Cookie Notice

We use cookies to make parts of our website work, and to improve your visitor experience.
If you only allow necessary cookies, some features of our website may not work.

Institution news

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Challenge for 2018 takes flight

Institution News team

Flight checks underway - UAS Challenge 2017
Flight checks underway - UAS Challenge 2017

The Institution launches its 4th annual UAS Challenge in early October. The Challenge is a leading student competition within the Aerospace sector designed to develop and inspire the next generation of engineers.

The UAS Challenge is open to student teams from the UK and overseas encouraging them to be resourceful, solution driven and to maintain and to push boundaries while working as a team.

What is the Challenge?

Participating teams are required to design and build a UAS and demonstrate its operation in a humanitarian aid mission to compete in a final 2 day ‘fly-off’ event in UK.

The UAS should be able to operate autonomous flight, and perform a series of tasks such as way-point navigation, location search, accurate delivery of an aid package and return to base via a defined route. The focus on safety and technical competence throughout the competition is a very high priority.

The teams will also be tested to explain the commercial viability of their solutions with a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitch to competition judges.

Teams are supported throughout the project by the steering group , comprised of expert professionals in aerospace engineering and flight safety, many of whom are senior staff at leading organisations in aerospace and defence sectors.

Why get involved?

Bridging the gap between academia and industry in developing applied UAS-related activities, the Challenge is the perfect opportunity for students to strengthen their links with industry and enhance their employment opportunities in the aerospace sector.

Where and when does it take place?

The Challenge is a year-long project with phased stages of completion that require strict adherence and assessment in order to qualify.

The Challenge launches in October 2017 with a final UK ‘fly-off’ event on 18 and 19 June 2018.

Seventeen universities competed in the 2017 fly-off event, including Southampton, Sheffield, Bath, Nottingham, Swansea and Loughborough as well as Karachi and Istanbul, with students from Bath University being crowned overall winners of the Challenge.

Alex Powell,  Bath University Team Leader said:

“The team is over the moon to be crowned UAS Challenge grand champions. It was a long road to get here and we are all extremely pleased with the final result. All of us are still in shock at getting the award which made all those long nights in the lab worth it.”

Sandra Balthazaar, Education Projects Manager at the Institution who is organising the Challenge, said

“Here is a challenge that sets the industry of Unmanned Aircraft Systems racing. Our aspiration is to provide a viable platform for talented young engineers to work together in building a winning aircraft and to fly it. We have witnessed some tears no doubt but the talent, skill and passion on display never disappoints”.

To find out more and register visit:

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.


Read more related articles

Professional Engineering magazine

Professional Engineering app

  • Industry features and content
  • Engineering and Institution news
  • News and features exclusive to app users

Download our Professional Engineering app

Professional Engineering newsletter

A weekly round-up of the most popular and topical stories featured on our website, so you won't miss anything

Subscribe to Professional Engineering newsletter

Opt into your industry sector newsletter

Related articles