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Challenge-based Engineering through the Design, Assembly and Testing of Underwater Vehicle

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Ocean and Marine Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Ocean and Marine

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.267.1 - 24.267.8



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Paper Authors


Shyam Aravamudhan North Carolina A&T State University

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Shyam Aravamudhan is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), North Carolina A&T State University. Shyam received his PhD in Electrical Engineering (2007) from University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Shyam previously worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Emergency Response and Air Toxicants Branch in the Division of Laboratory Sciences) and as a Post-doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Engineering (Neuroengineering) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. He has published over 38 papers in peer-reviewed journals, referred conferences and 2 issued patents. He is an Editorial board member of Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology, and Journal of Nanoscience and the recipient of NCA&T Rookie of the Year award. Shyam’s research interests lie at the intersection of micro/nanotechnology, electronics and environmental and life sciences.

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Diedrich A. Schmidt North Carolina A&T State University


Hany Nakhla North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Hany Nakhla is an associate Professor at the Department of applied Engineering Technology at North Carolina A&T state University He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY . Dr. Nakhla research interest is in Computational Fluid dynamics, thermal management application in aerospace, automotive and Energy systems.

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Challenge-based Engineering through the Design, Assembly and Testing of Underwater VehicleEarly engagement of students including underrepresented students in cutting-edge research is thekey in promoting their learning opportunities and outcomes. The goal of this challenge-basedengineering initiative is to excite and challenge students in Science, Technology, Engineeringand Mathematics (STEM) and demonstrate how real-world problems can inspire America’s nextgeneration of scientists and engineers. A team of undergraduate students from …. Universityunder the guidance of faculty advisors are participating in a two-semester research, design,assembly and demonstration project named Perseus II, sponsored by the Office of the Secretaryof Defense’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO). The objective of this project is toexplore if a team (a) with just a general background in engineering (role filled by undergraduatestudents), (b) modest resourcing and (c) in a relatively short period of time, could assemble anUnmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV), Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or AutonomousUnderwater Vehicle (AUV) that is capable of conducting a specified mission. This high-levelobjective provided to the student team is purposely generalized and directive in nature in order toencourage non-traditional and out-of-box solutions. Accordingly, the high-level objectives arenot specific, except the mission is to best locate, study, and characterize the suspicious objectssuch as simulated unexploded ordnance, and then provide its precise geo-location and theirdescriptions to an explosive ordnance disposal expert shore side. This project will culminate (inNovember 2013) with the opportunity to demonstrate their engineering methods and skills byrunning the underwater vehicle in a dive lagoon at Florida Keys …..Our multi-disciplinary team consists of 7 undergraduate students (freshmen, sophomores andjuniors) from Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Environmental Science, Computer Science andTechnology. The overall team is divided into four sub-groups: (1) Mechanical Design, (2)Power, (3) Detection/Sensor and (4) Navigation and Communication group. The team is taskedto: (1) identify and examine candidate technologies, (2) document information and methods(including selected and rejected), (3) select enhanced detection methods and calculate power,weight, buoyancy and propulsion requirements, (4) develop potential courses of action andtimelines, (5) document the vehicle design, trade-offs and challenges during the process, (6)assemble/build vehicle, (7) document and cost the “as built” Bill of Materials, (8) do fielddemonstration, (9) submit a final report of the mission scenario, design, build and test process,including on lessons learned and recommendations. In addition, through this process, theparticipating students gain valuable technical and problem-solving skills, teamwork, project andtime management and other soft skills including written and oral communication. Lastly, webelieve that by exposing undergraduate students including minorities to such real-world oceanengineering problems, we can prepare the critical Geoscience Workforce of the Future.

Aravamudhan, S., & Schmidt, D. A., & Nakhla, H. (2014, June), Challenge-based Engineering through the Design, Assembly and Testing of Underwater Vehicle Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20158

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