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NDUS Home  |  News  |  Campus Happenings


NDSU students wins NASA robotic mining awards

Posted on 5/30/2018

An NDSU team of engineering and computer science students excelled during the recent NASA Robotic Mining Competition held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Team members included 11 students from NDSU and a student from James Madison University. The team took home several honors:

IEEE Judges' Innovation Award

Slide Presentation and Demonstration Award, first place

Caterpillar Autonomy Award, second place

On-site Mining Award, second place

The annual competition, held May 14-18, attracted teams from more than 50 colleges and universities. Students are asked to design and build mining robots that could navigate challenging simulated off-world terrain. During the competition, the robots excavated regolith, or gravel, and returned the material to a collector bin to simulate a mining mission on another planet.

"The management of the project took a lot of cues from experiences myself and other students gained from previous internships. We tried to structure of the project similarly to a real-life engineering project using an agile software development methodology and product data management software," said Noah Curfman, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Fargo who is the team leader. "The amount the team was able to accomplish because of well-thought out project organization was incredible. The experiences I gained from working within a large, multi-disciplinary group structured like a real engineering team are invaluable."

The team members, in addition to Curfman, are:

Samuel Fehringer, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Duluth, Minnesota

Jacob Huesman, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Lake Park, Minnesota

Josh Huesman, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Lake Park, Minnesota

Jessie Lee, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from New London, Minnesota

Haiming Lou, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Nicole Maguire, a senior majoring in computer science at James Madison University

Marc Olberding, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Rochester, Minnesota

Austin Oltmanns, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Dickinson, North Dakota

Elliott Stone, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Bismarck, North Dakota

Jeremy Warzecka, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering from St. Joseph, Minnesota

Samuel Willenbring, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Perham, Minnesota

The team's faculty adviser is Majura Selekwa, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

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