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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Engineering Students Take Challenge to Solve Aircraft Design Problems

October 24, 2002

Students in various engineering disciplines will form teams during the week of November 18 – 21 in a challenge to find solutions to real-world problems in aircraft design and manufacturing. The challenge, presented by engineers from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, will involve more than 350 students in the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering.

“We’re giving undergraduate engineering students the kinds of problems they can expect to see after they graduate,” said Keith Sundstrom, a staff engineer with Lockheed Martin. Students majoring in aerospace, computer science, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering will participate in the event. “It’s an exercise in cross-disciplinary teamwork,” Sundstrom added. “They’ll be confronted with actual problems we had with F-16 and F/A-22 aircraft and asked to brainstorm for possible solutions.”

Student teams will have about 45 minutes to evaluate a problem and develop a solution. Each team will then present their solution for review and judging by their peers, followed by Lockheed Martin engineers who will tell how they solved the problem. “Last year, some of the student teams came up with solutions that were right on track with what Lockheed had finally developed,” said Professor Don Wilson, chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. “That’s pretty good, considering these were undergraduates with only 45 minutes to create a solution.”

This is the third year that Lockheed Martin has challenged students at UTA. The company has presented similar challenges to students at Colorado, Georgia Tech, MIT, Michigan, Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M, TCU and UT-Austin.