AIAA Foundation Announces Winners of its 2014 - 2015 UndergraduateTeam Space Transportation Design Competition Written 27 August 2015

John Blacksten

Will Deliver October Address on “Student Design-Build-Fly Micro- and Nano-Satellites”

August 27, 2015 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation is pleased to announce the results of its annual Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Competition.

The 2014–2015 competition asked contestants to design a reliable and reusable transport vehicle for space missions.

The winners are:

  • First prize: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Illinois, for their design “Hermes: Orbital Transfer Vehicle for Earth-Moon Lagrange Points.” Team members: David Brandyberry, Jake Dluhy, Peter Grega, Kevin Kim, David Knourek, Matt Kosky and Evan White. David Carroll, faculty advisor. The team will receive an award of $500 from the AIAA Foundation.

  • Second prize: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, for their design “Project Aeneas: A Proposal for an Orbital Transfer Vehicle.” Team members: Courtney Best, Nathan Gross, Jacob Madalon, Benjamin Merrel, Abishek Murali, Annie Ping, Rolfe Power and Bryce Prior. Kathleen Howell, faculty advisor. The team will receive an award of $250 from the AIAA Foundation.

  • Third prize: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, for their design “Project Export: Express Orbital Transport.” Team members: Ashley Brady, Brenna Freeman, Thomas Mason, Alex Olmeta, Francisco J. Sanchez, Jacqueline Taylor and Zach Wood. Eric Perrell, faculty advisor. The team will receive an award of $125 from the AIAA Foundation.

“Each year, the AIAA Space Transportation Technical Committee asks undergraduate AIAA student member teams to address very complex real-world design challenges in the area of Earth-to-orbit and in-space transportation systems,” said Miroslav Sir, an engineering specialist at The Aerospace Corporation, and chair of the competition. “Participation in the space transportation competition gives students the unique opportunity to apply their analytical skills, evaluate design trades, and make well-supported design decisions. A panel of judges, composed of members of the Space Transportation Technical Committee, evaluates student proposals on innovation along with a strong emphasis on feasibility. This year’s winning proposals were outstanding, demonstrating the high level of skill and effort that will be necessary for future work in the aerospace industry.”

Click here to learn more about the AIAA Foundation Design Competitions.

About AIAA 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information,, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


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