Design Teams, Waterloo

WatSub Design Team Interview

WatSub is a University of Waterloo design team. They have been competing in submarine racing world-wide since 2015. Watsub kindly answered a few questions for us all to learn more about what they do.

Question: What is WatSub?

Answer: The Waterloo Submarine Racing Team (WatSub for short) is a student design team at the University of Waterloo who designs and builds human-powered submarines. We have taken this underwater challenge that is very rarely explored since 2015. We race our submarines at the International Submarine Races (US) and the European International Submarine Races (UK). The rule of this competition restricts the submarine’s power to human power, thus focusing our attention in maximizing the submarine’s design and life support system.

Question: What makes WatSub unique?

Answer: Not only we are the oldest human-powered vehicle at the University of Waterloo, we are the only team in Sedra Student Design Centre involved in marine engineering. We are also the first and only student-run human-powered submarine racing team in Ontario.

Question: What are you currently working on?

Answer: We are working on our 4th human-powered submarine; Darwin. It will be an enhanced and improved version of our 3rd sub; Claire. The submarine will use a non-propeller system and has electronic steering. We are still in the designing process as we just competed in the 2019 International Submarine Races a few months ago.

Question: What is the funniest failure/best success you’ve had?

Answer: One of our CAD models for our propulsion system was out of date. Our team did not realize this and when we went to put the system together with our chassis, it didn’t fit; nothing fit. We had to think fast and make quick, but engineering-forward judgement. It was a long night of cutting and drilling aluminum at competition at 2 am.

Question: Can you tell me about one of your competitions?

Answer: One story from a competition is we used a part of Michigan’s submarine drive train in our submarine as our control system was not working as intended. So, we made a last minute fix on our control system and in the end, our submarine worked. We are so thankful to the Michigan team for giving us their drive train, because without them, we would not have a working submarine.

Question: How can we find out more?

Answer: You can find more about us in our website
It is still in progress but it is almost finished. We are also on Instagram

Leave a Reply