Deadline: February 12, 2021 00:00 CET | Apply here
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All participants must be AIAA student members. Team competitions will be groups of not more than ten student members per entry.

AIAA Design Competitions 2021

AIAA Design Competitions offer a great opportunity for students to participate in a simulated real-world problem, allowing students to gain experience and receive useful and constructive feedback from technical experts who sit on AIAA Technical Committees.

Several of the competitions allow students to perform theoretical work and gain real-world insight into the design process.

For 2021, AIAA will offer the following competitions:

  • Team Aircraft Design – Graduate Team
  • Team Aircraft Design – Undergraduate Team
  • Team Space Design – Undergraduate Team
  • Team Missile System Design – Graduate Team
  • Team Engine Design – Undergraduate Team

Competitions Overview

Whether students are designing an aircraft, engine, or space vehicle, they will go through all of the primary design steps involved in determining a solution to a Request for Proposal (RFP).

This includes determining a hypothetical solution, testing the hypothesis, evaluating its effectiveness, possibly doing some cost analysis, and finally preparing a report that will be submitted in response to the RFP.

These responses are reviewed by experts in the field who will provide constructive responses to the students.


The prize money provided for the competitions is funded through the AIAA Foundation.

Aircraft Design Competitions

  • Graduate Team Aircraft
    1st Place: $750; 2nd Place: $550; 3rd Place: $500
  • Undergraduate Team Aircraft – Thin Haul Transport and Air Taxi
    1st Place: $750; 2nd Place: $550; 3rd Place: $500

Gas Turbine (Engine) Design Competition

  • Undergraduate Team Engine
    1st Place: $1000; 2nd Place: $600; 3rd Place: $500

Space Systems Design Competition

  • Undergraduate Team Space Transportation
    1st Place: $750; 2nd Place: $550; 3rd Place: $500

Missile Systems Design Competition

  • Graduate Team Missile Systems Design Competition
    1st Place: $750; 2nd Place: $550; 3rd Place: $500

The top three design teams will be awarded certificates. One representative from the first place team may be invited by the Technical Committee responsible for the RFP to make a presentation of their design at an AIAA forum.

A travel stipend may be available for some competitions, with a maximum travel stipend of $750 which may be used to help with costs for flight, hotel, or conference registration to attend an AIAA forum.

Interested in attending the the AIAA Design Competitions 2021? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.

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