1423 Powhatan St., Suite 1
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone (703) 836-6727
Fax (703) 836-7491
Email: asnehq@navalengineers.org

  • What is PEP?
  • 2021 Competition Information
  • 2021 PEP Talks
  • 2021 Competition Rules
  • Sponsorships
  • Getting Started
  • FAQs
  • Modeling Software Options
  • 2019-2020 Updates
  • 2018 Event Celebration

Thank you Dr. Foley for presenting to the PEP participants. See the recording here!

The Overview

Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) for Small Craft is an educational and competitive program to foster the development of electric boats in the United States. College teams are granted up to $7,000 and put in touch with mentors and online learning to ensure they can safely construct an electric-powered boat that can complete a five-mile race. If you read this material and still have questions, please contact us at fleet@navalengineers.org. The second PEP competition will be held July 21, 2021 in conjunction with the Multi-Agency Craft Conference and you can sign up by completing this application.

Because MACC is an outdoor conference and PEP is a socially distant (please, please don't crash into each other) competition, we are confident that we will be able to hold this in-person event. We look forward to seeing your electric-powered crafts in Baltimore!

PEP: Powering the Future Workforce

The Naval Engineering community needs a more diverse, energetic workforce ready to tackle modern problems. PEP empowers students with knowledge and real-world experience. This senior project is consistently one of the most sought-after options in ME departments. This program brings new perspectives and new voices to the naval engineering, and prepares them to be successful upon graduation.

These universities and ASNE's form two legs of a three-legged stool that includes industry. These teams need industry partners to provide mentors, in-kind donations, and a window into professional naval engineering. These student teams are meeting virtually throughout Fall 2020 providing a unique opportunity for professionals to join the conversation for an hour or two, and help guide the future naval engineering workforce.

PEP includes nearly 80 college students in universities across the country. They need our help to complete this education and find their career.

PEP Updates

We are excited to announce that Dr. Maureen Foley will present Introduction to Requirements Definition and Materials Selection in Developing New Components for U.S. Navy Applications on March 19. Not only is she an expert in her field, but she is particularly passionate about engaging engineering students and answering their questions. You have investigated many materials through PEP and this hour-long presentation and discussion will help broaden your horizons in this critical, and growing, field. Register today!

MACC traditionally has a sizeable international audience so we are planning a hybrid conference. As you may have seen in previous conferences, we present technical presentations 48 hours before the conference and then have a Q&A session. We would love to have a video describing your design for this conference. This video could simply be a recording of your capstone presentation. Or, if you want to make a video after the semester that captures the engineering successes, you could also choose to make a special presentation that presents your work to a professional audience. As always, you can ask us for help if you have questions, thoughts or concerns about this opportunity.

The ASNE scholarships may not make sense for graduating seniors, but if you are considering graduate school or have undergraduate teammates, please share these $4,000 scholarship opportunities. We hope you apply. The scholarship is open to all students are engaged in engineering disciplines related to naval engineering. PEP participants and future PEP participants are at a particular advantage since you are already showing your involvement with naval engineering.

Before we get to MACC, ASNE is hosting the Intelligent Ships Symposium. Teams that investigated unmanned systems are particularly encouraged to investigate the agenda and drop in for a session that piques your interest. As always, registration is completely free for undergraduate students.

We have been touching base with your teams and know that this is a busy time in your schedule. I hope you find enjoyment in how much you, individually, and your team, collectively, are able to produce in this short period of time. Your first semester plans have probably shifted in some ways, but that planning is providing you with the structure and foundation to see this through to the end. We are so excited to you see you dockside on July 21, 2021 in Baltimore!

ASNE knows that PEP participants are working hard at all hours to get all the coursework done. Now that we have finally reached winter break, I wanted to personally reach out and see how we can work together before the start of the Spring semester. Here are a couple things you can use from now until December 31 to dive more deeply into aspects of naval engineering and electric propulsion:

  • Fleet Maintenance & Modernization Symposium included numerous keynotes, presentations from materials engineer Dr. Maureen Foley, and presentation by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program that you should definitely consider at some point in your career (recordings here).
  • The Advanced Machinery & Technology Symposium included technical paper tracks on propulsion, power systems, controls, cybersecurity, energy storage and data analytics. The papers, PPTs, and videos of their Q&A are available here.
  • November's Combat System Symposium focuses more on the navy warfighting systems. Unless you have been really careful with your budget and an aggressive race strategy, there may not be as many useful resources here. But, keynotes and the voices of engineers in the field are always useful and you can check it out here.

