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Godiva III is worth the grades

By Brooke Marquardt, NSWCCD Public Affairs | July 1, 2019

The University of Warwick’s submarine, the Godiva III, was worth a quarter of their final grade for the students building it. Six recent graduates travelled from Coventry, England, to participate in the 15th International Human-Powered Submarine Races at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Maryland, June 24-28.

Building a submarine is an academic project for them, and has been a tradition of this program for years. As a part of their master’s degree program, they spend about a year building and testing the submarine before taking it to various competitions.

“The whole idea is that we work together, that we learn how to work together as people and as different types of engineers. Our reward is that we get to come across the sea and participate in this event,” said Sarah Kemp, a master’s student and the Warwick team’s only pilot. They described coming to the ISR as the cherry on top for all of their hard work. 

Each year, the University of Warwick has a new group of students to improve on the past year’s submarine, hence the third iteration of Godiva. The first ever submarine from the University of Warwick was Shakespeare, composed of two bathtubs and the majority of parts from a bicycle. Though the submarine is recycled each year, there are no original parts on the Godiva except parts of the hull.

In the middle of the week, Godiva III crashed into a wall and broke one of their propellers, almost ending their runs. Luckily, Carderock engineers were onsite to help with issues like these and laser-scanned the broken piece to 3D print another for them.

“Some of the teams showed up with generators and their own 3D printers, and all we have is a toolbox, so we’re grateful,” said Helen Boyle, a recent graduate who is going to work for Dyson Industries later this year.