AIAA Foundation Announces Results of Its Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition - 2016 Written 25 October 2016

CONTACT: John Blacksten



AIAA Foundation Announces Results of Its Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition

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


This year’s contest asked teams to design an aerobatic light sport aircraft.


The winners are:


  • First Prize: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, and The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, for their design “An Investigation and Adventure into Competitive Aerobatic Light Sport Aircraft.” Team members: Cameron Clanchy, Joel Eppler, Justin Fox, Taylor George, Michael Gritsch, Joel Kennedy, Liam Murphy, Riley Sprunger, and Jefferson Vlasnick. Cees Bill and Ron Barrett, faculty advisors. The team received a prize of $500.

  • Second Prize: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, for their design “CARL: Competitive Aerobatic Light-Sport Aircraft.” Team members: Nathan Brown, Tianchen Cai, Christopher Cargal, Andrew DiSalle, Katherine Durden, Andrew Ho, John Miltner, and Yifan Wang. Carl Johnson, faculty advisor. The team received a prize of $250.

  • Third Prize: California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, for their design “Avem Dynamics Presents the New Standard in Aerobatic Light Sport Aircraft: Tempo and Encore.” Team members: Brandon Baldovin, Dan Baifus, Kelsey Belmont, Conner Brown, Dana Clarke, Matthew Teare, James Walker, and Alex Ziebart. Robert McDonald, faculty advisor. The team received a prize of $125.


“The AIAA design competitions give 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 about the AIAA Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition, please contact Rachel Dowdy at or 703.264.7577.


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