UAS Challenge


About UAS Challenge     

Flight checks at the 2017 Challenge

The UAS Challenge (Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge) is our leading annual student competition in the aerospace sector.

We lead the way in promoting value and cohesion within the industry, providing unique opportunities to universities, their teams, the individual participants and of course for our partnering organisations.

Launched in 2014 with the key objectives of developing professional engineers and inspiring the next generation, the challenge is now in its fifth year. Each annual Challenge cycle kicks-off in October, ending with a final event in June the following year.

Teams of undergraduates from all over the world take part in the Challenge. They undertake a full design and build cycle of a UAS with specific mission objectives. The Challenge bridges the gap between academia and industry in developing applied UAS-related activities, providing the perfect opportunity to strengthen links with industry, other universities and enhance employment opportunities for graduates in the aerospace sector. See competition rules.

Given the experience we have from the Institution’s globally successful Formula Student competition, our direct links and relevance to both students and industry are assured.

“I have now been involved with the IMechE's UAS Challenge for over four years and been Chief Scrutineer for all four events. This has been both interesting and enjoyable, running a small team of dedicated and capable engineers, from a broad spectrum of the aviation world, civil and military. UAS Challenge takes a lot effort to pull together with the IMechE staff, but it is great to see the teamwork, application and technical understanding of the students in designing and building their air systems.

Their enthusiasm and commitment is infectious, as they endeavour to get the aircraft to fly effectively and it is very rewarding to see them complete the mission, having overcome a number of technical difficulties and practical operating issues. I think they all get a buzz out of completing the Challenge as part of their academic studies and learn a lot about regulation, project management, trials and evaluation and operational requirements on the way.”

Rod Williams, Principal Consultant, Frazer-Nash and Chief Scrutineer, UAS Challenge

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UAS Challenge 2017

The Challenge

  • Year-long project with phased stages of completion that require strict adherence and assessment in order to qualify to compete in the fly-off
  • Teams of undergraduates from national and international universities undertake a full design and build cycle of a UAS with specific mission objectives
  • Compete in a final ‘fly-off’ event in the UK
  • High priority focus on safety and technical competence throughout the competition
  • Overseen by a steering group of expert professionals in aerospace engineering and flight safety

Learn about the Challenge

Challenge Partners and Sponsors

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