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

Welcome to the PEP Celebration!


The first collegiate Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) competition was a huge success due to the hard work of teams across the country and their families and professors that supported them over this year-long process. This dedication yielded an exciting race and equally exciting sharing of ideas and camaraderie. Scroll down to see the race-day experiences as well as the videos and artifacts from their design and fabrication steps.

If you are interested in joining the 2022 competition, please see the PEP homepage or email us today!

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research

Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) for Small Craft is made possible by generous support from the Office of Naval Research under grant number N00014-20-1-2048.


Scroll down for more highlights or jump to a section using these buttons.


Students Powering the Future through ASNE’s PEP Program (article in Fall 2021 NEJ)

Promoting Electric Propulsion (PEP) competition supports future naval engineers by engaging them in a year-long process to design, fabricate, test and race electric-powered boats. This year’s competition was held July 21 at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard - Baltimore in conjunction with MACC. This synergy allowed members to interact with these students and find future employees. Dr. Steve Russell ONR’s Program Manager for Acoustics values PEP because “the Navy knows that both for industrial systems and military systems a lot of people are looking at electric propulsion for marine craft. So we sponsored this competition to generate public interest.

Dockside at PEP competition, attendees, competitors and their families watched a close manned race and exciting unmanned heats. The first-place University of Kentucky team designed a swamp-friendly motor with a ton of power. Their motor was designed to be effective in eight inches of water, and encapsulated the hard work and expertise they poured into their craft over two semesters. Second place went to Michigan Solar Sea, a large active club at the University of Michigan. During the race, their pilot was communicating with the team to address power supply issues and successfully maintained the craft on course while actively negotiating electrical issues. The third-place team, E-Jetski, also from the University of Michigan repurposed a jetski as a purely electric-powered vehicle that had great turning abilities. They were just able to hold off the Old Dominion University team that worked tireless in the months leading up to the race and on the day of the race; during transit a controller broke and the team worked with a Baltimore-area supplier to fabricate the replacement part the day of the race.

In the unmanned competition, Stevens Institute and George Mason University had a great competition in the unmanned heats. George Mason University went first and were making great time before a steering issue capsized the craft in the midst of the race. Thanks to the team’s great engineering choices the craft was safely brought back to shore by the chase boat. Stevens Institute’s craft was able to navigate the course and bring home the gold. Both teams boarded a beautiful all-electric chase boat manned by Flux Marine. This small business actually became aware of PEP in the industry-focused 2018 competition, and supported the Princeton University and University of Michigan teams with expertise and products.

Altogether 11 universities and 13 teams participated in the PEP program by building boats and submitting materials for the hybrid conference. Six teams completed the race and two others were able to bring craft for demonstration. Next year’s competition will be even larger! If you are interested in supporting a PEP team, you can work with a local university or reach out to us (education@navalengineers.org). This year’s PEP will include more connections to internship and job opportunities as well as industry demonstrations on race day. If your organization would like to participate, please reach out!


Manned Competition

This year ASNE led the Promoting Electric Propulsion competition supported by the Office of Naval Research. Thirteen teams started the process and seven teams were on site to participate in the manned and unmanned races on the afternoon of July 21.

Manned Results

  1. University of Kentucky: Energized Outboards
  2. University of Michigan: Michigan Solar Sea
  3. University of Michigan: E-Jetski
  4. Old Dominion University
  5. Demonstration: Virginia Tech

Problems? Please email VirtualEvents@navalengineers.org

Note: All videos can be made full screen just hit play then click the full-screen button.


Click the team names below to see their race-day experience. Below each video recap is the presentation and materials that they presented to the MACC conference through the hybrid conference platform.



Presentation before PEP Competition

This Kentucky team was focused, innovative, and driven from Day 1. Not only did they claim first place on race day, they developed a truly cutting-edge design that can travel at speeds in 8 inches of water. During the race, many ASNE members marveled at the natural comfort Cameron Hunt displayed at the helm of this speedy craft. Cameron was dedicated to this craft and many of his personal materials connected the power system and craft together for this successful run. Lucas Goss is another great leader on this Kentucky team, it's clear his quiet confidence will serve him well as he provides more leadership in his professional endeavors. Tanner Palin's well-conceived hard work on the craft throughout the year ensured its successful race and innovative design. Landon Russell is the kind of engineer that we all hope to work with-effective, team player, and focused on the end goal.

This team not only won this race but will continue to win at their next steps in the future. They worked together seemlessly and focused on their team goals despite all obstacles in their way.


Presentation before PEP Competition

The Michigan Solar Sea team is a dynamic, forward-looking group that enjoys each other's company while focusing on the task at hand. Led by Captain Deven Parmar, this 30+-person team worked together across functional teams. The Hull and Drive Team includes Second Mate and race-day captain, Sean Hickey, Maria Kuenzer, Carson Denman, and Cooper Clark, and the Electrical Team is the two-person team of Jimmy Chen and Vanessa Su. The Business Team is your connection to fund this team going forward, led by Mitchell Davidson and includes Jessica Rottner and Bassil Syed.

