Northern College Students Assist in Constructing University of Waterloo Racing Submarine

September 27, 2019

KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: Northern College Mechanical Technician – Welding Fitter students aided in the construction of a one person, pedal powered racing submarine for the University of Waterloo Submarine Racing Team (WATSUB).

The WATSUB team, comprised of Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Waterloo competes in a semi-annual international competition in the U.S. designed to increase interest in marine and submarining technology amongst young people.

The University of Waterloo reached out to Northern College to bring their design to life.

Northern College Mechanical Technician Welding – Fitter student Braeden Chalwell welding the final WATSUB submarine frame at Northern College Kirkland Lake Campus. The submarine, designed by University of Waterloo Mechanical Engineering students, would go on to compete in the semi-annual International Submarine Races in the United States.

“The frame was TIG welded, as it needed to be light and durable,” stated Tyy Dearden, professor of welding at Northern College’s Kirkland Lake Campus. “This was a tough task for our students, but we saw it as a great challenge for them and completed the frame successfully, with no defects.”

The WATSUB team was impressed with the work completed by Northern’s Welding Fitter students and after the prototype and its power train were rigorously tested in both dry and submarine conditions, the team once again reached out to have the final design constructed.

“The structure was built with aluminum, which can be very challenging to weld and represented an additional fabrication challenge for Northern Students,” stated Dearden. “Our students showed great enthusiasm for the project, and as faculty, we hope that we can continue to build this relationship with the University of Waterloo for the benefit of our students.”
Projects like this allow students to bridge the gap between conceptual and experiential learning.

“This project provided students with a better understanding of the tight deadlines and the expectation of quality work that they will encounter in the working world,” stated Josh Fuller, Northern College’s Welding Engineering Technology Course Coordinator. “We are all about experiential learning opportunities at Northern, it lets us connect what the student learns in the classroom with real-life applications, and make the learning process fun.”

Students who participated in the project expressed great enthusiasm in being given the opportunity to apply their expertise to realizing a unique concept into a functioning piece of engineering.

“I really enjoyed putting the frame together and it was a very interesting project,” stated Braeden Chalwell, a Welding – Fitter and Welding Engineering – Inspection student at Northern College. “It was a very interesting project.”

Northern College is committed to providing its students every opportunity to put their skills to the test while completing their education, offering them the experiential edge needed to quickly secure meaningful employment after graduation.


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Kyle Gennings
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T. 705-235-3211 ext. 2276
F. 705-235-6888
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