UAB’s School of Engineering shapes the future of aerospace

UAB’s School of Engineering student-led organization will participate in the national Design Build Fly competition.

Fuse.1For the first time in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s history, the School of Engineering was selected to participate in the national Design Build Fly competition.

The objective for the competition is to design, build and test an unmanned aerial vehicle with a towed sensor. Missions include delivery of the UAV, transportation of sensors in shipping containers, and surveillance by deploying, operating and recovering a tower sensor.

UAB’s initial design proposal ranked third overall, outperforming schools such as MIT, Stanford, University of South California and Georgia Tech. By ranking third-best design proposal in the nation, UAB will be allowed to build an aircraft and participate in the national competition.

The success is in part thanks to students. The UAB American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics branch is a student-led professional aerospace organization that is seeking to propel UAB’s engineering program to a new level. AIAA was able to organize its team and create a competitive report during the pandemic.

“We are the only aerospace group at UAB,” said Jordan Fuse, AIAA branch chair. “If we prosper, we can attract the attention of aerospace companies in the region and show them the talent Birmingham has to offer. This opportunity is incredible considering the school does not currently have an aerospace department or aerospace degree program.”

UAB AIAA also has a mission to support its students with undergraduate and graduate research. There are national and international research symposiums within the professional American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics organization.

“We want to help our students attend these conferences and take specialized classes where they can network with large companies that sponsor these conferences,” Fuse said.

To help the student-led AIAA organization, donate to