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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten



    AIAA Foundation Announces Winners of Its 2015–2016 Graduate Team Aircraft Design Competition

    October 25, 2016 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 – 2016 Graduate Team Aircraft Design Competition.


    This year’s competition asked teams to design a large tanker aircraft for wildfire attack.


    The winners are:


    • First Prize: California Polytechnic State University – Pomona, for their design “Ember Aviation Presents the LAT-1.” Team members: Sipanah Arutyunyan, Omar Benitez, Francisco Davila, Ani Ghadimian, Kelly Hunt, Tai Chi Kieu, Ethan Kuhl, Victor Sanchez, and Teddy Yin. Don Edberg, faculty advisor. The team received a prize of $500.

    • Second Prize: Sharif University, Tehran, Iran, for their design “Multi-Role Cost-Effective Aerial Firefighter (MCAF).” Team members: Behrooz Ashrafi, Seyed Soheil Yousefi Bonab, Sepideh Faghihi, Soheil Firooz, Mohammad Sadegh Nasrabadi, Sepehr Sharifi, Abdolreza Taheri, and Mohammad Hosein Hamed Tavasoli. Syed Mohammad Bagher, faculty advisor. The team received a prize of $250.

    • Third Prize: California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, for their design “AeroTactic Company Presents the FF-1 Rainbird.” Team members: Garun Arustamov, Gabriel Buenrostro, Stephanie Chavez, Geraldson Evangelista, Camila Franco, Cynthia Garcia, Raghav Handa, Sean Hui, David Hunter, and William Wogahn. Don Edberg, faculty advisor. The team received a prize of $125.


    “The AIAA design competitions give the students an opportunity to use their developing engineering skills to propose a solution to a real, state-of-the-art, and relevant engineering problem, said Danielle Soban, the competition’s head judge and lecturer in aerospace engineering at Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom. “The submissions are continuously of a very high standard, and competition for the top slots is very fierce. This attests to the hard work and talent of our next generation of engineers, as well as indicates the quality of our university-level engineering education and the dedication of our educators. We have a diverse group of volunteer judges from academia, industry and government who truly enjoy assessing the submissions and freely give of their time to do so.” Soban concluded: “This link between the current generation of aerospace engineers and the upcoming generation is one that makes the AIAA design competitions particularly relevant.”


    For more information on the AIAA Foundation Graduate Team Aircraft Design Competition, please contact Rachel Dowdy at 703.264.7577 or


    About the AIAA Foundation
    The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through university: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers, and professionals, please visit


    About AIAA
    AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551