About Us

Who Are We?

SUBC UBC’s Human Powered Submarine Team is a team of undergraduate students, mostly engineers from a variety of different departments including mechanical, civil and engineering physics. As a team we design, build, and race single occupant submarines propelled entirely by the pilot. We are currently designing Skookumchuck Mk. VI to compete in the 2020 European International Submarine Races.  It is water filled meaning that the occupants require SCUBA gear in order to breathe. The submarine is made of many systems, all of which are designed by the team members.

Our primary goal is to provide team members with the opportunity to gain useful practical experience.  SUBC allows students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to a practical problem, to gain experience with project and budget management, and to encourage a hands-on design approach that will benefit them in future design challenges. SUBC also has the opportunity to promote post-secondary education through exhibitions and display venues such as Science World and the Vancouver International Boat Show. Our project captures the interest of young students and demonstrates to them the exciting side of science and engineering. Lastly, our goal is to continuously improve the sub and come out victorious in one of the most competitive competitions in the world.

“A human-powered submarine is so ridiculous and impractical that outside of this competition, they are virtually nonexistent. You’d be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that presents more difficulties. It’s exactly this impracticality, however, that makes the competition such a magnet for engineers who love a good puzzle.” 


Projects For Skookumchuck Mark V (2019 Competition)

Major Re-designs:

  • Mechanical Steering: Using a push-pull cable system to create a robust backup steering system
  • Electrical Steering: Allowing for more precise control of the submarine
  • Automated Buoyancy Control: Designed to keep the submarine at a specific depth
  • Frame: Creating a modular system to easily install and remove the various components


  • Safety System: Reducing the overall size and increasing buoy release reliability
  • Hatch: Optimizing the latch and release mechanisms
  • Hull: Conforming the view-port to the hull and making the overall hull more hydrodynamic
  • Drivetrain: Reducing gearbox size and creating a more reliable chain drive system

Skookumchuck Mark VI (2020 Competition)

Skookumchuck Mark VI will be our first non-propeller submarine and will compete in the 2020 competition. The first year is mainly about researching various propulsion methods and determining their feasibility. Soon we will begin hull and gearbox design as the first two major components.


Meet the Team


SUBC has over 70 active members. The team boasts students from a broad range of disciplines including: Electrical, Civil, Material, Computer, Engineering Physics, and Mechanical Engineering.  We’re united by our passion for marine technology and solving complex electrical and mechanical problems.

Continue reading “Meet the Team”

Join us

We’re recruiting!!!

If you want to deepen your understanding of naval architecture and autonomous control, while gaining hands on experience with power tools and Solidworks, SUBC is looking for you. Will you sink or swim? You decide!!

For more information, come to our weekly meetings, every Saturday at 10:00 am in the competition bays in the Engineering Design Centre (EDC). We are always looking for new members, so if you’re interested then come on out. The only requirement to become a member is interest, so drop on by and pay us a visit.


If you would like to sponsor SUBC click the button below to be directed to our donation page or send us an email at subc.submarines@gmail.com



Sponsorship Package 2018-2019






dom solid dive



agile airtech altair mech spae composite



aquatics makita capilano ise altech ubc Studios sname misumi fibertek atlantis cargo_spec seaspan