Aerospace Engineering

Department News


Three First Places in Three Design Competitions

September 2019

Students at Titan Missile Museum "Grand Slam" for Cal Poly Pomona Undergraduate Aerospace Engineering Students in International Design Competitions: Three First Places in Three Design Competitions!

Aerospace student design teams from CPP placed FIRST in all three design competitions they entered during the 2018-2019 academic year! The competitions were sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the professional organization for aerospace engineers. The competitions were to design aircraft, spacecraft, or launch vehicles as follows:

  1. Design a short-haul air taxi aircraft
  2. Design a crew/cargo vehicle to travel between a lunar space station and the surface of the moon
  3. Design a vehicle to replace the United States’ aging Minuteman strategic nuclear weapon delivery system

The first message we received was that CPP teams won both FIRST and THIRD in the AIAA GRADUATE missile systems competition. This means that CPP’s first-place team of undergraduates came in ahead of a team of GRAD students from Georgia Tech. Our other missile systems team placed third in the same competition. These teams were privileged to receive valuable comments and feedback from engineers at the Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems facility (formerly Orbital ATK ) in Chandler, AZ during our department’s first aerospace design class trip out-of-state, and also the first time NGIS hosted ANY student visitors! The students also presented their work at the US Air Force Space and Missile Center in El Segundo, CA in front of judges from the Air Force and the Aerospace Corporation. These teams were advised by Prof. Don Edberg of aerospace, and used his newly-completed Space Launch Vehicle Design textbook in their class.

Students at JPLNext, we learned that one of CPP’s spacecraft design teams placed FIRST in the AIAA Undergraduate Space System Design competition. The first-place team finished ahead of Sharif University of Technology (Iran) and Istanbul Technical University (Turkey) with a total of 13 teams from around the globe participating. Our CPP space teams presented their work at Northrop Grumman’s Redondo Beach facility and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

Last but not least, a Cal Poly Pomona aircraft design team placed FIRST in the AIAA Undergraduate Aircraft Design competition! The team was advised by Lecturer Grant Carichner, and the students were evaluated by engineers at the world-famous Lockheed Martin “Skunk Works” design bureau in Palmdale, CA, and at Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, CA. This CPP team came in ahead of teams from the heavyweights University of Kansas and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second and third place, respectively.

Our student teams are extremely fortunate to be able to travel to industrial and government aerospace facilities in the nearby southern California region to receive advice from expert engineers practicing in the field, many of which are CPP alumni. This assistance is sincerely appreciated by the students, and is definitely helping the students to excel, as can be seen by the student teams’ performances!

CPP’s Aerospace Engineering Department currently teaches three capstone senior engineering design classes: aircraft design, spacecraft design, and launch vehicle design. These vehicle design courses are called “capstones” because they represent the combination and application of most of the academic studies and subjects the students have learned during their academic careers, and are acknowledged as such by the organization which provides accreditation to our department and its curriculum.

As part of the capstone design classes, students are required to form teams and enter engineering design competitions, where the students respond to a Request for Proposal from an outside organization outlining a “need” for the development of a vehicle or system to carry out a task, such as an advanced air cargo transport system, a supersonic fighter, spacecraft to fly around the Earth or to anywhere in the solar system, and launch vehicles to deliver payloads to orbits around Earth, moon, or other planets. The design process is similar to that followed in the industry, providing invaluable experience in real engineering along with design reviews providing valuable suggestions to our students, as well as exposure to potential employers.


1st Place in AIAA Design Competition

July 2019

Students at JPLThe Space Vehicle Design team, Lunacy Solutions, was awarded the 1st place in the AIAA 2018/2019 Space Systems Design Competition. Team Lunacy responded to AIAA Request for Proposal (RFP) entitled "Design of a Reusable Lunar Surface Access Vehicle: A Stepping Stone for Deep Space Exploration." The team submitted their proposal developed during one year of Dr. Edberg's Senior Design class. The team presented their design at 2019 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum. Cal Poly Pomona Aerospace Engineering teams have placed in the top 3 ranks multiple times at AIAA competitions in the recent years.


1st Place in FAR Competition

June 2019

Students at FAR Competition Cal Poly Pomona Aerospace Engineering team with Dr. Don Edberg as their advisor captured first place in the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) 1030 Competition. Read more on PolyCentric.