AIAA Announces University Student Design Competitions Winners Written 17 October 2022


October 17, 2022 / UPDATED October 21, 2022 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2021–2022 Design Competitions. AIAA Design Competitions give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to respond to requests for proposals outlining a design problem that requires specialized technical solutions. Several of the competitions allow students to perform theoretical work and gain real-world insight into the design process.

“Design competitions help students solve real-life problems and prepare them to make a difference in the aerospace community. These young people receive useful and constructive feedback from technical experts from AIAA technical committees. The experience is about so much more than winning a prize,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “Congratulations to the winners. You are shaping the future of aerospace!”

Five competitions were held in the following categories:

  • Aircraft: Undergraduate Team, Graduate Team
  • Missile Systems: Graduate Team
  • Space: Undergraduate Team
  • Engine (Trial Basis): Undergraduate Team

The 2021–2022 AIAA Design Competitions winners are:

Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design

  • First Prize: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), for their design “Fireflighter.” Puay Him Ler, Wenhui Tock, Szecsenyi Tamas, Kenneth Neoh, Cherng En Lee, Wen Yue Tang. Prof. Wai Tuck Chow, faculty advisor. Team Name: Fireflighter.

  • Second Prize: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Illinois), for their design “AE-443 Njord.” Macy Nanda, Ram Dwarakanth, Maverick Emerson, Nicholas Hall, Alan Hong, Nikhil Wagher, Kuan-Ta Wu. Prof. Jason Merret, faculty advisor. Team name: Njord.

  • Third Prize: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Illinois), for their design “N513-Firehawk.” Scott Brindise, Quang Do, Jason McIntyre, Rohan Patel, Andrew Strubhar, Maryna Syb, Shri Tandon, Yiyang Wang. Dr. Jason Merret, faculty advisor. Team name: Albatross.

Graduate Team Aircraft Design

  • First Prize: Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Lombardi, Italy), for their design “Colibr-e: An Agile Hybrid-Electric STOL Aircraft.” Luca Bottà, Alessandro Garatti, Andrea Romani, Carlo Spitale, Marco Tomasoni. Lorenzo Trainelli, faculty advisor, Carlo E. D. Riboldi, project advisor. Team name: Colibr-e

  • Second Prize: Université de Liège (Liège, Belgium), for their design “HARPON.” Hugo Agnello, Emrah Altin, Maxime Borbouse, Julien Caudron, Simon Dehareng, Hasan Sait Erdogan, Bruno Fontaine, Hugo Stegen, Adrien Vandyck. Adrien Crovato, Arnaud Budo, and Thomas Lambert, project advisors. Dr. Ludovic Noels and Dr. Dimitriadis Grigorios, faculty advisors. Team name: Kingfisher Aerospace.

  • Third Prize: Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Lombardi, Italy), for their design “Hexi: A hybrid-electric STOL air taxi for advanced air mobility.” Anna Sofia Passerelli D’Onofrio, Luca Caccetta, Maria Vittoria Rossetti, Nicola Tartari, Matteo Guidotti, Irene Salmoiraghi, Maria Ieva. Lorenzo Trainelli, project advisor, Carlo E.D. Riboldi, faculty advisor. Team name: Team HExi

Graduate Team Missile System Design

  • First Prize: Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia), for their design “Hypersonic UPRISE: Unmanned Platform for Reconnaissance Intelligence and Surveillance Efforts.” William Cammack, Baptiste Cramette, Joey Ji, Antonio Macias Salil Sodhi, Gowtham Venkatachalam, Tyler Wills, Karen Yehoshua. Dr. Dimitri Mavris, faculty advisor. Dr. Brad Robertson and Dr. Ken Decker, research advisors. Team name: Hypersonic Uprise.

  • Second Prize: University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas), for their design “Hypersonic Jayhawks Reusable Penetrating Hypersonic ISR Platform.” Nathan Wolf, Gerell Miller, Zachary Rhodes, Justin Clough, Garin McKenna, Jack Schneider. Dr. Ron Barrett, faculty advisor. Team name: Hypersonic Jayhawks.

Undergraduate Team Space Design

  • First Prize: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia), for their design “Manned Sample Acquisition Mission to Phobos and Deimos.” Juliana Ruiter, Nathan Horner, Carson Peters, Jacob McDaniel, Aidan Messick, Tanushree Manohar Shinde, Connor Poole, Musfique Mazumder, Matthew Smith, Shelly Natoli. Kevin Shinpaugh, faculty advisor Team name: Project Chariot.

  • Second Prize: University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas), for their design “Scientific Phobos And Deimos Explorer (SPADE).”Reece Appel, Teja Gorantla, Shannon Scott, Nicholas Delurgio, Shea Popov, Sir Jherg Jones, Nils Schlautmann, Christian Hinton, Rye Seekins, Pete Lealiiee Jr. Adam Nokes, faculty advisor. Team name: Space Pirates.
  • Third Prize: University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, Maryland), for their design “Martian Moons Explorer Vehicle.” Nicolas Pouliquen, Michael Hanlon, Nico Lagendyk, Ryan Quigley, Thomas Brosh, Nathaniel Wunderly, Rahul Jain, Derek Hounkale, Gracelyn Pham. Jarred Young, faculty advisor. Team name: Project Cupid.

Undergraduate Team Engine Design
For 2022, AIAA conducted this competition on a trial basis using a new format, with teams that elected to participate. Four teams participated in this year’s competition. They received no prize funds for their placements.

  • First Place: Beihang University (Beijing, China), for their design “BH-22.” Xilong Fang, Guohe Jiang, Shiying Song, Ziyu Qin, Wenhao Ma. Xingmin Gui, project advisor. Min Chen, faculty advisor. Team name: Flyingbird.

  • Second Place: Arab Academy for Science, Technology, & Maritime Transport (Alexandria, Egypt), for their design “AAP-100.” Abdelmageed Elgammal, Asser Mohamed, Ahmed Mostafa, Ahmed Sharaf. Prof. Dr. Yehia Eldrainy, project advisor. Prof. Dr. Aly Esmail, faculty advisor.
  • Third Place: Turkish Naval Academy (Istanbul, Turkey), for their design “Future High Bypass Engine.” Muhammad Abdullah Kacmaz, Oguzhan Pala, Muzaffer Onalan, Mehmet Ali Keles. Associate Professor Dr. Dogus Ozkan, faculty advisor. Team name: Two Blue Eyes.

Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270 cell

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 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.