Ian Tuersley at WMG said;

“This group project gets students from the various engineering disciplines working together much as they would need to in real industries and businesses after graduation. These ‘design and build’ competitions provide an additional incentive to produce a functional, finished product within set constraints and to an enforced deadline. Warwick has a proven history of doing well in similar competitions, and we hope this team will do the same.”

Potential sponsors of the team interested in unique promotional and recruitment opportunities that come with supporting Warwick Sub should email for more details.


Notes to Editor:

Photography available here

Warwick Submarine can be found on Facebook

The European International Submarine Race (eISR) is organised by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology in partnership with QinetiQ; and the eminent judging panel is headed by Vice Admiral Sir Robert Hill, KBE, FIMarEST.

The team’s existing sponsors include;

3M Marine – complex adhesives and other construction materials

Stoney Cove/Underwater World – Diving equipment, training and an exhibition stand at the London International Dive Show 2014

Penso – Financial backing in return for assistance with their graduate recruitment

HydroRiderTM – pilot training equipment in the form of their Aquabike Professional (aquatic indoor stationary bike)

Diving direct – Air cylinders and other diving ancilliaries

Sugru – supplies of their self-setting rubber compound for ergonomic optimisation


For interviews or filming opportunities with the Warwick Submarine team or for more information contact: Melissa Holloway, Assistant Press Officer at the University of Warwick on 02476 575601 or 07824 541142. Alternatively, email



Further information:

Melissa Holloway
Assistant Press Officer
Tel: 024 7657 5601
Mob: 07824 541142


Useful Links:

The University of Warwick


School of Engineering

European International Submarine Race 2014

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