Mintlaw Academy comes out on top in annual ROV competition

Mintlaw Academy has come out on top in annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre competition which sees pupils from across Scotland put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test.

The Scottish leg of the challenge, co-ordinated and hosted by Robert Gordon University (RGU), saw 11 schools put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test at RGU’s Sir Ian Wood Building.

The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used underwater in the oil and gas, defenThe Mackie Academy team test their ROV in the tankce, oceanology and marine renewables industries.

Joanne McDonald, team leader of the Mintlaw Academy team, said: “It’s amazing, it’s taking a bit of time to sink in. As the prizes were being announced we started to think that we hadn’t even placed so we are all so surprised. All our hard work has paid off. We’re going to Houston!”

The RGU event is one of 24 regional heats held around the world by the and will see the winning school team travel to compete in this year’s international final which will be held at the NASA Johnson Space Centre’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas in June.

McDonald added: “The competition has been great – it has been good working as a team and getting a taste of real life engineering. There’s a few new members on the team this year and I’m really pleased with how everything has come together.”

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK, said: “The MATE ROV competition is a great way to inspire the next generation and expose them to the subsea industry through realistic, hands-on experience. Despite the current challenges, we must take a long term approach to skills and work hard to engage with those who will drive our sector forward in years to come.

“If we don’t continue to attract, train and develop young people, we will not have the talent required to support the future of one of the world’s most important industries.”

The Mintlaw team emerged victorious, after a panel of industry experts scored the teams on how well they completed the missions, as well as taking into consideration the technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations the pupils were required to produce. It is the third time the school has won the competition.

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