The Marine Advanced Technology Education Center's (MATE) 2009 International Student ROV Competition will challenge students to design and build ROVs that function as submarine rescue systems.
Organized by the MATE Center and the Marine Technology Society's ROV Committee, the ROV competition is designed to present middle school, high school, community college, and university students with the same types of challenges that scientists and engineers face when working underwater. This year, the MATE Center partnered with OceanWorks International and the Deep Submergence Systems Office at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to develop a mission scenario that focuses on a submarine rescue training exercise where teams pilot their ROVs to inspect the submarine for damage, deliver emergency supplies, and replenish the onboard air supply, among other tasks. In addition to the underwater mission, teams will prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that describe their vehicles and how they function.
The 2009 competition will be held June 24 - 26 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a four-year, accredited, coeducational college that prepares graduates for careers at sea and ashore. Founded in 1891, Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the nation's oldest co-ed maritime college. Located on Cape Cod, MMA offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional studies in marine engineering, marine transportation, facilities and environmental engineering, international maritime business, and marine safety and environmental protection.
Before the June event, teams from across the world will participate in regional events. Currently, 15 regional competitions are part of the MATE Center's ROV competition network:
• Big Island (Hilo, Hawaii)
• Florida (Cocoa, Florida)
• Great Lakes (Alpena, Michigan)
• Hawaii (Oahu, Hawaii)
• Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
• Mid-Atlantic (Hampton, Virginia)
• Mid-West (Chicago, Illinois)
• Monterey Bay (Monterey, California)
• New England (Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts)
• Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)
• Nova Scotia (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
• Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Washington)
• Scotland (Aberdeen, Scotland)
• Southern California (San Diego, California)
• Southeast (Savannah, Georgia)
• Texas (Houston, Texas)
ROVs are underwater robots used to support scientific research, the offshore oil and gas and telecommunications industries, underwater archaeology, underwater construction and structural inspections, and port and harbor security. MATE's competitions use ROVs as a way to teach technical, engineering, scientific, and critical thinking skills - skills in great demand in today's technical workplace. MATE's competitions are also important because they help students see themselves in careers where they can apply these skills, a critical step in addressing the shortage of qualified engineers and technical professionals.
Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California, the MATE Center is a national partnership of community colleges, universities, high schools, employers, and working professionals whose mission is to improve marine technical education and meet marine workforce needs. Its competition is the first student robotics competition to focus exclusively on ROVs. The competition is supported by the NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee and other ocean and technology-related organizations. For more information, please visit www.marinetech.org/rov_competition/index.php.