UB Acquires One-Person Submarine for Engineering Learning

The University of Bridgeport has obtained an 8-foot, 2,300-pound submarine for educational purposes. The submarine, titled “Explorer,” is on loan to the school for an extended period of time to be used by engineering faculty and students for research and experimentation. Alan Winnick, a Westport-based inventor, provided Explorer to UB.

Various projects have been identified for the submarine, including enhancing the performance of its thrusters, modifying its control systems, and adding tele-operation (remote control) capabilities. Future plans envision potential manipulation capabilities, such as a robotic arm.

“The introduction of Explorer to UB’s curriculum calls for a reliance on interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement from our entire School of Engineering,” said Tarek M. Sobh, Ph.D., P.E., Dean of the School of Engineering and Senior Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research at UB. “Our students will be instructed in Explorer’s systems, operation, and maintenance, as well as the fundamental science surrounding the hostile environment in which the vehicle operates.”

The acquisition of the submarine demonstrates UB’s commitment to offering modern research opportunities, education, and facilities to students in the School of Engineering and its other progressive colleges of study.

“Students across different concentrations will learn how to define, develop, and integrate specific instruments based on an individual experiment’s requirements or mission plan,” added Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering. “One study may focus on direct observation or investigation of a specific location or unique environment, while another may focus on marine archaeology, environmental monitoring, or characterization of an ecosystem.”