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REF NO.: 229

SUBJECT: Eastern Edge Robotics team take top spot at International ROV Competition

DATE: July 3

             The Eastern Edge Robotics team proved once again that it is the team to beat. The team, comprised of students from the Marine Institute, Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and College of the North Atlantic, captured top honours, beating out 25 teams in the Explorer (advanced level) class competition at the 2008 MATE International ROV Competition, held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography–University of California San Diego from June 26-28.
            Besides taking top spot in overall performance, the team placed first for their engineering evaluation, technical report and mission performance.
            Dwight Howse, head of the Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology and team mentor, is extremely proud of the team’s accomplishments. “Over the last several months, the students worked very hard to develop their ROV and get ready for the competition,” he said.
            “The team demonstrated an amazing amount of technical talent, not to mention teamwork and a sense of cooperation, camaraderie, and professionalism that radiated throughout the event.”
            Dr. Ramachandran Venkatesan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Memorial University, also extended congratulations to the team members, mentors and volunteers He noted that the level of participation by the Faculty of Engineering has been steadily increasing over the past few years with the winning team including 11 engineering undergraduate students. “I believe that one of the real strengths of the team is the diversity of backgrounds and skills that the team members bring,” he added.
            “The Faculty of Engineering is indeed proud to be associated with the Eastern Edge Robotics team. The team has been performing at the highest level on a consistent basis since the commencement of this competition. This is a testament to the excellent post-secondary education available in engineering technology in Newfoundland and Labrador. I am confident that this success will resonate in the hearts of the schoolchildren in the province and inspire more students sufficiently to consider a career in engineering.”
            The competition challenges high school and post-secondary teams to design, build and operate a ROV to perform a series of tasks like those performed by an ROV in an industrial setting.
            More than 300 students, instructors, mentors, technical assistants and industry professionals participated in the event, which focused on hydrothermal vents, which are like hot springs in the seafloor, discharging continuous streams of hot fluids from deep beneath the Earth’s crust into the surrounding cold ocean water.
            A panel of judges representing industry, science, government, education and exploration evaluated the teams on their ability to effectively communicate an understanding of their vehicles’ design and construction via technical reports, poster displays, and engineering evaluation interviews.
            Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Marine Institute, said the competition is an exceptional event for students to use their ingenuity and consider the ocean technology sector as an emerging marine career for young people. “Students get the opportunity to use and develop their project management, innovation, technical and teamwork skills. It's the same qualities we teach our Marine Institute graduates as they prepare for their careers and
become leaders in the Newfoundland and Labrador ocean technology community,” he said. “On behalf of the Marine Institute. I’d like to extend congratulations to all the teams.”

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For more information, please contact Stephanie Barrett, public relations & communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute, 778-0677, or Kimberley Thornhill, educational marketing coordinator, 778-0544, 691-9221,


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