USING MILLING, 3-D printing, and other manufacturing technology, a team of 14 Wentworth students designed and assembled a submersible ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to locate and identify aircraft wreckage on the ocean floor.

Roughly the size of a small suitcase, the sub has 16 waterproof connections, a team-designed, printed sensor board that powers the ROV’s “mini brain” micro controller, a continually rotating motor, six thrusters, two underwater cameras, an extraction claw, leveling system, and power pod for wireless, inter-circuit transfer.

Students competed with the ROV at the Marine Advanced Technology Education International ROV Competition in Washington state in June. Team members were Andrew Zucker, BELM ’19; Robert Martin, BCOS ’18; Alyssa Vallese, BELM ’21; Michael Spalluzzi, BELM ’19; John Solari, BSCE ’20; Amin Akbarinakhjavan, BELM ’21; Joshua Caron, BELM ’21; Alec Hewitt, BELM ’21; Ryan Maresca, BSAM ’20; Joseph Prendergast, BELM ’19; Donald Risio, BSME ’20; Devin Taylor, BSEE ’21;
Christopher Thierauf, BCOS ’20; and Benjamin Waltuch, BELM ’17.

“After eight long months of late nights spent in the lab and cancelled plans with friends, watching the ROV swim in Seattle was one of the most exhilarating and gratifying moments our team could ever have asked for,” says Vallese, noting that the team is already looking ahead. “The entire flight home was spent strategizing about how to improve in the upcoming year.”

For more about the team, faculty advisors, and the ROV, go to

— Dennis Nealon and Greg Abazorius