The adventure continues. I visited my Coast Guard daughter, currently stationed in Seattle and residing a mere two blocks from the Space Needle. While looking at a map to plan out excursions, I saw that the University of Washington was just a few miles away. Back at the 2013 ISR, UW's beautiful submarine Laurie Bell was situated right next to our Il Calamaro out in the parking lot. Emboldened by the spirit of camaraderie that ISR engenders, I contacted UW's mechanical engineering department to see if I could visit with members of their human-powered submarine team. The response was humbling: Yes, please visit. Yes, we have a team meeting tomorrow and you're invited. Yes, come early for a tour.
Team co-captain Bentley Altizer--he gives good directions!--met me at the dive locker where the sub is being constructed. He patiently showed me various components, explained manufacturing techniques employed, encouraged me to take pictures, drew out graphs explaining "modulus of toughness", etc. I was really impressed by his knowledge, professionalism and generosity. Knowing that we were having issues forming our windows, he graciously let me take two sub-standard (a little pun!) nose cones home to show our team and possibly modify.
Following this tour, we went to the all-team meeting. Bentley gave his report. Of surprise to me was that the category of submarine for the 2017 team entry had already been selected. That's planning ahead! Sub-system leads then gave brief reports. Following these report, each sub-system had a chance to break out and meet. I sat in on the controls group. Again, I was impressed by the team work, knowledge and commitment that these young adults exhibited. It was hard to remember that they were all volunteers.
My visit to UWHPS team left me with a happy feeling. I was happy because of their warm reception. I was happy because these young people will be tomorrow's engineers, and they show such promise. I was happy because I knew I'd get to meet many of them again, in just a few month's time. Needless to say, I had a smile on my face all the way back to the east coast as I maneuvered my souvenirs, the two PETG nosecones, through various airports.
Click on the button to link to the University of Washington's sub team website: