Delaware Public Media

Sen. Carper tours UD robotics lab, emphasizes Navy leadership

Aug 9, 2017

Navy shipwrecks, drones and autonomous underwater vehicles — those are some of the technologies University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment are working with.

Sen. Tom Carper (D) got to see some of them in action when he toured UD’s robotics lab Tuesday.


But he was also there to teach about a dozen interns and students about the importance of entering science fields and the Navy with leadership skills.


“Leaders are interested in doing what is right, not what is easy,” Carper told the group.


Carper served as a naval flight officer for 23 years. He attributes his success as a student at the University of Delaware to the Navy.

He attended college with the help of the G.I bill that helps veterans pay for college after they’ve served.


“I’ve been blessed with a lot of the people I’ve served with in the military and since then and I think leadership skills are hugely important to the success of any organization,” Carper said.


His discussion resonated with Natalie Sava, a rising first class at the U.S. Naval Academy, who has been interning with UDCEOE for the last few weeks. Sava wants to commission into the aviation part of the Navy.


“We take leadership classes at the naval academy, but it’s neat to hear it from somebody in person - from somebody who has served and someone who is now in politics, to say that they actually use a lot of leadership in real life,” Sava said.


UD treated Carper a tour of underwater drones, surface robotic boats and aerial drones that they use to map and understand the environment. UD geology professor Art Trembanis said in the Navy, there’s a huge push to use robotic systems.


“As naval officers, they’re going to be utilizing a whole variety of robotic systems - underwater drones, aerial drones, autonomous surface boats, so this gives them a chance to see and work with these up close.”