THE UNDERWATER CENTRE PROVIDES TRIALS FACILITIES TO HELP STUDENTS GAIN HAT- TRICK FIRST PLACE
Leading subsea training and trials facility, The Underwater Centre in Fort William, is providing the testing facilities for a group of talented engineering students as they gear up for a prestigious international competition. The Centre is hosting a week-long visit from the party from Heriot-Watt’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences as they prepare to compete for a hat-trick first place. The seven strong group is taking part in the Student Autonomous Underwater Challenge European (SAUC-E) Robotics Competition. Heriot-Watt teams previously scooped first place in both 2008 and 2009.
Heriot-Watt University chose The Underwater Centre for its world class testing and trials facilities, which are also being showcased this week at leading trade exhibition SeaWork 2010 in Southampton (June 15-17). The event specialises in the commercial marine and workboat sectors. The SAUC-E event, which attracts competitors from across Europe, involves designing and building an Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV) – crewless and untethered submersibles which operate independent of direct human control. During the visit, the students will carry out water testing and development for its specially designed NESSIE V, a new torpedo shaped AUV. Prof Yvan Petillot, of Heriot-Watt University, said The Underwater Centre’s natural and man-made facilities offered an ideal environment for testing. “The Centre really does offer facilities which are second to none across the globe. We will be testing our AUV from the Centre’s pier in Loch Linnhe, giving us a great variety of depths and providing an excellent, realistic, and industry relevant environment ” he said. “This is complemented by the excellent support and expert advice we get from staff at The Underwater Centre.” Steve Ham, General Manager of The Underwater Centre, said the partnership with the team from Heriot-Watt University underlines the facility’s international reputation for trialling new technology. “As a subsea training provider, we believe strongly in supporting new talent and technology in the sector. The SAUC-E event is a fabulous example of nurturing and encouraging students who will come to work in our industry. “The Underwater Centre offers realistic and industry relevant trial conditions and we are extremely pleased to be able to support the team from Heriot-Watt as they prepare for such a prestigious competition. “Our presence at SeaWork 2010 will be an opportunity to further showcase the services which we offer, both in terms of our trials facilities and range of subsea training courses. “A number of companies have tested products and technology at The Underwater Centre, including Tritech, Rolls Royce and Photosynergy and we have delivered bespoke training courses to a wide range of subsea companies. “SeaWork is a high profile event with more than 6,000 exhibitors from more than 40 countries so exhibiting here strongly complements our overall strategy of increased internationalisation of our business.”