FirePoint C3 Challenge Invites Student Teams to Submit Their Best Designs to Build the Army’s Next-Generation UAS & Win $35,000

The FirePoint Innovations Center at Wichita State University today announced registration is now open for the first-ever FirePoint C3 Challenge, inviting university students from around the U.S. to submit their best designs for the Army’s future unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) intended for next-generation combat and defense.


To enter, teams must first register and then submit an Intent to Compete by October 18th. The entire program runs through February 2021, when the final reports and demonstration of the completed UAV will be presented to the U.S. Department of Defense, along with other industry experts in aerospace, aviation and manufacturing.


C3 Converge/Collaborate/Create

The C3 Challenge brings together teams of the best and brightest student designers, engineers and innovators along with the U.S. Army and industry partners to converge, collaborate and create advanced technologies to fuel the Army Futures Command’s product and workforce development initiatives. The C3 Challenge aims to develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow by giving students hands-on, real-world experience and networking opportunities in the aerospace industry, while also surfacing for the Army the most innovative designs currently residing in university labs around the country.


“Our mission with C3 is twofold. First, our primary directive is to develop the next generation of engineers and innovators to fuel the Army’s talent pipeline, and there’s no better way to do that than by exposing students to the technologies, techniques and career opportunities available,” said Steve Cyrus, Manager of Technology Collaborations with FirePoint. “Second, by building partnerships between the U.S. Army and universities across the country, we hope to bring some of the best university technology to market where it can support both U.S. military and American manufacturing superiority.”


Win $35,000 Plus the Real Prize: Hands-On Career Building

With a total prize package of up to $35,000, the C3 Challenge asks students to submit a design proposal for a specific component within a UAV subsystem—either lift, energy or structure. Up to 10 teams will then be selected to develop a proof of concept and finally collaborate to design and fabricate an integrated working prototype for final presentation to the Army.


With the help of industry partners led by Dassault Systemes, C3 teams will get to collaborate remotely with one another using the company’s world-class 3D design and modeling platform, simulating how real-world development and problem-solving happen in modern engineering.


In addition, teams will participate in on-site meetups and get behind-the-scenes access to see the design and production floors in action at some of the biggest, most well-known companies in American aviation, manufacturing and aerospace. They’ll also learn first-hand about some of the challenging career opportunities available in these organizations, as well as in the Army aviation community


“This is a unique and exciting opportunity for aspiring engineers and innovators to work with some of the most advanced tools and design and manufacturing techniques employed in industry and see firsthand how modern engineering problem-solving happens on a global scale,” Cyrus said. “The learnings and networking opportunities will be valuable as participating C3 students move forward into their career-building process.”


The C3 Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation and Missile Center (CCDC AvMC), with support from Dassault and the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University. Additional companies interested in becoming a C3 Challenge partner and tapping into and supporting the future of the aviation engineering workforce development may contact FirePoint directly at


To learn more about the C3 Challenge and register to participate (open to U.S. residents only), visit

About FirePoint

FirePoint is a partnership between Wichita State University and the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aviation and Missile Center (CCDC AvMC) that accelerates joint technology development, transfer and commercialization among CCDC, universities, industry and other government organizations. FirePoint aims to support the educational, commercial and workforce development necessary to drive innovation and collaboration across the key Army modernization priorities.  The C3 Challenge, along with other FirePoint initiatives, support collaboration, partnering, and STEM workforce development to ensure modern Army combat readiness and overmatch in the multidomain battlespace.


For more information, visit

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