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.

Garrett Reid
Charlie Poulsom
Vice-President & Chief Engineer

Garrett is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student and has had co-ops
manufacturing and refurbishing mining equipment, as well as in the HVAC industry. His
involvement in the club has really solidified his interest in the marine industry. Garrett is
the team president, and as such, he hopes to direct his team towards providing smooth
functioning systems for the submarine. He is also moving into his second year as the
dive lead, organizing the divers to achieve neutral buoyancy of the submarine to have a
smooth run.

 Charlie is a third-year mechanical engineering student with a passion for marine technology and design. He has experience working in Alberta’s energy sector and with the Commissioning team at Babcock Canada. Charlie has a background in CAD and spent time designing the thrust block for Chinook III. He is also a certified Open-Water diver and has assisted in testing our latest submarine. Charlie is excited to give back to the team as Chief Engineer and Vice President and support new and existing team members in building their designs and contributing their ideas to our submarine.

Sophie Sacilotto Busines Director & Treasurer
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Maura Weston-Lee
Race Captain

This is Sophie! She is a third-year history major. In addition to enjoying the outdoors, she is the club's business lead. As the business lead she overseas all non- engineering aspects of the club like sponsorship and financing. Through years of volunteering for the British Columbia Youth Parliament, she has gained valuable knowledge that has helped her grow the club's business section. This year Sophie is hoping to be able to fully fund the team's innovative projects to make sure they do the best they can at the next competition! 

Maura is a second-year Computer Science and Slavic Studies major and this year’s Race Captain! She has been a part of the electrical team this past year, designing an app to visualize all the data we aim to collect from the submarine hull. In her spare time, she is aam a model and author, giving me the skills to write and organize large amounts of information as this position requires. She is excited to work with the team this year and hopes we can make it to the International Submarine Races in the US this upcoming year.

Connor McGrady
Mechanical Lead
Nicole Hamilton
Hydrodynamics Lead

Connor is a 2nd year student in mechanical engineering technology at Camosun College who has a passion for mechanical design. He has nearly completed his Mechanical Engineering Technologist Diploma and plans to bridge to Uvic next year to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Having joined the club as part of the mechanical team in 2019, he has worked on aspects of the propulsion system as well as designing a new safety buoy mechanism. Having completed a co-op with the Weapon Systems Engineering team at Babcock Canada in the winter and spent the summer semester designing and building an automated fabric cutting machine, Connor is keen to put his design and project management skills to work as the new Mechanical Lead. The Mechanical team is focused on making sure all the mechanical systems inside the hull function as well as possible to ensure we have a highly competitive submarine come race week.

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.

Jerry Kuo
Electrical Lead
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Joshua Fernandes
Electrical Lead

Jerry is a third-year electrical engineering student interested in automation and mechatronics engineering. His appreciation for these fields stems from his co-op experiences in forestry machinery controls and power generation. Jerry brings leadership experience from his involvement in founding the TRU Engineering Club and acting as its president.  In his spare time, Jerry enjoys exploring the great outdoors and can often be found hiking, paddleboarding, or kayaking around various lakes in BC.


The electrical team is working on integrating a data collection system capable of saving various parameters of the submarine during operation and, alongside the mechanical team, will use this information to improve future submarine designs. The Submarine Racing Club is the perfect place for Jerry to combine his appreciation of marine environments with his passion for engineering.

Josh is a fourth-year electrical engineering student with a keen interest in mechatronics and control systems. Josh joined the UVSRC in the summer of 2019 in hopes of gaining some hands-on experience and making connections with his peers and members of the marine industry. During his time in the club, Josh has worked on instrumentation for analysis of the submarine’s trajectory. Now section co-lead, Josh hopes to take this data and implement an automated control system with the goal of increasing stability, allowing the pilot to focus on other tasks.

Dive Team

The dive team consists of 4 divers, Garrett Reid, Spencer Funk, Ben Markwick, Tobin Huffman 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!