Kennesaw State’s student engineering team brings home top innovation prize

(From left: Doug Allyson, Matthew Strauss, Albert Cheng, Drew Gieman and Alex Evans; photo courtesy…

Georgia (Aug 17, 2015)

(From left: Doug Allyson, Matthew Strauss, Albert Cheng, Drew Gieman and Alex Evans; photo courtesy of Matthew Strauss)

International RoboSub competition honors KSU team with best “Innovation on a Budget”

MARIETTA, Ga.  (August 17, 2015) — Kennesaw State’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) student team earned a top prize for “innovation on a budget” during the annual RoboSub competition in San Diego.

As part of the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the Kennesaw State student competition team created an autonomous underwater vehicle, a robotic submarine programmed to perform a series of commands without any human interaction.

The international competition, sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the U.S. Office of Naval Research, challenges collegiate engineering teams to perform realistic missions in an underwater environment. It also serves to foster ties between young engineers and organizations developing AUVs.

The Kennesaw State AUV team faced 38 international collegiate teams in San Diego in July.

“This competition was so collaborative, and I had a lot of fun talking fluid dynamics with 400 other people,” said Matthew Strauss, treasurer of the AUV team at Kennesaw State. “We had to borrow tools from other teams, and they were so generous.” 

During the transit to California by plane, the team’s AUV was damaged. Another team member who was not attending the competition was able to remake the custom part in 24 hours. Strauss, who was flying out to the national competition a day later than the rest of the KSU team because of work commitments, brought the new part to his team.

“Competition teams offer an amazing opportunity for students to learn the practical side of things,” said Kevin McFall, assistant professor of mechatronics engineeringand faculty advisor to the team. “As part of the AUV team, students design, manufacture and program the entire underwater vehicle. For them, the best part of the competition is geeking out with the technology and being among like-minded students and sharing ideas.”

The prize for “Innovation on a Budget” included $500 and new motors valued at $3,000 for the team.


- Tiffany Capuano


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit