Australian Maritime College Pasta Bridge Competition

Can you imagine a bridge made only out of pasta and glue holding more than 300kg? AMC’s Maritime Engineering students hold a record of 327kg. This year (2021) you could watch the annual Pasta Bridge Competition virtually as 9 teams competed for the strongest bridge.

The pasta bridge competition is problem based learning activity in Mechanics of Solids, a second year unit offered by AMC’s National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics. Each team of 4 students spends 2 months use their engineering knowledge and skills to design, build designing and constructing a bridge from pasta to see how much weight it could withstand before ultimately breaking into a thousand pieces.

The bridges are designed and constructed according to an international set of rules developed by the Okanagan College in Canada. The bridges must be exclusively made from pasta and glue, must span over a 1000 mm gap and weigh less than 1000 grams. The bridge which holds the largest weight before failure is declared the winner.

Congratulations to Team Gnocchi Balboa for being crowned 2021 AMC Pasta Bridge Competition Champions with an amazing competition load of 156.55kg at  Australian Maritime College in Tasmania.

The competition was kindly sponsored by Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) Perth Branch.

Subsea Competency Framework Launch

Ian Wilson receiving his well-deserved Certificate of Appreciation.

Last week Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) Perth Branch and Engineers Australia launched the long-awaited Subsea Competency Framework to the public – an event originally planned to be held early 2020. It was a fantastic night, and it was great to see so many professionals and companies acknowledged for their tremendous efforts in launching this framework (view full list here).

This development has been a voluntary collaboration between experienced subsea engineering professionals and companies involved in Subsea Engineering in Australia and abroad. This Framework was developed with the intent for Subsea Engineering to be recognised as an Area of Practice (AoP) by Engineers Australia.

The initial Framework has been designed to recognise Chartered Professional Engineers and it is in the process of extending to encompass the entire career of all involved in Subsea, from students through to Subject Matter Experts including Engineering Technologists and Engineering Associates.

One of the benefits of this Framework is it can be used as a career planning tool and personal recognition as a competent subsea engineer, which is recognised in Australia and Internationally. The SECF provides individuals and engineering graduates considering a career in subsea engineering with a framework from which a personal development plan can be formulated. Individuals can create their own personal development plan (49 profiles within the SECF – see more here) and align it with their employers training and development program if appropriate.

Thank you to all who contributed along the way and a special thank you to Ian Wilson for his dedication and continued efforts to make this happen.

Photos from last week are on the website:

Kindly sponsored by: Woodside Energy

SUT Marine Renewable Energy Scholarship Winner!

Congratulations Eric Gubesch

Eric is a PhD student at University of Tasmania, with a passion for offshore renewable energy. His academic achievements to date have been recognised with awards by IMarEST, RINA and AMC for his undergraduate work on semi-submersible platforms with wave energy converters, while his postgraduate studies focus on the effect that mooring systems have on operational performance and survivability of floating offshore wave energy converters.

Eric aspires to contribute to the development of new technologies for the offshore and subsea renewable energy industries, and is a worthy recipient of the Scholarship.

Thank you to Aurora Offshore Engineering for sponsoring this scholarship

SUT Chris Lawlor Scholarship Winner!

Congratulations Jack Jorgensen

Jack is a first-year PhD student at the University of Western Australia that has just commenced his study of the quantification and propagation of uncertainty through digital twins to predict remnant fatigue life of bolts in ring-flange joints on offshore wind turbine structures.

Commended by faculty for enthusiasm during the framing of his PhD project, Jack has spent a decade working in industry, most recently in research and development for Carnegie Clean Energy. Jack aspires to continue his career in the offshore renewables sector after completing his studies, and is a worthy finalist of the SUT Chris Lawlor Scholarship.

SUT Scholarship Winner!

Congratulations Georgia Nester

Georgia is a PhD student at Curtin University with a strong passion for marine conservation, studying the development of new molecular tools to find cryptic seahorses in seawater using environmental DNV.

Georgia’s PhD project aims to combine underwater sensing technologies to determine marine biodiversity in underrepresented areas and monitor critically endangered species, focussing on the largely unexplored Antarctic, South African and Cape Range Canyon regions.

Commended by faculty for her work ethic and commitment to her studies, Georgia is a worthy winner of the SUT Scholarship.

CEO Update – Steve is Moving On

Dear members, friends and supporters of SUT. Many thanks once more to everyone who’s rejoined the Society, individual or Corporate, in recent weeks. We very much appreciate your faith in us, especially in the challenging times we’ve all been through. We’ll continue to work hard to provide value to our members, even if much of the interaction for now still needs to be virtual rather than face to face. Members still outstanding at the end of September will be deleted from the database so do please respond to Jane if you haven’t already.

It’s good to see that our Perth, Australia branch is already able to carry out some face to face meetings and we look forward to when this can be rolled out across the whole of the SUT family.

In the meantime we’ll continue with our regular webinars and podcast, and our committees and Branches are meeting very effectively online. Forthcoming podcasts cover autonomous underwater warfare, salvage and decommissioning, & offshore wind with more always under preparation.

Keep up to date with what’s happening via for all but USA Branch, who list theirs at

Steve Moving On

Many of you know that I have a strong interest not only in underwater technology, but in how we transition to a sustainable economy, learn to value a biologically diverse & healthy marine environment and to benefit from what I like to call ‘Vitamin Sea’. To that end, I’ve accepted the offer to become the next CEO of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum in South Wales – an opportunity for me to help my home region adapt to changing climate, rising seas, the transition to offshore renewable energy – and combine all that with Pembrokeshire’s successful coastal tourism, outdoor pursuits & agriculture industry, whilst influencing policy makers and funding agencies.

I’ve submitted my notice to finish my term as SUT CEO with effect from the SUT AGM on 14th December 2020, and will work with my excellent staff, our Executive and Council to ensure an orderly transition. If any of our members might be interested in being my successor please contact our Honorary Secretary David Brookes, if you don’t have his details contact me or any of the staff and we’ll pass on his email address.

It certainly won’t be the last of me and SUT – I’ll continue to be a member of several committees and working groups, will honour existing commitments to serve on conference panels and chair external meetings, and will assist my successor, when appointed, in taking up his or her duties.

I’d like to thank you all for your support, friendship and laughter over the last three and a half years. SUT has a well-earned international reputation as a politically neutral, well-informed source of expertise and knowledge about many aspects of working in an underwater environment. We’re still growing overseas, we continue to support students, provide input to policy development, share knowledge and even in these strange COVID times have tried hard to maintain regular contact with our members, in part through the weekly podcast and fortnightly webinars.

It’s still three months away so I’ll be working as normal, and will update you with more news nearer the date on succession planning and who does what as we move into 2021.


Steve Hall CEO 15th September 2020

SUT & EA Subsea Engineering Webinar

If you missed the SUT & EA Subsea Engineering Webinar you can now access the recording and slidepack!

Presented by Ian Wilson, here is what he had to say about the webinar:

“I enjoyed presenting the joint EA and SUT Subsea Engineering webinar with Steve Algie and was pleasantly surprised at the interest in subsea engineering. I hope to meet some of those people at future SUT technical evenings and events either online or face to face starting in October. For those who cannot attend in person stay connected via the EA and SUT webinars and online training courses. Below are links to a recording of the webinar and the SUT (Perth Branch) website for more details on how to engage in Subsea Engineering ”

View the presentation here

View the recording here