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Welcome to the PEP23 Celebration!!

This page is a big thank you for all the challenging work, long nights, and hard-won expertise. ASNE was able to visit you in your spaces, and you were able to present your hard work to ONR leaders. You continued to carry the spirit of the competition forward. Teams shared tools, bandages, expertise, congratulations, and components. Without your collective spirit there is no Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) program.

Each year there seems to be a new story of engineering prowess. This year, the Old Dominion University (ODU) team confronted a challenge mid-race: the engine was overheating. First-year teammate and boat captain, J.T. Webner, radioed with Team Lead Daniel Erdogan. They quickly discussed the issue and started throwing out solutions. Then, J.T.'s socks came off, went in the water, and will wrapped around the motor. A sizzle and a little steam were a welcomed sight. By repeatedly, dunking the socks and applying them to the engine, the team quickly returned the engine temperature to a level where they could finish the race. Quick, adaptive thinking is always a key component of PEP as exemplified by the great ODU team.


Thanks to all that made PEP 23 possible!


PEP 2023 Continued Growth & Success

ONR’s Promoting Electric Propulsion Competition is a success during ASNE’s Multi-Agency Craft Conference!

Portsmouth, Virginia – The Office of Naval Research has funded university teams building electric powered craft for a five-mile race. Under the watchful eye of Little Creek in-water support, the teams raced the Elizabeth River course and presented their craft to ONR and NSWCCD staff. The Princeton team finished first in the manned division with a five-mile time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds. The University of Rhode Island team took first in the unmanned division with their ten-foot long model barge.

Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) hosted the fourth competition on June 27th during the Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC). During the year, 24 teams worked on 27 craft. Engineering challenges prevented twelve of the teams from completing their builds, and hope to compete in PEP ’24. The 12 universities brought 16 competition craft racing in heats, presenting designs to naval engineers, walking the MACC exhibit hall, and touring the Stiletto. This partnership between government, industry and academia strengthens the naval STEM pipeline.

Students participating in the competition have already accepted jobs at NAVSEA, GD-EB, BAE, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Battelle, the U.S. Air Force, Tesla, SpaceX, and other small- and medium-sized engineering companies. These students have already completed SEAP and NREIP internships, and others are participating this summer. These students have worked a naval problem since for at least ten months and know the challenges of integrating hulls with power and propulsion systems. Throughout their presentations, students discussed issues like stability, cavitation, thrust direction, and cells’ power density.

“The Vessel “39-R/V Hatsune Miku” is based on a bulk-carrier-type superstructure,” shared Alexei Sondergeld of the URI team and a 2022 Carderock intern, “The new configuration consists of three Blue Robotics T500 thrusters and a rudder, giving multiple redundancies for both propulsion and steering.”

The teams participating onsite competed in manned and unmanned divisions. These teams were able to compete on PEP ’23 race day.


PEP23 included furious engineering on the docks and participation in ASNE's Multi-Agency Craft Conference as shown.


Explore the Teams!

Click an image below to more fully explore the team's work throughout the year.

Unmanned Division

Manned Division

Engineering teams that did not compete