Related NASA Sites

NASA Research Centers

+ Dates, Eligibility, and Resources+ Submission Requirements+ Evaluation Criteria |
+ Contest Q&A
+ Awards+ Past Awardees

New University Contest 2014-2015

US Teams Only

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate: University Engineering Design Challenge

NEW CHALLENGE:  Design an all electric, general aviation vehicle for service in 2020.


Electrically-powered aircraft have the potential to revolutionize the way we travel. The dramatic increases in efficiency, reliability, and reduced environmental impact have been well-documented for electric powertrains, as is the potential for significant reductions in community noise. Yet, the largest drawback of electrically-powered vehicles has been the onboard energy storage system – namely, its weight, cost, and logistical needs. Battery weight (or reactant storage volume) has especially precluded their utility on aircraft, and the equipment (as well as time) needed to recharge these energy storage systems is lacking at most public-use airports. There is dramatic improvement in electric aircraft utility as the mass and volume of the energy storage system is reduced, particularly if such approaches leave the logistics landscape unchanged.

Download the complete specifications here: 2020-E-GA-design-contest-ARMD-1

Important Dates–DUE DATE EXTENDED TO MAY 18, 2015

Letters of Intent will be accepted through January 16, 2015.

Final Entries are due May 18, 2015.

Send questions to


2014 HALE UAS for Hurricane Tracking Mission Challenge Winners

The Gobble Hawk, Virginia Tech, First Place Team

The QQ541-1 Trident, Purdue University, Second Place Team

The Big WAHOO, University of Virginia, Third Place Team

For images and more details on the 2014 winners:

 2013 UAS Firefighting Challenge Winners

Purdue University, First Place

Honorable Mention

  • Boston University
  • California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona Campus
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Wisconsin

NASA UAS Summer Internship Recipients

  • Kyle Smalling, California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona Campus
  • Brock Harden and Coryn Mickelson, University of Kansas
  • Jennifer Hull and Matthew Mannebach, University of Wisconsin