Peterhead Academy has triumphed in an annual competition which sees pupils from across Scotland put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test.
The Scottish MATE ROV competition, co-ordinated and hosted by Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, saw nine school teams from around the country face off as they put their robots through a series of underwater missions for a place in the international final.
The Peterhead team came out on top, after a panel of industry experts scored the teams on how well they completed the missions, as well as taking into consideration the technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations the pupils were required to produce.
The major STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries.
It is one of 24 regional heats held around the world by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre in California and will see the winning school and university teams travel to compete in this year’s international final which will be held at The Marine Institute, St John’s, Newfoundland in Canada in June.
Peterhead team leader Jamie Fenty, said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic, it’s the best thing we’ve done. It is going to be so good for the school and hopefully we’ll be able to build on the experience from today when we go forward to the international competition.”
I’m very proud of them all, they’ve put in hours and hours and hours of work.Fiona Loudon, technical teacher at Peterhead Academy
This is the second year that Jamie has been involved in the competition and he added: “It is all about gaining experience and putting the things that you learn in the classroom into practice.
Seeing the ROV in the pool is definitely rewarding and it helps us to learn skills that we can take forward into university or a job.”
Fiona Loudon, technical teacher at Peterhead Academy, said: “I’m very proud of them all, they’ve put in hours and hours and hours of work. All of the team want to pursue engineering as a career, so this is great experience for them as the competition gives them a really good insight into what the industry is like.”
The team was mentored by Steven Summers, an ROV Senior Supervisor with DOF Subsea who has more than 20 years’ experience in the field.
He said: “It has been very rewarding being part of the competition and I’m really chuffed for the team. My involvement was mainly been passing on knowledge and to be there if they needed any technical advice.”
Senior RGU electrical engineering lecturer and competition co-ordinator, Graeme Dunbar, added: “It was a very successful day and the judges were really impressed with the skills that the pupils demonstrated.
To date, Scottish MATE ROV has worked with 460 pupils from 29 schools over the past eight years.