See what amazing things our students are doing in competitions and challenges around the world.

Competition sparks innovation, and the Clark School students are leading the way.

The Value of Student Competition Teams

A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean Dr. Darryll Pines believes in harnessing the power of competition for the greater good.

Dean Pines"Many ideas have emerged from government, industry and academia regarding how best to inspire and support innovation. But nothing spurs creativity and innovation more than a combination of incentive and challenge: a reward for achievement, combined with the urgency of a dare to succeed and the reality that we must race against others. We are at our best when we compete."

Dean Pines’ philosophy is at the core of how we teach, both in the classroom and through optional participation in student competitions partially funded by alumni contributions. Keep up with the most recent innovations coming from students at the Clark School.

Alumni Cup

Teams from each of the School’s departments go head to head in an ultimate showdown for bragging rights and glory, competing in a spirited competition judged by the Clark School faculty and a panel of notable alumni.

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American Helicopter Society’s Student Design Competition

Each year, the American Helicopter Society sponsors a student helicopter design competition with additional funding from the rotorcraft industry. This year —and in three of the last four—Clark School students took home the top prize.

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Autonomous Micro Air Vehicle Team

This competition is not your average obstacle course — Clark School students design, build, and fly drones that need to think fast, buzz past obstacles, and deliver packages in the annual Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge sponsored by the Vertical Flight Society.

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Chem E-Car Team

Clark School student competition teams are a gateway to professional success, allowing students to strut their stuff in front of industry leaders and employers in search of top talent such as the AIChE (Chemical Engineers) annual Chem-E-Car Competition® which engages college students in designing and constructing a car powered by a chemical energy source that will safely carry a specified load over a given distance and stop. Clark School teams have routinely qualified to compete at the National level, winning top prizes and raising the Clark School’s industry-leading profile.

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Code Wars

Clark School students participate in the annual Windward artificial intelligence coding competition. Top university teams are given 8 hours analyze, test, and solve a problem using AI coded from Python, Java, Microsoft C++, or C#. 

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Collegiate Inventors

Creativity meets science in this prestigious invention contest. Clark School students team up to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. 

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Concrete Canoe Team

Clark School students design, build, and then – we’re not kidding – row canoes made of concrete in an annual competition run by the American Society of Civil Engineers. And they made that concrete boat fly, placing first in the Mid-Atlantic in the last two consecutive contests. 

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Cybersecurity Club

Computer and Electrical Engineering Students from the Clark School, in collaboration with students in Maryland’s Computer Science program, compete in annual cybersecurity competitions across the region – well known as the epicenter of the global cybersecurity industry—routinely earning a string of first place finishes. 

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Electrochemical Student Society Chapter Award

The Electrochemical Society is a trade organization dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of electrochemical and solid state science. Each year it recognizes the student chapters that best exemplify its mission with the coveted Electrochemical Student Society Chapter Award. Clark School students, collaborating with Maryland students from various outside departments, routinely draw the attention of the Society and place highly in this annual contest.

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FIRST Robotics

Students at the Clark School don't just build cool stuff for their own glory. They also foster positive community partnerships through programs such as FIRST Robotics, an international high school robotics competition. Clark School students not only get the chance to share their innovative spirit by mentoring student teams in the region, but they’re also helping to bring up the next generation of A. James Clark School of Engineering students. 

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Hovercraft Competition

The spirit of innovation fostered by competition is in the Clark School’s DNA. All first-year students build working hovercrafts for participation in a competition that is regularly regarded as a must-attend school-wide event.

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What’s the future of transportation look like? For many, it might look like an almost frictionless, magnetically-levitated pod hurtling at near super-sonic speeds through a tube in near vacuum, in other words, the Hyperloop. Clark School students on the bleeding edge of transportation’s future developed a Hyperloop pod prototype named Prometheus that was tested on SpaceX’s mile long test track in Hawthorne, California.

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Saving bananas from fungal infections and advancing plastic bioremediation - the iGem competition allows Clark School students to build their own biological systems and operate them.

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Robotic exploration of the solar system? Our Clark School students take on the challenge by designing aerospace concepts. 

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Our students are creating the future of automation and unpiloted vehicles, designing, building, and programming robots for a wide variety of competitions at the local, regional, and national levels. Are they good? Their awards—including first place in the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International RoboSub competition, a contest in which entrants build unmanned submersibles to perform specified tasks—speak for themselves. 

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Solar Decathlon

Clark School students participate in the Department of Energy’s ten-part Solar Decathlon competition. Teams design and construct a solar-powered house over the course of two years, with award-winning results.

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Steel Bridge Team

Each year, Clark School students compete in this American Society of Civil Engineers contest. The task: design and construct a bridge for rating with real-world guidelines and limitation inputs, including materials, labor costs, and construction speed. Past teams have placed first in the Mid-Atlantic, and have advanced to Nationals. 

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Terps Racing

The student members Terps Racing team feel the need for speed, building winning racecars with a history of excelling in motorsports all over the US. Competition victories include a National Championship in the Sports Car Club of America Solo Formula SAE Class, where the team’s car set a new event speed record.

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Terrapin Hackers

Clark School students with an urge to build cool stuff (including an award-winning “intelligent trash can”) show their creativity and innovative spirits by participating in numerous hack-a-thons, intense, limited-duration competitions that test their engineering skills, their stamina, and their will to win. The Terrapin Hackers team won the inaugural Major League Hacking competition and has been going strong ever since.

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Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)

The Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition in which graduate students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance, challenging students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

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