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Norwich University Students Win NASA Engineering Design Challenge with Inflatable Solar Array

Wednesday, March 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

A team of five Norwich University students led by Mechanical Engineering Professor Brian Bradke has won NASA’s 2018 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Engineering Design Challenge with its Norwich Inflatable Mars Solar Array (NIMSA).

According to NASA: “In 2017, NASA called for proposals for large power systems that could be used on the surface of Mars. Because these systems need to be in place before humans ever arrive on the Red Planet, teams were required to propose robotic or autonomous solutions for deployment and sustainable operation.”

This is the third year NASA has put on the challenge, which “enlists university teams from across the nation to develop creative solutions to some of the agency’s most relevant challenges,” according to a NASA press release.

“I am proud of our team’s work and performance at the competition,” David Crawford School of Engineering Director Stephen Fitzhugh said. “They are a wonderful example of Norwich students displaying the Norwich value of ‘conceiving as well as executing’.”

Along with Bradke, the Norwich team is comprised of Mechanical Engineering majors: Tyler Azure, of Lino Lakes, Minn.; Nicole Goebel, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Laurie King, of Waddington, N.Y.; and Braeden Ostepchuk, of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada; and Electrical and Computer Engineering major Charlene Huyler, of Westport, Mass.

The four other teams in the competition were: The University of Colorado Boulder, which came in second place; Princeton; Texas A&M University; and The University of Virginia.

Source: Press Release

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