Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


25 May 2017

Aeronautical Students to Compete in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge team
The Loughborough team drone

A team of nine undergraduate Aeronautical Engineers from Loughborough University will design and build an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), also known as a drone, as part of the annual competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers against 22 other universities.

The Team are pictured above: Nick Ranson - Team Leader, Mikayel Aghajanyan, Nicholas Constantinou, Billal Mir, Akin Timur, Shazan Hafeel, Adil Adatia, James Burch and Samuel Ekregbesi.

An unmanned aircraft system is an aircraft without a human pilot on-board. They are predominantly known for their use in military and special operations, such as delivering humanitarian aid.

The competition will see the young engineers develop their drones before taking on other teams in a ‘fly-off’, where they will be challenged to transport a package as accurately and rapidly as possible. (The Loughborough Team drone is pictured.)

Nick Ranson, from Team Atlas said about the team’s involvement in the competition:

“Taking part in the UAS Challenge gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills. 

“As young engineers, the experience will help us to become well-equipped for a long-lasting career in engineering.” 

John Turton, Chairman of the UAS Challenge, said: 

“Industry and Academia interest in the UAS Challenge has grown rapidly since our first competition in 2015.

“For 2017 we are expanding the international dimension with more teams being invited from overseas. Going forward we are seeking to engage more industry leaders to partner us in a range of aspects. For organisations, this continues to be a remarkable opportunity to join hands with the Institution to support and uphold the future of the aerospace industry. 

“The competition gives access to a pipe-line of job-ready young engineers experienced in practical skills and enhanced people skills, delivers profiled and relevant brand exposure and facilitates being part of a growing network of industry leaders that promote innovation.”

Nick Ransaon stated, in anticipation of the competition:

"We are feeling very confident about the challenge. Initial flight trials have been very promising. This year the team is comprised of several students who have extensive experience in key aspects of the challenge; Flight Control Systems, Optimal Path Planning, CFD, FEM, RC Modelling, Matlab. These skills have allowed us to significantly improve on the performance of the previous year's aircraft. I have no doubt that our aircraft will be one of the leading competitors at the competition in June."

Now in its third year, the UAS Challenge is the fourth student engineering challenge event run by the Institution, following Formula Student, the Railway Challenge and the Design Challenge.

The fly-off event takes place on 19 and 20 June at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, LLanbedr Airfield.  

The School of AACME, (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering), would like to wish the Team all the best in this years challenge!

Institution of Mechanical Engineers logo

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering     institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 112,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries.