ULA announces challenge winners

What would you do with an extra $10,000?

That’s a question Sydney, Australia-based medical device engineer Nic Adams will need to answer.


Adams is the winner of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) “3-2-1 Liftoff! ULA Rocket Hardware Challenge” additive manufacturing contest. His design was selected from a pool of nearly 400 entries. Hosted on GrabCAD.com, the Challenge invited participants to design a launch support attachment bracket for ULA’s current Atlas V rocket.

We could not have been more pleased with the entries we received,” said Mark Peller, ULA’s vice president of engineering.  “What could be more exciting than designing hardware that will fly on a future Atlas V rocket?”

ULA was so happy with the quality of the Challenge design submissions, that the company increased the prize money pool, with Adams receiving $10,000 (US), second place finisher Vishal Gandhele of India receiving $3,000 (US), and third place entrant Winston Jennings of Jamaica taking home $2,000 (US).

A panel of experts, including ULA CEO and President Tory Bruno as well as engineers from ULA and Stratasys, judged the entries.

“This is truly an exciting time and we are on the cusp of a space revolution,” said Bruno. “New technologies and missions we haven’t even imagined are on the horizon, and ULA  and designers such as Nic Adams are transforming the future of launch.”