Scholarships are now available! Independent of the PEP program, ASNE offers $4,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students engaging in naval engineering career paths. You can find all the details on the ASNE Scholarship page. Please consider it for yourselves and pass this information along to your friends.

We are looking to update the FAQs. If you have open questions that are still causing issues OR questions you had to resolve that would be better addressed in the beginning, please email us those details at fleet@navalengineers.org. Now that you can do exactly what you want, please push yourself to be the best engineer you can be!

This Fall all the hard work is being led by a dozen teams across the country. They have been imagining electrical power systems to ensure their craft can complete the five-mile course this summer. Some teams have spent time procuring the perfect hull for their crafts while other teams have designed their hull from scratch. This work involves engineering concepts like propulsion, drag, and power output. It also has forced teams to work with project management concepts like risk, budgets, and project timelines. They are also integrating technology like microcontrollers, simulators and computer-assisted design programs.

If you want to support this program, please email us at fleet@navalengineers.org. Thanks so much to all the PEP teams for your hard work this semester!

PEP is concluding its active recruitment of new teams; get your applications in soon! Our Summer 2020 pitch: If you are planning your senior capstone activities, count PEP in! We can grant your department up to $7,000 to ensure your PEP team has a successful year. Given current conditions, we foresee teams being able to connect virtually, work with design software, and share analyses. If you foresee a full school year of distance/modified learning, then we suggest the December deliverable is a Gantt Chart or 4D model that outlines how the team can assemble the components while meeting your school's social distancing regulations and best practices as outlined by the CDC.

We are here to help! Email us fleet@navalengineers.org this summer, in the fall, whenever you want to discuss how to make this project work with your unique situation. Or, simply complete the Corporate/University sign up form (only complete what addresses your situation). Thanks so much for your hard work to make this a productive year for these developing engineers!

Traditionally, May is when college seniors celebrate their hard-earned degrees and take a breath before joining the workforce or professional degree programs. PEP competitors added one key task to their year-end activities: documenting and distributing their work to future PEP teams. With this hard documentation work, 2020-2021 teams will be able to complete fabrication and testing. ASNE personally thanks each team member for spending the extra late-night hours on the PPTs, the 3D models, and the virtual documentation that will ensure the next PEP competition sees this design work through to the finish.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MACC conference and the PEP competition will be postponed until July 2021. Although we are saddened that this year's teams will not be able to participate, we are proud of the work PEP participants did to make this year a success despite incredible challenges. These students worked tirelessly to design and document these projects. THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication!

Teams Committed to the 2021 PEP Competition       (PDF of Rules)


  • Catholic University
  • George Mason University
  • University of Michigan
  • North Carolina A&T - Water Aggies
  • Old Dominion University
  • Princeton University - Papillon Rouge
  • Stevens Institute
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Washington
  • Widener University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Georgia


The Competition

2021 Route

Participants in the competition will be tasked with completing 5 laps of a short <1 mile out and back circuit in relatively protected waters of Curtis Creek and Arundel Cove. The competition is open to both manned and unmanned vessels, but participation is subject to compliance with all USCG regulations. Manned and unmanned vessels will race separately for safety reasons. Additionally, the competition organizers reserve the right to decline any vessel water access if safety concerns are present.

The Schedule

The competition will be held during the reception portion of the Multi-Agency Craft Conference, thus ensuring an audience for competitors. Competitors will be expected to launch their boats from the USCG Yard boat ramp late afternoon of July 21 as the MACC in-water demonstrations come to a close. Competitors are required to pull their boats from the water at the conclusion of the competition. Note, due to space constraints, anyone wishing to display their PEP vessel for the duration of MACC must separately purchase an in-water, static, or tent exhibit space.

Competitor Incentives

As part of the PEP program, up to $7,000 technology mini-grants will be awarded to participants to encourage further innovation in electric power for small craft.

