College Students to Compete in SkyHack Design Challenge at Kent State

Kent State University’s aviation design challenge, SkyHack, will take place Nov. 1-3. The event draws college students from around the nation, attracting 120 students from 14 universities in four states in its 2017 inaugural debut. Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering will serve as home base for this year’s event, which will span across other Kent Campus buildings.

Thanks to Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the event’s key sponsor, a $10,000 grand prize will be awarded to the top team. A $1,000 prize will be given to the winning team for each challenge stream. Additional sponsored prizes will be awarded, including $500 of Amazon web service credit for each of the winning teams.

“We are so grateful to Burton D. Morgan Foundation for its patronage to collegiate innovation,” said Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “It’s very exciting being part of an event that not only brings together students focusing on careers in the aeronautics and engineering industries but also all of the other disciplines that interface with aeronautics.” 

Participants are asked to develop solutions to aviation industry pains. This may include developing mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations or platform solutions that could help provide disaster aid, simplify travel or streamline a process. The solution can be crafted from the perspective of any major. See projects from the last SkyHack event.

This year’s challenge includes sponsors from the aviation and engineering industries. SkyHack is open to students registered at any U.S. university. The event allows participants the opportunity to learn new computer skills, network and work as a team. Students can come to the competition with a team or build one after arriving. All work must be done on Kent State’s campus during the competition.

“We’re reaching out to college students across the country, majoring in all disciplines,” said Jackie Ruller, assistant dean of Kent State’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “We want everyone in maker communities and beyond to participate. We encourage students to branch out beyond their typical comfort zone to create something great.”

Many tech-savvy and design mentors will be available during the competition to help participants, including Kent State faculty members, entrepreneurs, engineers and industry leaders. Computers, makerspaces, supplies, machine shop equipment and tools will also be available to challenge participants.

This year, SkyHack is offering five challenge streams to be solved in three days. Participants stay on campus, working on projects at any time of day. All meals are provided. Entry is free. 

For more information about SkyHack, visit

Follow @KentStateCAE on Twitter and use #SkyHack.

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Media Contacts:
Jackie Ruller,, 330-672-7064
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2019 11:10 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 09:18 AM
Jessica Tremayne-Farkas