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FAU’s Human Powered Submarine Takes First in Agility at First European International Submarine Race

BOCA RATON, FL (July 16, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University's Human Powered Submarine (HPS) team recently was awarded first place for agility, as well as the Overall Runner-Up award, and had the fastest lap on the second day of racing at the First European International Submarine Race (eISR) at QinetiQ's Ocean Basin testing facility in Haslar, Gosport, England.

Talon 1, FAU's one-man propeller driven submarine navigated a 175-meter slalom or zigzag course to win for agility.

"The department of ocean and mechanical engineering congratulate the HPS team on their success and are very proud of their accomplishments," said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., chair of the FAU department of ocean and mechanical engineering. "The continued success of the HPS team in both national and international arenas shows their ability to compete with the best engineers in the world."

"The eISR was a great opportunity for the FAU Submarine Club," said Mike Metzger, FAU HPS project manager. "The competition was a chance to compete on behalf of FAU on an international level as well as network and practice vital real-world skills."

The 11-person team made up of all ocean engineering students with the exceptions of Metzger, a business major in FAU's College of Business, and Nick Morley a mechanical engineer, included Brian Turk, Chris Nunes, Raul Vidal, Josh Protesta, Andrew Spence, Nicole Perry, Mike Neal, Adrian Desilva and Jen Frame. The team also was aided by Edgar An, Ph.D., professor of ocean and mechanical engineering at FAU, and FAU machinist Fred Knapp.

The submarine race is a contest that began in 1989 and has grown to include the participation of universities, colleges, corporations, research centers, high schools and privately sponsored teams from North America and Europe. The inaugural run of the eISR was only open to university students. Teams consist of student athlete/engineers that wear scuba gear as the subs are "wet," or filled with water, to provide propulsion and navigation as the subs run submerged along a 175-meter measured course against the clock.

The goal is to design an underwater vehicle that can be powered successfully by scuba-clad teams without malfunctioning, crashing into the timing gates or safety net, popping to the surface or simply failing to move through the water. The principal objective is education: encouraging innovation in the use of materials, hydrodynamic design, buoyancy, propulsion and underwater life support.

The six-team competition included teams from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. FAU set its first official speed record in the International Submarine Race (ISR) in June 1991. At the eighth ISR in 2005, the team placed second overall in performance, claiming six out of nine possible awards while breaking FAU's fastest time with 6.1 knots with a 15-year-old retiring submarine and former Guinness Book world record holder.  In 2009 and 2011 the team won first place for speed and second place in the overall competition at the 10th and 11th ISRs. The races were originally launched by FAU Ocean Engineering in 1989 off the Riviera Beach coast. Later, the competition was moved to the United States Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division David Taylor Model Basin in Bethesda, Maryland. The present team raised funds and rebuilt the new boat that competed in the 2012 race.

For more information, contact Edgar An, Ph.D., at 561-297-2792 or


About FAU's College of Engineering and Computer Science:
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.  For more information about the college, please visit

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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