Top 3 Winners will be awarded $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 in each class.

The Rules

Download a copy of the 2020 competition rules here. Updated rules will be released Spring 2021 after finalizing conversations with the USCG Yard. Teams can be prepared if they keep in mind these USCG Safety Rules.

The Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) is an open forum for the exchange of operational and technical information on small boats and craft between Government agencies and the maritime community. Information on new technologies and new product offerings as well as information on Army and Navy service craft, Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats, Navy and USMC expeditionary craft, and Naval Special Warfare craft are highlighted in chaired technical presentations, vendor and agency displays, and in-water demonstrations. Participants in PEP are entitled to one complimentary registration to MACC. Note, due to space constraints, anyone wishing to display their PEP vessel for the duration of MACC must separately purchase an in-water, static, or tent exhibit space. PEP vessels will otherwise be expected to trailer launch prior to the competition, and be removed from the water and USCG Yard following the competition. For more information on the Multi-Agency Craft Conference, please visit: MACC 2021 Conference Page.

PEP Talks: Professional Development Conversations for PEP Participants

Each PEP competitor is entitled to participate in these learning opportunities. Can make a live session? Don't worry, each resource will be listed here as an on-demand resource.

  • Kayaks to Carriers: Part 1 (Dr. Leigh McCue, George Mason University) - Recordings are here
  • Kayaks to Carriers: Part 2 (Dr. Leigh McCue, George Mason University) - Recordings are here
  • "Electrical Systems for Motor Propulsion" (Dr. John Suarez, Widener University) - Recording is here
  • Discussion of GMU Hull & Process (Mr. Joshua Stickel, George Mason University) - Recording and Downloads are here
  • "Introduction to Requirements Definition and Materials Selection in Developing New Components for U.S. Navy Applications" (Dr. Maureen Foley, NAVSEA Composite Team Leader) - Recording and details are here!

Competition Rules

For a downloadable version of the most recent competition rules, please click here

The Course The competition course will begin and end at the white buoy to the southwest of the boat launch at the USCG Yard. Each boat is tasked with completing 5 laps (<1 mile per lap) with turns defined by the buoy and the railroad bridge (see image below). This short track course will allow for maximum visibility by MACC attendees and safety of those competing. Participants must not approach within 100 yards of USCG docked assets.

Safety Safety is our highest priority. Participants agree to obey safety instructions provided by competition organizers. Vessels that appear a hazard will not be permitted in the water. Vessels must comply with USCG safety regulations. PFDs must be worn by competitors when on the water and all vessels must carry a paddle or oar. While the MACC reception will be ongoing during the competition, competitors shall not consume alcoholic beverages prior to the competition. Inebriation is grounds for immediate disqualification.

A corporate sponsor will provide a chase boat for the competition. If you are in need of support, you will be able to signal the chase boat.

Qualifying Vessels Entry is open to any vessel, manned or unmanned, operating with an electric propulsion system. There is no minimum or maximum engine size or power output specified under these race rules. Vessels shall have appropriate fit and finish to appear sea worthy; no “Frankenstein” vessels. All vessels must comply with USCG safety regulations. Gasoline engines, recharging via an onboard generator, sails, and manual propulsion are prohibited during the competition. Competitors will not have a charging station available to them on site. All vessels must be equipped with sufficient battery storage to complete the race. Solar power and/or charging is permitted.

Vessel Classes The competition will have wave start times, to be determined on-site based on the number of entries within the class. Classes include:

  • Manned
  • Unmanned


For safety, unmanned vehicle entries will compete separately from manned vehicles.

Top 3 Winners will be awarded $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 in each class.

Participation in the Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) Each participant is entitled to one complimentary registration for MACC. The competition will be held during the reception portion of MACC on July 21, thus ensuring an audience for competitors. Competitors will be expected to launch their boats from the USCG Yard boat ramp late afternoon of July 21 as the MACC in-water demonstrations come to a close. Competitors are required to pull their boats from the water at the conclusion of the competition. Note, due to space constraints, anyone wishing to display their PEP vessel for the duration of MACC must separately purchase an in-water, static, or tent exhibit space. Charging facilities are not available at the waterfront.

