There are loads of societies that you can get involved in at Newcastle University. These are clubs based around your interests or what course you study. One of our newest STEM ones is a hands on engineering society: the Marine Projects Society.
It all started when a group of Marine Technology students took part in the International Submarine Race in 2014 in Washington DC, USA. Students who were interested in working on it the following year took over and decided to form a society around it to enable students to partake in a variety of Marine related projects. The society remained focused on marine engineering so a a variety of engineering students across the university could collaborate on projects.
This academic year (2015/16) they are working on building an underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), which are underwater robots important in studying deep water habitats that we otherwise couldn’t access . The society aim to take part in the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV competition in Long Beach, California, USA in June next year. The competition is based on acting as entrepreneurs selling the prospective client a product (in this case an ROV). To achieve this they must draft technical reports, marketing displays and engage in community outreach as well as build an ROV to demonstrate that it can perform certain set underwater tasks.
This years team consists of about 30 members, some of whom are a part of the core team and others are ancillary members who have the opportunity to learn from more experienced members and contribute in their own capacity. The current members form 3 sub groups, namely- 1) Structures & Chassis 2) Mechanical Systems 3) Electrical & Computing.
- The Structures & Chassis team is responsible for designing the outer framework of the ROV and responsible for waterproofing and making certain design calculations (buoyancy, weights, center of gravity etc.).
- The mechanical systems team is responsible for designing & building a manipulator (mechanical arm) in order to enable a person from the surface to control it remotely to perform certain underwater tasks such as picking items up.
- The electrical & computing team is responsible for coding the control architecture or the ‘brain’ of the ROV. They are tasked with controlling the motor speeds, manipulator & underwater video-cam transmission.
This society is a really good opportunity for anyone who is studying engineering to get some practical experience. The students across the different sub groups come from a variety of engineering backgrounds (Electrical, Marine, Mechanical, Computer science). We wish them the best of luck with the ROV competition!