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Executive Summary

Project Orca is the Human Powered Submarine Team’s eco effort to manufacture our submarine hull using sustainable materials such as flax fibers and a recycled foam core. As an undergraduate engineering team at the University of Washington, our main goal is to provide our nearly 50 member team with as much real engineering experience as possible by designing, manufacturing, testing, and racing a competitive human powered submarine. Given our philosophy, this year we decided to take a more sustainable approach to our normal engineering practices. In years past, we have almost always had a carbon fiber hull. All the materials used in this process are very detrimental to the environment and the production of carbon fiber releases a significant amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Our team has spent this school year (2020-2021) pursuing new innovational challenges. Taking this stance towards sustainability, we believe that this project is a very innovative way to incorporate sustainable practices into a field that does not have direct ties to sustainability. The plan is to use this new sustainable flax fiber hull for two years and then dispose of it properly . We aim to reduce our carbon footprint as an engineering team, give our members valuable sustainable engineering experience, and set a sustainable example for other engineering clubs.

Primary Contact:
Alex Bartoletti