The Institution of Engineering and Technology Hong Kong (IET Hong Kong) is the second largest overseas branch of the IET, UK’s largest professional engineering institution, and also the world’s largest professional engineer qualifying body. The IET Hong Kong has been the organiser of the Hong Kong Regional Contest for years.

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre, associated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, USA has been organising an International Remote Operated Vehicle Contest for the past twelve years. The MATE Centre uses underwater robots – also known as remotely operated vehicles or ROVs – to teach science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) and prepare students for technical careers.  Working in partnership with the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee, MATE created the ROV competition as a way to:

  • Engage students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers
  • Encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem solving skills
  • Provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs

The MATE competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modelled after scenarios from the ocean workplace.  The competition’s class structure of beginner, intermediate, and advanced complements the education pipeline by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their skills – and the application of those skills – as they engineer increasingly more complex ROVs for increasingly more complex mission tasks.

The competition requires students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell “products.”  In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.

In Hong Kong Regional, a the Institution of Engineering and Technology Hong Kong, (IET Hong Kong) is the organiser. The contests are aimed at senior secondary students (Ranger) and college/university students (Explorer). In 2017, a new class namely, “The IET Hong Kong Experience Class” for upper primary school or lower secondary school students was held coincident with the main contest.

Hong Kong teams have been very successful in winning prizes at the International Finals in USA. Starting in 2006 when Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School won 7 out of the 13 prizes, throughout to 2015 when HKUST came 3rd, and CMA Secondary School placed 9th overall from over 200 Explorer teams worldwide. German Swiss International School (GSIS) were placed 8th, overall in Ranger – out of 31 finalists from over 500 initial entrants worldwide; Macau Pui Ching Middle School 14th, and Robotic Service Junior 21st. Also, HKUST won the Harry Bohm/Jill Zande “Sharkpedo” Award for thinking out of the box; CMA and GSIS won the Aloha Team Spirit awards for Explorer and Ranger respectively; Rayan Armani from HKUST won the Marty Klein MATE MARINER Award; Johannes Jeager, HKUST and Hugh Somerset, GSIS, won the Most Valuable Player awards for Explorer and Ranger respectively.

In 2016, HKUST came 4th, CMA Secondary School and Hong Kong Polytechnic University placed 9th and 11th respectively overall in Explorer – out of 31 finalists from over 200 initial entrants worldwide.  Po Leung Kuk Ngan Po Ling College was placed 22nd, overall in Ranger – out of 39 finalists from over 500 initial entrants worldwide; Sekolah Robotics Indonesia 15th, Macau Pui Ching Middle School 24th, and Robotic Services 34th . Further, HKUST won the Guts and Glory Award for “overcame hardships with determination and resolve”; Albert Tanoto from HKUST won the Product Presentation MPVs for Explorer.

In 2017, HKUST won the Champion of Overall Winners based on overall, total scores in Explorer Class and also the Safety Conscious Award for the team exhibited exemplary safety practices in Explorer Class – out of 25 finalists from 17 countries around the world. Macau Anglican College, Taipa, Macau (MAC) won the Product Presentation Award and also the Design Elegance for the vehicle in Ranger Class – out of 40 finalists from 17 countries around the world.. Miss Cerys Chan from MAC also won one of the Product Presentation MVPs.

These were the results we have ever obtained and bode well for Hong Kong’s reputation as a leading STEM education centre with world class teams.

We would like to see again the 13th contingent from Hong Kong to have flying color in The 2018 MATE ROV contest: “JET CITY:  AIRCRAFT, EARTHQUAKES, AND ENERGY ” which will take place on 21-23 June 2018 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA, USA.


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