University Student Projects
North Dakota university students compete in a number of projects each year that the ND NASA Space Grant Consortium is proud to support.
Interested in applying for competition team funding?
AIAA Design Build Fly (DBF) Competition
The objective of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design Build Fly Competition is to design, build, test, and fly a remote-control aircraft based on flight mission specifics that change each year. The competition allows emerging engineers the opportunity to design an aircraft that can overcome challenges currently faced by the aerospace industry. This encourages research and design in line with NASA's mission by furthering innovation in aeronautics.
At North Dakota State University the AIAA DBF Competition is offered as one of the Senior Design Projects in the Mechanical Engineering Department. The project is led by the senior design group and members of the AIAA NDSU Chapter are team members as well; the faculty mentor is Bora Suzen. This AIAA organization gained full status in 2010 and first competed in the AIAA DBF Competition in 2011. Learn more about the competition on the AIAA DBF website.
- 2018: 49th out of 91 teams
- 2017: 67th out of 95 teams
- 2016: 60th out of 80 teams
- 2015: 56th out of 84 teams
- 2014: 69th out of 80 teams
- 2013: 36th out of 81 teams
- 2012: 37th out of 68 teams
- 2011: 32nd out of 82 teams
AUVSI SUAS Competition
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition is designed to foster interest in UAS, stimulate interest in UAS technologies and careers, and engage students in a challenging UAS mission. It requires students to design, integrate, report on, and demonstrate a UAS capable of autonomous flight and navigation, remote sensing via onboard payload sensors, and execution of a specific set of tasks. North Dakota State University first participated in the competition in 2018. Learn more about the competition on the AUVSI SUAS website.
Formula SAE Competition
The Formula SAE series competitions challenge teams of university students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop, and compete with small, formula-style vehicles. The competitions give teams the chance to demonstrate and prove both their creativity and engineering skills in comparison to teams from other universities around the world. The University of North Dakota competed most recently in Lincoln, NE; the team's faculty advisor is Marcellin Zahui. Learn more about the competition on the SAE website.
Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV Competition
The MATE Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition aims to engage students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers, encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning, and provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs. The competition challenges K-12 and university students from around the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace. NDSU fielded a team in the most recent competition in 2018. Learn more about the competition on the MATE ROV website.
NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
A team of students from North Dakota State University compete in NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge organized by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama each year. The challenge requires student teams to design and manufacture two-person, human-powered rovers throughout the academic year, culminating in a race through an obstacle course that mirrors one potentially encountered in planetary exploration. The faculty lead for NDSU is Ghodrat Karami. Learn more about the competition on the NASA Rover Challenge website.
NASA Robotics Mining Competition
The University of North Dakota RAPTOR (Robot Automated for the Procurement and Transport of Regolith) team has been participating in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition since 2010, held at the Kennedy Space Center each year. The team consists of students from the Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Departments at UND. Along with designing a robot to mine regolith on the Moon, Mars, an asteroid, or other planetary body, each team completes outreach activities to encourage K-12 students to pursue a STEM career. The team also serves as mentors for the local First Lego League Tournament. Their advisor is Jeremiah Neubert. North Dakota State University also fields a team for the competition. Their 2018 team earned the IEEE Judges' Innovation Award, first place in the slide demonstration category, second place in the on-site mining category, second place in the autonomy category, and second place overall. Advisors for the NDSU team are Majura Selekwa and Armon Myrick. Learn more about the competition on the NASA Robotics Mining website.
NASA Student Launch Competition
Each year, the University of North Dakota's Frozen Fury Rocketry Team designs and constructs a high-power rocket, named Aurora, for NASA's Student Launch Competition. Along with designing and building the rocket and payloads, competing teams develop a website, participate in STEM outreach for K-12 students, and design and sew their own parachutes for rocket retrieval. The UND rocketry team works diligently to pass the competitive proposal process, a Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review, Flight Readiness Review, and Launch Readiness Review throughout the school year. The faculty lead is Tim Young, with undergraduate and graduate student participants. Learn more about the competition on the NASA Student Launch website. The Frozen Fury Rocket Team maintains social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as their own website.