MATE Selects Savannah Technical College for Underwater Robotics Competition Training


Savannah Technical College Industrial Systems students will compete in an underwater robotics competition in Spring 2022 thanks to funding from a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The College was one of two community and technical colleges in the U.S. selected to participate in the first cohort that will compete in a brand-new level for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition.

The MATE ROV Competition uses underwater robots to inspire, engage, and challenge students from elementary school through college in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through preparing for the competition, students learn and creatively apply STEM to solve real-world problems and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

In the next three years, up to 15 colleges will be included in the grant-funded project. MATE secured the NSF funding to expand the number of twoyear institutions of higher education participating in its regional or global events. Currently, two-year colleges are underrepresented in the competition. For Savannah Technical College, the grant will cover costs for professional development of STC Industrial Systems faculty and provide advanced-level training kits for student team development.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is the local host of the Southeast Regional MATE ROV Competition, in partnership with MATE and NOAA Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

“This grant gives Savannah Technical College students the opportunity to master high-end ‘blue tech’ skills,” said MATE Regional Competition Network Liaison and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Director Jody Patterson. “We look forward to working with the College to provide skills training as it builds its student team. I’m excited to see what they can do!”

The College’s Industrial Systems program will introduce marine trades with mechatronics training, while developing innovative tools for ocean research. Student teams will demonstrate the underwater ROVs that they built during the Gray’s Reef Southeast Regional Competition, each spring in Savannah, to qualify for the MATE ROV World Championships.

STC’s Industrial Systems training equips students with problem-solving skills they need to diagnose complicated production line problems. Students master predictive maintenance by identifying problems before they happen to eliminate downtime. They learn Industry 4.0/Smart Factory, fluid power, programmable logic controls (PLCs), electricity, and mechatronics. Industrial Systems is one of Georgia’s high demand jobs that qualify for the HOPE Career Grant. For more information visit:

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