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SAE Aero Design team poses behind award-winning plane

Engineering Team Soars in Florida Competition

by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville’s aero design team soared against international and U.S. squads during the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Florida, this spring.

Cedarville placed third among U.S. teams and scored a second-place finish in the presentation category among all 16 teams in the contest.

The team competed in the advanced class with its remote-controlled airplane, which was built to accurately drop a 2-pound humanitarian aid package from an altitude of 100 feet while carrying additional cargo. The plane incorporated an advanced communication system that streamed a live video feed and altitude data to a ground station.

“It was a great capstone project that provided an opportunity to incorporate what we’ve learned in a variety of our classes into a single project,” said team member Tyler Greenwood from Springfield, Ohio. “We started in the fall and went through the design, build and testing phases. Seeing a project through all of these phases gave us a good idea for how a long-term, in-depth project works.” 

Tim Norman, professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering, advised the team.

“Cedarville engineering students compete very well at national and international competitions,” said Norman. “We showcased our engineering talents among some of the best engineering programs in the world.”

The five-member team was comprised of senior mechanical engineering majors who joined the team as their senior capstone project. All five have landed positions after commencement: Greenwood and John Sandlas are employed at Lockheed Martin, a government contractor that designs and builds fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones; Jared Holsclaw is training as a U.S. Air Force navigator; Wyatt Hartman is working for Parker Hannifin in Macedonia, Ohio; and Matthew Bird is employed at Hobart/ITW in Troy, Ohio.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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