ROVOP judges annual ROV competition

Keith Grammar School has come out on top in an annual competition which sees pupils from across Scotland put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test.

Keith Grammer

The Scottish leg of the MATE ROV competition, co-ordinated and hosted by Robert Gordon University (RGU), saw eight schools put their ROVs through a series of challenges at RGU Sport.

The Keith Grammar School team emerged victorious, after a panel of industry experts including ROVOP 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.

Robert Gordon’s College placed second, with Portlethen Academy in third, while Keith Grammar also triumphed in the technical prize for safety protocol. Alford Academy was awarded the Encouragement for Future Development award and Inverurie Academy picked up the teamwork award.

The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing (ROVs) used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries.

It is one of 24 regional heats held around the world by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre in California and will see Keith Grammar School travel to compete in this year’s international final which will be held at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California.

To date, Scottish MATE ROV has worked with more than 500 pupils from over 40 schools over the past 10 years.

Doug Middleton, operations director at ROVOP, said: “Initiatives such as ROV Mate are an excellent way to encourage interest in ROVs and subsea sector at an early age.  The recruitment and development of young talent is key for the industry and, as a high growth company, an integral part of ROVOP’s key focus.  As such, we are pleased to provide our local support to what is a fantastic competition.”