NASA Student Design Challenge

NASA Glenn Research Center has been researching and developing innovative technologies in both aeronautics and space flight for 75 years. As an opportunity to further involve undergraduate students, NASA Glenn is hosting a spring 2017 University Student Design Challenge (USDC), with aeronautics and space themes.

The aeronautics component of the USDC is open to teams of full-time, sophomore-through-senior-year undergraduate students in accredited U.S. academic institutions. In case of mainly senior-year students, a team of such students may use the opportunity as a one-semester Capstone project, if so approved by the affected institution. The space project has already reached its full complement. All aero and space teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary, with mostly science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors. However, the team formation may comprise students majoring in areas such as economics, marketing, graphic arts, or other non-STEM disciplines which will aid in the success of the design challenge. Each university or college team will have, at least, one faculty advisor, as well as, access to technical experts at Glenn.
Submissions by the student teams must focus on one or multiple NASA Glenn’s Core Competencies. Submissions related to the aeronautics design challenge: “Future Air Vehicles – Concepts and Operations in Metropolitan Areas” must include consideration of energy consumption, noise, emissions, cost, alternative energy and safety. Specifically, the aeronautics design challenge will relate to integrating aeronautics into commuter travel in metropolitan areas. Submissions will answer the quest for how a community would look, if aeronautics vehicles are used as a means to travel within city limits.  A full description and requirements of the aeronautics project will be provided at the USDC kick-off meetings on December 5, 2016 and January 18, 2017.

A rubric will be distributed to score the submissions. Successful submissions will help to fuel the tradition that NASA Glenn has established to help shape aeronautics and space communities.

Challenge Goals

Societal needs include optimal combination of technical and employable skills to drive and sustain the engine for workplace productivity. This can be done by engaging widely multidisciplinary teams of students whose majors are science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Using the insights of teams of students with highly diverse knowledge will increase both the ability and creativity of the teams, and yield team-building and communication skills which are desirable attributes for the workplace. The design challenge calls upon a multidisciplinary view to gain knowledge from the ideas and feasibility assessments that come from it.

For more information and to register please go to: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/university-student-design-challenge