The team showed up days in advance and worked well into the nights before the competition to assemble their race-day configuration after the trip from Ann Arbor. These working sessions were full of smiles, close collaboration and engineering successes. Across this site, you will see a picture of Deven in waist-deep water and Sean at the helm. This final in-water check represents the hard work of each team member throughout their work on this team. Despite the best-laid plans, the control system posed problems during the race and Sean was in close communication with the entire MSS team collaborating via cell phone dockside. With a lot of ingenuity, the team worked together to comfortably complete the five laps in second place.

Interested in supporting this team for 2022? Reach out to umsolarsea@gmail.com and see their website: https://mss.engin.umich.edu.


Presentation before PEP Competition

Ryan Needle and E-Jetski team was supported by knitter's dream of Needles and club vice presidents Sujay Racha and Nick Johnson. Family was in the air as this strong University of Michigan team successfully managed their power and the turns to take third place. Ryan first reached out to ASNE and showed the leadership and focus that will ensure he is not only successful as an engineer but an engineering team lead. The three club leaders provided the drive and intellect neecessary to successfully repurposed a gas-powered jetski into a purely electric vehicle. This craft's turning radius and control mechanisms were the key to beating the ODU boat to the end of the fifth lap.

This team is on the rise and has a bright future ahead. Their design already demonstrated the ability to finish in the Top 3 and another year of design and improvement will ensure this team is able to bring back an even stronger competitor to the 2022 competition.

Finally, ASNE sends a special thanks to Racha Sujay who served as the unofficial race photographer from the Flux Marine chase boat. The hundreds of images and dozens of videos he took are the backbone of this website.


Presentation before PEP Competition

The Old Dominion team included a couple teams providing input to a final sprint of design and testing. The race-day team of Neil St. Clare and Daniel Erdogan had an engineering-filled day where they demonstrated their grit, ingenuity, and resolve to reach the finish line. It was clear to ASNE members that Neil is a natural engineer—his confidence and training were on full display during the race as the team dealt with the final race-day issues. Daniel's heart, determination, and engineering skills were evident at each step of the design, documentation, and race-day preparation.

After trailering the boat up from Tidewater, the ODU team figured out that a controller was damaged in transit. Because they left so early in the morning, they had time to identify a local vendor, make the trip to their location, and work with them to modify the controller so it fit within their craft. In the midst of the race-delaying storm, Daniel was wrapped in a tarp working with a flashlight to repair their craft. These efforts paid off greatly! The craft was easy to control, finished the race with plenty of battery to spare, and looks primed for next year’s competition.

A key resource for the team was Andi McClusker and Fairlead Integrated. This industry connection, the general support of the Flagship division, and Daniel’s continued leadership of the team ensure that this effort is in good hands for the upcoming school year and the 2022 competition.

The amount of engineering effort and teamwork that the Princeton team demonstrated dockside impressed ASNE members. They seamlessly worked together like a team that had been at sea for 10 years. The camaraderie and content knowledge that was shared among these engineers was a sight to behold.

Princeton University forbade any interaction between the team during the school year so all fabrication steps were happening at student homes across the country. This team worked hard to coordinate via technology but could only bring the pieces together in the week before the race. They met at Flux Marine and worked hard day and night to bring together this craft. In the end, the craft was close but not quite ready for the length of the PEP race. Given another year of in-person teamwork, this team is primed to leap toward greatness after running through obstacles over the last year.


Interested in a ride along?

This video shows the Go-Pro footage from Michigan Solar Sea on its way out to the start line and then during the race. A great perspective for the race!


Unmanned Competitions

Unmanned Results

  1. Stevens Institute: Stevens Autonomous Surface Surveyor (SASS)
  2. George Mason University: Team Leviathan
  3. Demonstration: Virginia Tech


Note: All videos can be made full screen just hit play then click the full-screen button.

Click the team names below to see their race-day experience. Below each video recap is the presentation and materials that they presented to the MACC conference through the hybrid conference platform.


Presentation before PEP Competition

The Stevens Institute team was represented by Andrew Mueller on race day and included Joseph Deitz, Joshua Graham, Jiaqi Li, Yijun Liu, Roni Sistoso, and faculty advisor Dr. Raju Datla. As shown in the pre-race video, this team carefully considered the electrical propulsion design and used the Stevens’ tow tank to repeatedly test their hull design. These components were well integrated by this well-coordinated student teams.

This design includes functionality for surveying maritime environments and has the ability to add sensors and data-tracking components to increase the functionality of the craft.


Stevens Research Poster


Presentation before PEP Competition

The GMU craft represented two years of teamwork that was brough together by team lead, Dhawal Bhanderi, as well as Danial Alborzi, Aaron O’Connell, Kevin Parker, Hannah Thompson, and faculty advisor Dr. Leigh McCue. Hannah led the development of the propulsion system and worked tirelessly to fit the electrical system in the repurposed outboard casing. The team worked together day and night to finish the hull in preparation for the senior design presentation.