Liability and Photo Release All competitors must complete the liability and photo release included on the last page of the downloadable competition rules. For minors, a parent or legal guardian must also sign.



Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) for Small Craft is made possible by generous support from the Office of Naval Research under grant number N00014-18-1-2275. While the race is open to Students and Academia, small or large businesses, or individuals, ASNE is seeking monetary or in-kind industry sponsorships to promote STEM with the aim of having teams sponsored by at least one company.

If you would like to be a PEP sponsor Fill out this form and email it back to fleet@navalengineers.org

Getting Started

We know what you're thinking, "wow this sounds so fun now how do I sign up?" Great question, see the below for what to do next.

Step 1: Read the PEP 2021 Rules

Step 2: Sign up to be a part of PEP 2021


Step 3: Consider the educational opportunities this Fall and start connecting with local businesses that can provide in-kind donations and mantorship.


Fall 2020 goal: Strong design and production process presented to faculty and mentors.

To help you along your way, please watch the advice from PEP alumnus Mr. Joshua Stickel from George Mason University. These - recording and downloads include a hull design that you may choose to use in order for your team to focus more on the electric propulsion design.


Spring 2021 goal: Complete the fabrication and testing of each component and the integrated system.


Need to spread the word across campus?

Click here to download the PEP flyer

For questions, please contact: fleet@navalengineers.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Are there grants remaining?

A: Unfortunately all money for the 2020-2021 competition is allocated. Please email us (fleet@navalengineers.org) if you would like to participate in the next competition.


Q: What regulations/resources should we consider?

A: There are some national regulations to keep in mind and use as a resource to make sure you are abidding by best practices. We are not adding requirements to the competition, but encourage teams to consult the resources we use to help inform professionals in this space. Specifically,

  • IEEE's Recommended Practice for Electrical Installations on Shipboard--Electrical Testing (IEEE Std. 45.6™)
  • NEC's Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI) (NECA 230)

In addition, if you have specific questions about your designs, test results, or simulation data, please send us an email (fleet@navalengineers.org and we can connect you with some professional engineers familiar with this issue.


Q: What should race conditions should we expect?

A: We hope it will be calm, but please be prepared!

Curtis Creek connects to Patapsco River and is in open communication with the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, the race will be held during the afternoon hours when Summer weather in our area can be a bit unsettled. These factors make it important for teams to plan on wave conditions that could be 1-1.5 feet. Because Curtis Creek is protected, we expect weather conditions to reflect the 2018 environment as seen in these videos (race conditions July 2018 video 1 and video 2).


Q: What types of turns are involved in the race?

A: The race will be counterclockwise requiring 9 left turns.


Send us your PEP questions to us at fleet@navalengineers.org and we will publicize your success!

Modeling Software Options 



Students can freely use all AutoDesk software, including CFA software, for free (list of free AutoDesk software). In addition, their Knowledge Center.



A strong CFD simulation package available to all. If you want to quickly dive into this program, check out this Propeller example.

There are a series of 3-4 minute videos by SimFlow that work through 20 aspects of the program in succinct snippets.



This open source program is completely free although there is less documentation readily available for this software package. You can download the program for free (click here for download options). The training on their website is your best option (click here for their training homepage).



They make free student software available to all. And, we also encourage teams to consider exploring the 15 free courses on fluids, flows, and simulations (click here for course catalog).



There is free FEA software, but the CFD software is not freely available. You can investigate their pricing options page. If your school already licensed the software, you may want to watch this marine engine webinar.



More Questions?Email us at fleet@navalengineers.org

Demonstrations from 2019-2020 

PEP Teams from GMU after presenting their work to ASNE and ONR sponsors.

Send us your PEP updates to us at fleet@navalengineers.org and we will publicize your success!

Videos from 2018 

Check out the 2018 race highlights reel and interview with ONR Program Manager Steve Russell to learn about the context and sights you will get to experience dockside at PEP!

The winner of the 2018 PEP competition in the Small Business category was Pure Watercraft Inc, with an average lap time of 3' 5". See highlights from their victorious run.

The winner of the 2018 PEP competition in the Individual category was the Electric Umiak, with an average lap time of 44' 4". See the Umiak in action in the video below.