Skip to main content

News & Events

Capstone awards showcase top work

Amy Sprague
July 1, 2024

We recognize outstanding capstone projects in design, innovation and film excellence from graduating seniors.

We are excited to announce our 2024 capstone award winners. Through an intense, year-long process, the student teams tackled complex, real-world design challenges sponsored by leading aerospace companies, our faculty and student organizations. Their innovative solutions demonstrated remarkable creativity, technical mastery, and commitment to excellence.

Technical Awards

Group of people posing behind a remote controlled aircraft

The DBF Air Cargo Challenge capstone team with their plane at the Undergraduate Showcase: Leon Betancourt, Osvaldo Aldaz, Aakash Bansal, Peter Funston, Enoch Kwong, Evelyn Madewell, Jevoni Sykes, Kas Bakker. Missing: Kayden Greenup.

Technical Excellence: Design Build Fly Air Cargo Challenge

Team: Evelyn Madewell, Leon Betancourt, Enoch Kwong, Kas Bakker, Kayden Greenup, Peter Funston, Jevoni Sykes, Osvaldo Aldaz, Aakash Bansal

This team delivered excellent work by applying fundamental principles and following the systems engineering process to successfully test a stable airplane through several flights. Their thorough analysis and design work was complemented by well-developed manufacturing plans, resulting in a high-quality vehicle specifically designed with very small performance margins to be a strong competitor in the upcoming challenge.

Innovation: SPACE Lab Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) Balance

Team: Nathan Cheng, Felicity Cundiff, Adam Delbow, Ben Fetters, Lillie LaPlace, Kai Laslett-Vigil, Winston Wilhere

This team was challenged to push the limits of previous measurement systems for PPTs with very small thrust. While the inverted pendulum balance design has been used in the past, they faced the challenge of making one that the customer (SPACE Lab) knew had exceptional ranges—from 10 micro-Newtons to 100 milli-Newtons. The challenge was further heightened by requiring a system that could safely operate inside a vacuum chamber with minimal metal components. Although the full range was not achieved, the team's design pushed the limits of what a PPT Thrust Balance can accomplish and paved the way for a future version to achieve the main objective.

Left: A group of people stands in a lab with scientific equipment in the back. Right: Two people interact with an device on a table during an expo.

Left: The SPACE Lab capstone team: Nathan Cheng, Ben Fetters, Lillie LaPlace, Kai Laslett-Vigil, Adam Delbow, Winston Wilhere, Felicity Cundiff, with Professor Justin Little. Right: The SPACE Lab team’s pulsed plasma thruster balance model.

Film Fest Awards

Best in Show: Fly and Swim Drone

Team: Angelina dos Remedios, Thomas George, Nolan Klissus, Lucas Lestenkof, Tony McDaniel, Allie Surprise, William (Aarron) Watts

This team designed a dual-medium amphibious drone capable of maintaining a flight time of at least 15 minutes and a swim time of at least 20 minutes, reaching an airspeed of 45 miles per hour and a swim speed of at least three mph at a depth of up to four feet.

Honorable Mention: Boeing Regional Airline

Team: Grayson Atwell, Jason Cundrawijaya, Salomé Demurger, Salvador Hernandez, Mack Howard, Aaron Hsu, Alex Zhang

This team created a preliminary design for Boeing of a 75-passenger regional jet that would have 20 percent better fuel burn than comparable jets and would fly a minimum range of 1500 nautical miles while running on sustainable aviation fuel.

People’s Choice: Lockheed Martin Lunar E-Launch

Team: Yaffet Bedru, Justin Danh, Ethan Duer, Sydney Jackson, Kyle Klem, Haili Kuester, Phuong Le, Daniel Lord, Kevin Major, Katelynn Moen, Julius Naehrig, Emi Peterson, Cesar Tirado

This team proposed a lunar electromagnetic launch system and built and tested a sub-scale launcher to launch payloads from the surface of the Moon.

View the entire 2024 Capstone Film Fest

A&A's talented capstone teams have crafted 3-minute videos showcasing their amazing work.

Play all