SAE International Launches AeroConnect Challenge to Design UAVs in Support of Wildfire Fighting Missions

Unique Collegiate Competition Addresses Real-World Connected Aircraft Issues   

WARRENDALE, Pa. (October 30, 2019) – SAE International recently introduced the SAE AeroConnect Challenge™, a new hands-on challenge aimed at college students studying aerospace engineering, computer science, civil engineering, with an interest in humanitarian causes. The challenge will task university teams to develop a deployable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system with the first-year challenge to aid in supporting wildfire fighting missions in California. 
“At SAE International, we are continually looking to develop competitions that are not only hands-on and fun for the participants, but are actually helping to solve real world problems,” said Chris Ciuca, Director of Pre-Professional Education at SAE International. “Wildfires are occurring more frequently, and from California to the Amazon, we are seeing considerable public attention directed to the efforts. With the AeroConnect Challenge, we are focusing on advancing mobility technologies by utilizing our best and brightest students to bring their ideas, passion and creativity to solve a problem using connected aircraft and UAV technology.”
SAE’s AeroConnect Challenge is the inaugural student engineering design challenge in the SAE Emerging Technology Series, which is part of SAE’s highly successful Collegiate Design Series. Each program within the SAE Emerging Technology Series challenges universities to create a team of multi-disciplinary engineers to collaborate, design, present and defend conceptual designs to industry professionals.
Registration is now open for the first AeroConnect Challenge that will take place at SAE’s AeroTech Americas Conference on March 17-19, 2020, in Pasadena, California. To learn more and register for SAE’s AeroConnect Challenge, please visit:
To learn more about SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series competitions, please visit:
About SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to advancing mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. By engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers, we connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs award-winning programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™. More at
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