A FILIPINO student studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) won the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.
Jose Mari Tuason and his teammates from UIUC composed of Sam Wywrot, Steven Kosvick, Austin Scott and Sashank Gumella designed the Cable-Controlled Aeroshell Deceleration System in response to the need for an inflatable heat shield technology.
This invention could help NASA land heavier payloads with greater accuracy in space missions.
BIG Idea Challenge is an engineering design competition sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (GCD) Program and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.
Tuason, the only Filipino in the team who belongs to the Xavier School Class of 2010, and his teammates had to defend their idea in a design review at NASA’s Langley Research Center last Monday, where they were scrutinized by a panel of experts.
The Filipino aerospace engineering student and his team beat competitors from Georgia Tech, The State University of New York at Buffalo and Purdue University.
Tuason’s team will continue to work under the GDC program under an internship this summer, with hopes of further developing their concept.
NEIL A. ALCOBER