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M.A.T.E. Underwater Robotics

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About M.A.T.E.

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center is a national partnership of organizations working to improve marine technical education and in this way help to prepare America’s future workforce for ocean occupations. Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) in Monterey, California, the MATE Center has been funded as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence since 1997. The MATE Center also receives funding from NSFs Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program and the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Additional support comes from industry sponsorships and SeaMATE Store sales.


The MATE Center Focuses Its Efforts In Eight Major Areas:

  1. Supporting institutions interested in developing or improving technology-related education programs. [Read More]
  2. Assessing workforce needs and developing knowledge and skill guidelines for new and emerging ocean occupations.
  3. Developing curricula in marine technology, underwater robotics, marine geospatial technology, career awareness, and ocean observing systems.
  4. Offering professional development for high school, college, and university faculty that focus on a broad array of marine technologies, workplace skills, and pedagogical innovations.
  5. Conducting regional and international underwater robotics (ROVs) competitions to increase students’ learning experiences and build academic and employer partnerships.
  6. Improving student preparation for the workplace through at-sea and shore-based technical internships.
  7. Disseminating MATE products, including curricula, textbooks, occupational guidelines, competencies, and process guides (internship manuals, survey materials, etc.) both in traditional formats and electronically though the Center’s web site.
  8. Disseminating up-to-date, comprehensive workforce information via ( created in partnership with the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE).


D-B EXCEL is home to the 1st MATE Underwater Robotics Team in TN--The R-Mateys! The MATE Team built their 1st Ranger Class competition ROV and demonstrated Ranger missions at the Regional Competition at the Kingsport Aquatic Center on April 28th to qualify for the International Competition in June, 2018.


The D-B EXCEL R-Mateys were represented at internationals by the following students:


  • Gavin Bentley: Gavin is a rising 11th grader at D-B EXCEL. He is the CEO of the R-Matey’s and Lead Project Electrical & Mechanical Engineer. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend Georgia Tech where he will major in Naval Engineering.
  • Quintin Folkner: Quintin is a rising 11th grader. He is the Vice President of the R-Matey’s as well as Pilot and Associate Mechanical and Electrical Engineer. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend Georgia Tech where he will major in Aerospace Engineering.
  • Braden DeBruin: Braden is a rising 10th grader. She is the Head of Documentation for the R-Matey’s. Upon graduation she hopes to attend United States Airforce Academy and eventually be a Medic in the Air Force.
  • Ashlee Wall: Ashlee is a rising 10th grader. She is the Head of Graphic Design for the R-Matey’s as well as Safety Officer. Upon graduation she hopes to attend the University of Tennessee and major in Occupational Therapy.
  • Shelby Rose: Shelby is a rising 11th grader. She is Head of Public Relations for the R-Matey’s. Upon graduation she hopes to attend Northeast State and have a future career at Eastman Chemical being a mechanic.
  • Richard Vautrin-Hickam: Richard is a rising 12th grader. He is the CAD engineer for the R-Matey’s. He hopes to enroll at the University of Tennessee and major in Engineering.



  • MATE TN Regional Competition: April 28, 2018
    • Overall 1st place at the MATE TN Regional Competition
    • Champions Award: The MATE competition Champions Award captures the team that best meets the challenges of the Regional MATE competition which includes the design and building of a ROVs to tackle missions modeled 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.
    • Engineering Award: Awarded based on Teamwork, Engineering Presentation, Overall Design & Workmanship, and Safety
    • Mission Award: Awarded for earning the highest scores during the mission part of the competition.
  • MATE International Competition: June 21-23, 2018
    • Harry Bohm & Jill Zande “Sharkpedo” Award: This award is named after Harry Bohm, the Project Manager at the Underwater Research Lab in Simon Frasier University's School of Engineering Science in Canada, as well as Jill Zande,the Associate Director, Co-Principal Investigator, and Competition Coordinator of MATE and the President of MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II). The award was given to the team that demonstrated innovation, originality and the upmost ability to think "outside the box." The R-Mateys earned this award for their unique design implementations of their hydraulic and pneumatic safety pressure relief systems on their ROV. The R-Mateys were presented with a plaque, a certificate, a Wacom drawing tablet, and Amazon gift card, and a shark ROV built by an artist in Africa using washing up flip flops and plastic to encourage them to always think outside of the box.



Follow their journey on Twitter twitter @MATE_DBEXCEL