Keith Hautala

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College: Engineering

Wing Design Competition to be Held at Lake Cumberland Regional Airport

Published: May 1, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2013) — The University of Kentucky College of Engineering will hold the third annual Kentucky Wing Design Competition on May 7, with a rain date set for May 10. The event will be held at the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport, marking the first time the competition will be open to the public. 
 
The competition challenges teams of high school students to design and construct a wing for a remote-controlled airplane suitable for meeting various speed and strength challenges. Schools within the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education (KIAE) network create teams through formal class offerings and student clubs. There are currently 15 schools within KIAE, and this will be the first year that schools can enter multiple teams in the event. Teams have been working on their aircraft since January and approximately 150 students are expected to compete.
 
For the third straight year, the event will be coordinated by the UK College of Engineering and sponsored by NASA Kentucky. UK engineering professors supply teaching modules on aerodynamics and stability to assist teams with their wing design. 
 
“The hope is that the students who learn the material from the teaching modules this year will pass it on to new students next year, creating an accumulated body of knowledge that grows as it is handed down year after year,” said Jesse Hoagg, professor of mechanical engineering at UK.
 
Tim Smith, director of KIAE, appreciates the ways in which the competition helps high school students learn engineering principles outside the classroom.
 
“This competition inspires students with flight, but gives them a great hands-on opportunity to apply math, science and problem solving in ways they don't get in a classroom,” said Smith. “For NASA and Kentucky, these students are the future—whether they decide to pursue careers specifically in aviation and aerospace engineering or whether they choose another field—they will have tried something very difficult, succeeded at some aspects and learned a lot along the way.” 
 
For more information, please contact Tim Smith, 502-320-9490; Kellie Baker, airport manager, Lake Cumberland Regional Airport, 606-679-7908; or Jesse Hoagg, 859-218-0641.
 
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