HSRW Submarine Team

The HSRW Submarine Project was founded by a small group of students mainly from the faculty Technology and Bionics. The idea of designing and building a human-powered submarine with the goal of participating in an international competition (and obviously: winning) just seemed to fit the image and vision of the newly built Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. It didn’t take long from coming up with the idea until a team was founded and the work could begin.

                                                                                                                                                         Our team at the 13th ISR in June 2015


River Shark in its favourite environment

Our mission

The constraints and regulations in order to be able to participate at the International Submarine Race later on require the submarine to have the following characteristics:

  • The submarine has to be completely human powered, meaning one (or two) divers have to sit in the boat and move it with their muscle power using a propeller or non-propeller thrusters
  • The submarine, when in the water, has to be flooded with water so the driver has to wear an oxygen mask
  • The building design is thus composed of five main components: hull, propulsion, transmission, pilot safety & ergonomics and control

So, one might think: just put an old bicycle into the submarine hull and connect the pedals to a propeller. But, building such a submarine is a highly sophisticated process and requires some serious engineering skills combined with creativity and dedication.

Our history

The first time the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences participated at the human-powered International Submarine Race (ISR) was in June 2013. The event took place in Washington DC, USA and our team was facing the competition from 21 university teams coming from 6 countries.

"River Shark" (see picture above) has been designed, manufactured and thus made possible by 16 students from different departments, mainly Technology and Bionics.

Although River Shark did not succeed in winning the race in one of the various categories (e.g. top speed) the team gained valuable experience that they use and implement into this years’ submarine project in order to come up with an even more efficient system.

The Journey was an excitement of a different kind! The team managed to make the second place in the category of Bionic Propulsion!

In July 2014, we participated in the European International Submarine Races (eISR) with our Submarine INIA. The two week- long race took place in the QinetiQ Ocean Basin at Gosport UK and was organised by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMaREST).

We were one out of ten teams from six countries and three continents who contested the slalom course race. The HSRW Submarine Team finished the race with a great success, demonstrated through the award for new Outstanding Innovation. Additionally, we were the only German team and one out of two teams with a biomimetic submarine. 

In June 2015, INIA was launched once again. After improving INIA's mechanism, we competed with teams from all over the world in the 13th ISR. We came second in the non-propeller submarine category!

Since September, a new team has formed and is already working on a new biomimetic submarine for the upcoming eISR 2016.

Our sponsors