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

Possible Team Roles

Chief engineer

This person is in charge of making the final decisions on what goes on or off the ship. This person is in charge of designing the tests and data collection so that accurate data is collected that fulfills the goals and mission.

Project manager

This person sets intermediate goals that ensure the team will make the end goal. Each goal should have a start and completion date. These intermediate goals should go on a calendar or worksheet, and be tracked over the lifetime of the project. Sometimes the team will fall behind or surge ahead of the original schedule; the project manager will ensure that all the time available is wisely used and the group is as prepared as possible for the final mission.

Research Physicist

The research scientist does any research the team needs during the design phase and is in charge of recording the data from the trials. Research may involve the purpose of certain ship components or investigating various forces affecting the movement of the ship. Data collection includes creating recordkeeping materials like tables with headers and units. Scientists also share their research so the research physicist may need to create accurate graphs and diagrams to display the data for group presentations.


This person is in charge of steering the ship during the FLEET tests and missions. This role cannot be shared by the Chief Engineer. The Captain should listen to the research team to ensure that the execution of the tests and missions follows the vision that the team established. For tests, this means steering the boat in a way that generates the data intended by the test designed by the Chief Engineer. In missions, this means following the plans laid out by the team during the design phase of the engineering process. The captain has final say where the boat goes and no one else should touch the keyboard or mouse while the Captain is steering unless authorized by the Captain.


The spokesperson takes the lead in presentations by overviewing the data to be presented, ensuring any visual aids are complete, and ensuring that other members know their roles during presentations. The spokesperson is the face of the group and is in change of making the presentations informative and engaging.

Utilize the Design Process

You and your team should use a process to organize your thinking and your testing. For example, the image below shows how some groups tried to make the tallest boat possible. If you are new to the engineering process, consider this reading resource or the YouTube channel at the bottom of this page.