Royal Navy prize for Worthing marine engineer

Marine engineer Edward Dean, 22, from Worthing. Photo: Dave Jenkins
Marine engineer Edward Dean, 22, from Worthing. Photo: Dave Jenkins

Worthing marine engineer Edward Dean is celebrating success in a Royal Navy competition.

The 22-year-old and his team-mates scooped the top prize at the Royal Navy University Technical College Engineering Challenge 2016, held in HMS Sultan yesterday.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, presents the team with their prize

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, presents the team with their prize

Edward, who went to Worthing High School, joined the Royal Navy last year, having wanted more than the nine-to-five job he started in a finance department.

“I wanted some variation and a job where you expect the unexpected when anything can happen – I enjoy that challenge,” he explained.

Edward’s brother was in the Navy for nine years as an air engineer, which encouraged him to think of a career in the service.

He said: “I found the engineering training hard at first because it wasn’t something I had done before but the instructors are really good and very helpful.

“In my future career, I want as much sea time as possible. One of the things that really appealed to me about the Navy was humanitarian aid. It’s something the Navy does really well and I would like to be a part of it.

“The training opens doors – if you stay in, you get the chance to progress in your career and move on, and if you want to go outside, you’ve got qualifications which make you really employable.”

His team was the overall winner in the apprentice category of the competition, having competed against four other teams.

They had to design and build a remote-controlled vessel capable of manoeuvring among the ice floes and retrieving lost supplies on the ice, the sea surface and the sea bed. Each vessel had five minutes to run through its paces and complete its task.

The competition was hosted in HMS Sultan, where Edward is based, inside an aircraft hangar normally used by air engineering technicians from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School.

The hangar became the Antarctic for a day, with large tanks filled with water to represent the Weddell Sea, topped with foam ‘ice-bergs’ and Lego penguins.

More than 30 teams from university technical colleges around the country also took part in the competition, with youngsters aged 14 to 18 having the chance to show their engineering skills.

Presenting the prizes, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, said: “Engineers from around the UK are designing, building and operating a new generation of ships, aircraft and submarines for the Royal Navy. These are bristling with world-beating technology, to protect our Nation’s interests against the most advanced threats.

“As we consider exciting developments in areas such as autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, it is even more clear that the Royal Navy’s future is bound tightly to Britain’s strength in science, technology and engineering.”

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