Engineering earns NC Space Grant award, will return to NASA event in April

Campbell University was one of six schools to earn a NC Space Grant Team Experience and Competition Award, which helps undergraduates compete in events either sponsored or sanctioned by NASA or other STEM-related organizations. 

Because of the award, Campbell engineering students will compete again in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Alabama, in April 2020. The challenge pits engineering students from high schools and colleges all over the world to create a vehicle “designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world.” Teams design, build and test technologies that enable their rovers to perform on a nearly three-quarter-mile course filled with grueling obstacles. 

Campbell students competed for the first time in the event in April 2019, against more than 100 schools at the Marshall Space Center. Their first time was a learning experience, according to Lee Rynearson — assistant professor of engineering and the faculty mentor for the group — who said his students left Huntsville with a ton of new knowledge for future competitions.

“Our engineering students are able to perform more technically demanding analyses and pursue more advanced fabrication techniques,” Rynearson said. “This support from NC Space Grant will allow us to tackle designs that were previously out of reach, which is a great opportunity both for student learning and our chances in the competition this April. We thank NC SpaceGrant for their continued support of the team.”