Aerospace Division

University of Surrey crowned the winners of the 2022 UAS Challenge

Institution News Team

Heron Winners
Heron Winners

Team Peryton Heron fended off strong entries from rival teams at this international engineering competition.

University of Surrey were among the many teams presented with awards following two days of flying events held at the BMFA Buckminster airfield on the Leicestershire/Lincolnshire border. Other notable award winners included Queen’s University Belfast, Polytechnic University of Valencia and Loughborough University.

The University of Surrey continue their successes in the competition, having fielded the winning team in 2021. 

Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, this annual student engineering competition challenges university teams around the world to design, build and run an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to carry out humanitarian aid missions autonomously.

Combining formal presentations and live flying of their UAS, the fly off at BMFA Buckminster provides student teams with the opportunity to showcase their hard work and demonstrate the abilities of their UAS in flight tests designed to mimic real-world situations, such as photography and an aid package drop. With the majority of COVID restrictions in the UK now lifted, the 2022 fly off event played host to over a dozen student teams, with local universities across the UK joined by entrants from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Pakistan and more. Those teams who were unable to join in person were able to compete virtually.

“We are delighted that so many teams were able to take part this year,” said Emma Pateman, Project Manager at the IMechE for the UAS Challenge. “The UAS Challenge remains one of the Institution’s flagship student competitions and continues to grow and provide a platform for students to learn and develop essential skills for their future careers.”

All the award winners of this year’s UAS Challenge are as follows:

  • Grand Champion – Team Peryton Heron, University of Surrey
  • Runner Up – ANTHUS, Queen’s University Belfast
  • 3rd Place – HORUS UPV, Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV)
  • Virtual Champion – Team Wrise, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies
  • Innovation - ANTHUS, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Design – Loughborough UAV, Loughborough University
  • Scrutineering - ANTHUS, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Safety - Team Peryton Heron, University of Surrey
  • Airworthiness - HORUS UPV, Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV)
  • Operational Supportability – DMU Fliers, DeMontfort University
  • Business Proposition – Team Foxtrot, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of engineering sciences and technology
  • Most Promise – Automec, Universidade de Aveiro
  • Highest place new entrant - HORUS UPV, Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV)
  • Media and Engagement - DroneTeam Twente, University of Twente

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the UAS Challenge 2022 organising committee is grateful for the support of competition sponsors Autodesk, Babcock International, Leonardo UK, Ratheon, QinetiQ and RS Grass Roots, as well as supporting partners Arpas UK, Air Drop Box, the British Model Flying Association, Mashoom and Talentview Aviation.

Finally, the Institution would like to thank all teams for taking part in this year’s UAS Challenge and hope you enjoyed the opportunity to learn and develop your engineering skills. For those of you graduating and starting your careers this summer, we wish you the best of luck, for all those returning to university in September, we look forward to seeing you build on your work.

Registration for the UAS Challenge 2023 will open in September 2022 for all new and returning teams; to be informed when registration opens, please follow the UAS Challenge’s Twitter and Facebook channels and keep an eye open on the UAS Challenge website.


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