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Andy Stewart

Assistant Director, Defense and Industry Programs and Associate Director, NNMREC

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering






Andrew Stewart's research supports the development of next-generation ocean science technology and the creation of new tools to advance capabilities and maintain strategic advantage for the U.S. Navy.

His interests include vehicles, marine renewable energy technologies, remote sensing, and robotics. Through employing design methodologies rooted in fundamental principles, Stewart contributes to all phases of project development from conceptual design to fabrication, testing, and deployment.

In addition to conducting federally-funded research, Dr. Stewart is actively commercializing technology developed within the Laboratory and frequently collaborates with industry to aid transition.

In 2014 Dr. Stewart joined the executive committee of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center as Associate Director.

Department Affiliation

Ocean Engineering


B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California San Diego, 2006

M.A. Dynamics & Control Theory, Princeton University, 2008

Ph.D. Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2012


Knotty Dawg: Student-Designed, Student-Powered Submarine

The 2017–2018 UW Human-Powered Submarine Team is ready for international competition. They hope to set speed records with their two-person vehicle constructed mostly of wood.

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25 May 2018

The UW's entry in the first International Submarine Races competition in 1989 was built at APL-UW and the team was comprised of Laboratory scientists and engineers, and UW students. Since then, the team has been an active club in the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering.

APL-UW Principal Engineer Andy Stewart serves as the team's faculty advisor, so many of the design and build activities have returned to APL-UW facilities. Taking inspiration from the 1989 sub that was constructed of spruce strips coated by a fiberglass shell, the UW team collaborated with the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding on Knotty Dawg — a two-person sub with a hull made of red cedar strip planking and fiery khaya veneer.

Wave Energy Buoy that Self-deployes (WEBS)

The Wave Energy Buoy that Self-deploys (WEBS) converts surface wave energy to mechanical and electrical power. WEBS is an easily deployed power station that can operate anywhere in the off-shore environment. Potential applications include power sensor payloads for scientific instrumentation; power station for autonomous systems, undersea vehicles, and/or surface vessels; and communications relay.

Research collaborators are the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Columbia Power Technologies.

13 Dec 2016

Human Powered Submarine Team – 2016

The UW HPST has been active for over 20 years as a student club in the UW Deparment of Mechanical Engineering. Every year the team designs and builds a submarine to compete in the alternate-year International and European Submarine Races. APL-UW Principal Engineer Andy Stewart serves as the team's faculty advisor for the 2015–2016 academic year.

7 Sep 2016

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Station-keeping simulation of a non-moored WEC

Rusch, C., B. Polagye, J. Joslin, and A. Stewart, "Station-keeping simulation of a non-moored WEC," Proc., 4th Marine Energy Technology Symposium, 25-27 April, Washington, D.C. (2016).

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25 Apr 2016

While most concepts for wave energy revolve around anchored or tethered wave energy converters (WECs), untethered WECs may have broader potential applications. The lack of an anchor simplifies deployment and recovery operations and eliminates a component of the WEC that constitutes approximately 10% of the capital expense.

We explore the dynamics of an unmoored WEC using numerical simulations of a free drifting WEC under various environmental forcing conditions. The feasibility of device station keeping is also assessed.

Extrinsic calibration of an RGB camera to a 3D imaging sonar

Marburg, A., and A. Stewart, "Extrinsic calibration of an RGB camera to a 3D imaging sonar," Proc., OCEANS 2015, 19-22 October, Washington, D.C. (MTS/IEEE, 2015).

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19 Oct 2015

The introduction of low-cost RGB-depth (RGB-D) sensors have led to a diversity of algorithms for robust 3D scene reconstruction under controlled settings, but the underwater realization of such algorithms has been hampered by the constrained performance of most RGB-D sensors in water. We explore the possibility of fusing a point cloud generated from a high-frequency, mechanically scanned 3D imaging sonar with visual data from a camera to create a rich 3D representation of objects in the water column. A state-of-the-art algorithm for depth sensor-to-camera registration utilizing concurrent images of spherical targets is adapted, and the resulting alignment is used to combine sonar and visual imagery.

Integrated instrumentation for marine energy monitoring

Polagye, B., J. Joslin, A. Stewart, and A. Copping, "Integrated instrumentation for marine energy monitoring," Proc., 2nd International Conference on Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR 2014), 28 April - 2 May, Stornaway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland (2014).

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28 Apr 2014

Integrated instrumentation packages designed for operation at marine renewable energy sites have the potential to reduce the risk uncertainty around high- priority interactions between stressors and receptors. Such packages can leverage the competitive strengths of individual instruments and reduce risk in a rapid, cost-effective manner. One emerging example of environmental infrastructure to achieve these objectives, the Adaptable Monitoring Package, is presented and its capabilities described. The development and adoption of such packages requires close coordination between resource managers, technology developers, and researchers.

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In The News

The preposterous world of human-powered submarine racing

Popular Mechanics, Jay Bennett

A human-powered submarine is so ridiculous and impractical that outside of the International Submarine Races competition, they are virtually nonexistent. A team of UW students participated.

9 Aug 2017

U.S. Navy wants a floating fiber optic network

Popular Mechanics, Kyle Mizokami

TUNA is a portable, temporary communications network made up of floating communications buoys linked by fiber optic cable. Individual buoys will likely be powered by WEBS, which generates electricity from wave energy and consists of two floats that sit on the surface of the water and are rotated by passing waves.

6 Jan 2017

BluHaptics wins $747,000 grant to create 3-D piloting system for underwater robots

GeekWire, Alan Boyle

BluHaptics has received a $747,197 NSF phase II Small Business Innovative Research grant to work on a virtual-reality robotic control system that could transform underwater operations. Seattle-based BluHaptics is a commercial venture that was spun out from UW’s Department of Electrical Engineering and the Applied Physics Laboratory in 2013. Its tools of the trade include haptic devices that provide force-feedback control of teleoperated robots, and immersive 3-D interfaces that put a remote operator into a virtual-reality environment.

18 Apr 2016

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Methods and Systems for Six-degree-of-freedom Haptic Interaction with Streaming Point Data

Patent Number: 9,753,542

Howard Chizeck, Fredrik Ryden, Andy Stewart

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5 Sep 2017

Methods, articles of manufacture, and devices related to generating six degree of freedom (DOF) haptic feedback are provided. A computing device can receive first depth data about an environment. The computing device can generate a first plurality of points from the first depth data. The computing device can determine a virtual tool, where the virtual tool is specified in terms of a translation component for the virtual tool and a rotation component for the virtual tool. The computing device can determine a first force vector between the virtual tool and the first plurality of points. The computing device can send a first indication of haptic feedback based on the first force vector.

An Adaptable Monitoring Package for Marine Environmental Monitoring

Record of Invention Number: 47352

Brian Polagye, James Joslin, Ben Rush, Andy Stewart


21 May 2015

Virtual Haptic Fixture Tools

Record of Invention Number: 46853

Howard Chizeck, Kevin Huang, Fredrick Ryden, Andy Stewart


21 Feb 2014

More Inventions

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center