AIAA Foundation Announces Winners of Its Undergraduate Individual Aircraft Design Competition Written 25 October 2016

John Blacksten

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

This year’s competition asked entrants to design a Military Flying Straddle Carrier capable of moving combat troops and materiel.

The winners are:

  • First Prize: Daniel Lucak, California Polytechnic State University – Pomona, for his design “Boomerang Straddle Carrier.” Don Edberg, faculty advisor. Lucak received a prize of $1,000.

  • Second Prize: Arthur Brown, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for his design “C-85 Flying Forklift.” Peter Grant, faculty advisor. Brown received a prize of $500.

  • Third Prize: Waheedullah Taj, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, for his design “TAJ Pegasus: A Long Range Container Transport Aircraft.” Serkan Ozgen, faculty advisor. Taj received a prize of $300.

“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.”

Learn more about the AIAA Foundation's Design Competitions.

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 
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.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
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