HEC Teams Win Scholarships at NASA Design Challenge

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Publication Date: 01/31/2020

Three teams from UT Tyler's Houston Engineering Center were named top design teams and won scholarships at the Fall 2019 Texas Space Grant Consortium NASA Design Challenge Showcase in League City.

Nearly $20,000 in scholarships were awarded to the top teams of which UT Tyler's teams The Houston Heat, ApolloX and STEMbiosis placed in the top six.

The Houston Heat placed third overall and in the best oral presentation and best peer review categories, while also placing fifth in the best poster category. ApolloX placed fifth overall and in the best oral presentation category while STEMbiosis placed sixth overall and first in the best poster category.

"The hard work and countless hours they put into these projects has paid off, and I couldn't be prouder of them. They have represented UT Tyler well," said Dr. Andres Garcia, director of the Houston Engineering Center.

The Design Challenge provides students with an opportunity to solve real-world problems of interest to NASA and its space-research affiliated contractor community. Design Challenge topics range from “Deployable Radiator Design for Inflatable Structures” to “Material Solutions for Lunar Dust Mitigation.”

STEMbiosis also received exciting news recently that they were chosen to participate in NASA's Micro-g NExT Challenge, which means their device will be tested in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston.

"This is the second time that a team from UT Tyler HEC has been selected, and hopefully this time we will not only compete, but win." said Garcia.

Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) challenges undergraduate students to design, build and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. Test operations are conducted in the simulated microgravity environment of the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.

The 2020 Micro-g NExT challenges focus on aspects of the Artemis mission, which plans to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024.


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