Make WASUB sail to the world record

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Let our submarine sail! WASUB is a team consisting of 30 students from the TU Delft and the VU Amsterdam and is passionately committed to the development and construction of a human powered submarine. Within our multidisciplinary team, varying from mechanical engineers to movement scientists, we are all connected by the passion for diving, maritime engineering and submarines! Every year we design and construct a a one-person human driven submarine with our talented team, the WASUB.

This year we are working hard for the design and the construction of our submarine. With our WASUB, we will be participating from the 24th till the 28th of June in the International Submarine Races in Washington DC with the goal to break the world record! By innovating the WASUB on several aspects we are striving for a top speed above 8.02 knots (15 km/hour) to bring the world record to Delft!

We are missing a really important part of the WASUB to be able to break the world record. To become seaworthy, the propeller is and essential part for the propulsion of the WASUB and breaking the world record!

Support the students of WASUB in purchasing our designed propeller and help us with our mission to break the world record, donate and share!


The International Submarine Races is a race for human powered submarines. The race will be held on a track of 100 meters. Each team will be judged on innovation, speed and design. The idea of this race is to provide a wonderful educational experience for the best engineering students from all over the world.

Teams are challenged to develop new innovative ideas for propulsion, steering and other technical components of the submarine design. 

We start with a group of 30 students of the TU Delft and the VU Amsterdam this year. Our goal is to reach a speed of 8,1 knots, 15 kilometers per hour. This year’s team consists of fifty percent of international students, which means we work together with a lot of different cultures. The study backgrounds of the team members are also very diverse, varying from aerospace engineering to human movement sciences.

We want to set a new world record this year by innovating different aspects of the WASUB. Especially by innovating the hydrodynamics, the creation of an autopilot and the development of a training schedule for our pilot. This is where our theoretical knowledge will be used in practice.

The race will be held from the 24th till the 28th of June in Washington D.C. We hope you are as enthusiastic about the race as we are!


In order to break the world record, our team has focused on innovating four different parts of the WASUB

1. Hull and frame

This year's pilot Thijs is bigger than our previous pilots. Therefore the shape of the WASUB had to be adjusted while still maintaining a low water resistance. We have made the design using computer simulations. Firstly the water flow has been simulated. Secondly, our designed shape was placed in the water flow and finally the computer calculated how much resistance the shape generates. This process has been repeated until we found the shape with the lowest water resistance.

2. Drivetrain and propulsion

WASUB uses pedals inside the hull to transmit energy from the pilot to the propeller. The innovations of this year WASUB consist of a lighter chain, 3d printed hubs, a cap that lowers the water resistance and a stronger propeller.

3. Stability and control

Because the submarine hull is not inherently stable and does not return to its inital state by itself we came up with a design that keeps the WASUB into place. This innovative solution has been settled by  using four fins placed in a cross formation. This results in more control and stability during the race. 

4. Human power

The innovations of the human power department consist of a customized training for our pilot Thijs . This training consist of a strict schedule of eating, sleeping and training regimen.

To start off, Thijs’s body has been measured, tested and weighed. based on the result, his diet and training schedule have been customized. The innovative part about the training schedule is the fact that Thijs also trains under water in the WASUB.

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Thank you for your donation!

17-06-2019 | 17:04 Dear donor,  Our crowdfunding campaign has come to an end. We would like to thank you for your donation! You will receive the reward as soon as possible. Although we did not raise our target amount, and we are not able to fund the propellor fully with our campaign, our campaign has been a succes!  Your donation will help us finance the propellor partly. We are glad to share that we have found alternative ways ot finance the remaing part.   Our submarine is ready for the race and is being shipped to Washington right now. Just a few more days and our submarine will race against other submarines in the International Submarine Races. The WASUB team worked really hard for this moment and gave everything they had for building this submarine. We hope you are as excited about the race as we are. Our chance to break the world record is almost within our reach. To keep you up to date about all the events during the race, our PR-team will be busy with capturing all the important moments in a vlog. This vlog can be watched on our Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and twitter. These vlogs will cover all aspects of the race. From our diving team to all the way up to the engineers, everything will be covered in this vlog.  Once again thank you for your donation and remember to watch our daily vlogs! Kind regards, WASUB IX
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