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Industry Partners Sponsor Student Competition Teams

Bell Helicopter sponsored the student team that traveled to Patuxent River Naval Air Station located in Maryland for the 2013 Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition.  The SUAS Competition is designed to garner student interest in unmanned systems by providing a challenging objective. The competition requires a demonstration of an unmanned system capable of conducting air operations which includes autonomous flight, navigation of a specified course, and use of onboard payload sensors. A record 35 teams entered the competitions, with the UTA team finishing 10th overall; winning $700 for their accomplishments. The team had one of the quickest completion times, and landing their aerial vehicle within six inches of the target. Dr. Brian Huff, associate professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Department, served as the faculty advisor the the competition. The student team members included Hakki Erhan Sevil, Onur Daskiran, Jonathan Efringer and Hasintha Amaranayake.


Students Fabian Estrada (left) and Anthony Madrid make last minute adjustments to the aquatic device.


Dr. Manfred Huber, associate professor in the Computer Science & Engineering Department, traveled with students Fabian Estrada and Anthony Madrid to the 6th Annual International RoboBoat Competition in Virginia Beach, VA. The student team, sponsored by Qinetiq-NA, developed an autonomous surface vehicle of their own design, including hardware, software and unique programming. Over the course of three days, UTA competed with over thirteen teams, two international, in an aquatic obstacle course that includes littoral area navigation, channel following, and autonomous docking.


The autonomous ground vehicle, aptly named Marauder. 


Chris McMurrough, Michael Smith, Scott Phan, Chase Guy, Bardia Mojra and Rommel Alonzo, engineering students, competed in the 2013 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. Held annually at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, the competition offers a variety of events testing the vehicles components including autonomy, design and navigation. Students interact with industry partners, such as team sponsor Lockheed Martin,  who provide component hardware and advice, getting an inside view of industrial design and future career opportunities. The team’s 4-wheeled vehicle was praised as one of the most unique designs in the competition.

UTARI is committed to providing students with the opportunity to work alongside industry partners in professional lab settings, enabling them to garner hands on experiences they can take with them throughout their career. For those interested in competing or working with the student teams, please email