On race day, Dhawal (already working at Carderock) rode in the Flux Marine chase boat and controlled the craft in its trip through the PEP course. After three-quarters of a mile, the control system had an issue and the rudder slammed hard to one side which caused the craft to roll. Thanks to great design, the craft was filled with buoyant foam so even in this state the craft was floating on the surface. Unfortunately, the propulsion system was filled with water and no longer functioning.

The strong work of this team and their intelligent design choices were on display throughout the PEP day despite this setback. In the pre-race video, you will see their test runs at GMU’s new Potomac Science Center on the Occoquan River. A beautiful facility!

GMU Research Article

The Virginia Tech team were chasing electrical voltage spikes in their design through the summer. They brought their craft and collaborated with companies and individuals in their area to ensure the team is better positioned to develop their craft for 2022.

Note: This team is a SNAME/ASNE chapter always looking to connect with members and corporations. Reach out to the club to support their PEP work and engage them with internships and job openings.

Updates from teams not competing in 2021

(Click the team name to see their update.)

Catherine Ginn, UGA team lead and Air Force Cadet, was prompt and throughout this competition. Although the craft was not quite competition-ready in July 2021, we are working with the UGA Engineering department to turn this senior-design project into an ongoing effort with broader support from the Bulldog community. We look forward to building these naval engineering efforts at UGA!

Georgia Research Poster

Faculty Advisor, Dr. Rick Cordray, is building something special at UW-Bothell. Teams have started working on manned and unmanned designs and this work will continue into the coming school year. These teams have generated testable crafts that are approaching the PEP requirements and we look forward to better connecting this team with west-coast ASNE expertise and opportunities.

The week of the race, this team lost access to their boat-hauling vehicle and had to bow out. Their senior-design project presentation is shown below.

Unfortunately, some emergencies prevented the NC A&T group from brining their craft to race day. However, their work in preparation of the competition showed exemplary teamwork and the determination necessary to develop a craft that fully met the race requirements. We look forward to helping the team confidently reach the finish line in 2022!

NC A&T Research Poster

NC A&T Research Report


The Catholic University senior design team work closely with staff across the campus. There is a good chance that a team takes the reigns of this project and collaborates with the Flagship members to get this project over the finish line.

CUA Research PPT

More race day photos

You can also see images in the MACC 2021 Photo Gallery.


Special Thanks to Flux Marine!

Electric-Powered Chase Boat Sponsor

We were so excited that Flux Marine was able to return and demonstrate the progress and leadership their growing company is providing in electric-powered boats. Ben Sorkin and Daylin Frantin attended PEP in 2018 and came back as the Chase Boat sponsor in 2021. Throughout the event their electric outboard shuttled photographers, staff and remote-control operators smoothly and quietly around Arundel Cove.

Flux Marine develops electric outboards through a ground-up technology approach that eliminates maintenance and winterization while providing superior performance and efficiency. They currently offer solutions from 15-100HP+. As a growing company, they are looking to fill a variety of positions including: Battery Engineer. You can find more details and follow their exciting developments at:



PEP was a big part of MACC!

July 21st was designed to allow these teams to show off, participate in a formal research symposium, and connect with industry leaders (and job/internship providers!). In the morning, early afternoon, and poorly-timed rainstorm, PEP students and team leaders were able to network with the MACC attendees, see speakers including the day's keynote from Rear Admiral Carola, List, USCG, Assistant Commandant for Engineering & Logistics. The mentoring panel included a packed panel of female leaders from across naval engineering, and it was carefully scheduled at 12:30 so students could engage in the panel while grabbing lunch and refueling before the final race-day engineering. As you would expect, the exhibit hall was a rich networking environment where PEP participants were able to discuss their work to date, establish industry-university partnerships, and identify vendors that can help them secure the coveted trophy next summer.

During Day 2, the roles were flipped. The PEP program was showcased during the lunch break in the form of a 30-minute video that captured the events of the race and the depth of the engineering leading up to the competition. If you are interested, you can take a look at this initial PEP recap here.

A key goal of PEP is to ensure these young naval engineers have the knowledge and connection to push our industry forward in the years and decades ahead. The teams' work during one of the most challenging college years ensure they have the tenacity and grit to be successful engineers. Their innovative designs and delivery of a successful craft to this event is testament that they not only challenge themselves, but meet those challenges through their intellect, teamwork and resourcefulness. By connecting these future leaders of engineering with the larger ASNE community, we are certain that we are delivering on the promise of Promoting Electric Propulsion.


Interested in joining PEP? Students, sponsors, and electric-propulsion professionals can use the PEP home page or email us directly: education@navalengineers.org


Thanks again for the generous Office of Naval Research support under grant number N00014-20-1-2048!
And, thank you for making PEP such a success!