The UVic Submarine Racing Club

The UVSRC competed in its first submarine race, the European International Submarine Race (eISR) in Gosport England from the 3rd to 12th July 2018.  Since eISR, we have updated our design and recently returned from the International Submarine Races (ISR) in Maryland, USA. Below you can see our Board of Directors and Engineering Leads who are chiefly responsible for the club throughout the year.


The Board
Chinook II

Chinook II is our competition vessel for the 15th International Submarine Races. She was first made in 2017 for the European International Submarine Races and has been updated over the past year. The Hull of the submarine was made using a CNC machined mold, and a fiberglass layup. Chinook’s hull conveniently breaks down into 4 separate pieces. This allows for easy repairs and transport. While it might look cramped, the submarine is large enough to accommodate pilots up to the 95th percentile in height. The pilot powers Chinook II with bicycle cranks, a chain drive, and 2 sets of 2 counter-rotating propellers. The propeller blades themselves are 3D printed, with an internal CNC’d aluminum shank, and a carbon fiber wrap for incredible stiffness and strength. Chinook II uses a set of aft-mounted rudders and dive planes to control her depth and heading. These controls surfaces have been optimized using computational fluid dynamics, as well as biomimicry; the leading edge bumps are inspired by the Humpback whales tubercles. The pilot can actuate the rudders using mechanical cables and handlebars that turn similar to a bicycle. The depth is controlled manually by twisting the handlebars, just like a motorcycle throttle. Chinook II also has the ability to actuate her dive planes electronically. This allows for autonomous depth control. Using a pressure sensor and a control algorithm, Chinook II has the ability to automatically seek a set depth. This means one less thing for the pilot to worry about, and allows them to focus outputting as much power as possible. If the pilot wishes, the autonomous control can easily be manually overridden with the flip of a switch. To ensure maximum safety, Chinook II is equipped with a dead man's switch. If the pilot stops holding the controls, a safety buoy is released and floats to the surface to signal the dive team to initiate a rescue. To remove the pilot, the entire front quarter and dome of the submarine can be released with the push of a button.

Spencer Funk
Connor McGrady
Chief Engineer

Spencer is a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering program at UVic. He has been a member of the submarine racing club since its founding in 2017. Spencer has taken on many roles in the club including administration, diving, and chiefly design and manufacture. He designed and machined many of the components of the original and revised drive trains. As the current President of the club, Spencer coordinates with the university, team leads, and team as a whole to ensure all competition requirements are met and to pursue funding and sponsorships. His hobbies include short hiking trips, programming, and board games.

Connor is a student in the Mechanical Engineering Bridge (Uvic) program who has a passion for mechanical design. He received his diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Camosun college in April 2021 and after completing the bridge will begin 3rd year at Uvic. Having joined the club as part of the mechanical team in 2019 and then as Mechanical Lead in 2020/2021, he has worked on aspects of the propulsion system as well as designing a new safety buoy mechanism and steering system.  As the current Chief Engineer for the club, Connor coordinates with the engineering teams to ensure successful completion of all technical projects. In his spare time, he can be found investing or out in the mountains back country skiing.

Gradon Rourke Busines Director & Vice President

Graydon is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student with a craving for challenging himself and continually building his engineering design and hands-on skills. Graydon hopes to use his leadership, planning, and communication skills, developed through leadership and international ambassador associations, to help manage pool bookings, find new sponsors, and fundraising. Outside of his academics, Graydon enjoys the outdoors, hiking, skiing, and sailing. He is excited to coordinate and bring in more funding to ultimately to ultimately help the team continue to design and implement new innovative projects and systems for the next competition.

Nicole Hamilton
Hydrodynamics Lead

Nicole is a third-year Biomedical Engineering student with a passion for the ocean and marine technology. Nicole hopes to bring her leadership skills, as well as the knowledge she has gained from both engineering and sciences to the hydrodynamics team. She has completed her PADI Open Water diver and assisted in testing the Chinook III. With a keen eye for detail, Nicole hopes to bring success to this year's Hydrodynamics team.

Jersey Kertawidjaja
Mechanical Lead
Jerry Kuo
Electrical Lead

Jersey is a third-year mechanical engineering student in the University of Victoria with plans to work in the pulp and paper industry but open to many other interesting prospects that presents themselves. He’s had co-op experience in product design for a local start-up company producing tech integrated office equipment in Ergonomyx Technologies here in Victoria and continues to work part time there since. Jersey had contributed to the design and manufacturing of the weight rail system in the submarine that helps calibrate its buoyancy and mount the scuba tanks and steering column. His goal for the team is to further improve the mechanical control systems of the submarine. Aside from the club feel free to prod him about surfing or drawing and painting.

Jerry is a fourth-year electrical engineering student interested in renewable energy systems and electronics engineering. His appreciation for these fields stems from his co-op experiences with electric vehicles and power generation. Jerry brings leadership experience from serving as the UVSRC electrical lead last year as well.  In his spare time, Jerry enjoys exploring the great outdoors and can often be found skiing, hiking, or paddleboarding around various lakes in BC. Jerry also has his PADI Open-Water diving certification. The UVSRC electrical lead is the perfect position for Jerry to combine his appreciation of marine environments with his interests in electronics engineering.

Dive Team

The dive team consists of 3 divers, Spencer Funk, Jerry Kuo, Nicole Hamilton, and a pilot, Jayrd Middleton. Each diver must have their open water diving certification as well as 10 additional dives after their certification to participate in the eISR competition. As a goal, the team aims for the divers to have at least 5 additional dives to participate in the ISR competition and to feel confident in the water around the submarine.

Want more information?

Contact us by email or via our social media channels. We would love to hear from you!