Liesel Beckett, an ocean engineering student who received a $1,000 scholar award earlier this year from the Cocoa Beach Sail & Power Squadron, presented her project before the group on Nov. 7.
She spoke about the remotely operated vehicle called Big Geek. Built in 1988, Big Geek has helped explore the HMS Titanic and starred in the movie The Abyss, and has performed numerous operations around the world while in the possession of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In the early 2000s, the vehicle fell into disrepair and in 2014 was donated to Florida Tech, where it quickly became a student-run project under the supervision of Stephen Wood.
With lots of guidance, this past summer Beckett and her team refurbished the vehicle, turning it into a hybrid modular system with the capability to perform a variety of missions for Florida Tech, including taking biological samples, explorations, and physical data collecting missions.