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The 2019 Boeing Innovation Challenge (BIC), an ongoing multi-university competition, put student teams’ ingenuity and creativity to the test as they developed new ways to advance the commercial aviation industry. Six of the 19 student teams that advanced to the next stage of the competition hailed from the Texas A&M University College of Engineering – representing the largest number of teams coming from a single institution.

Their goal? To design solutions to real-world problems faced by the aviation industry, inspire industry leaders and present creative ideas to better a field that connects cultures around the world.

This year’s competition focused on three main areas of impact: simplifying commercial airplanes, creating adaptable and flexible airplane cabins and bringing advances from other industries to commercial aviation.

“I believe that the BIC can benefit me in two ways,” said Taha Rahman, student at the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Bryan. “Professionally, it could open doors for potential internships and allow me to network with Boeing and students from other universities nationwide. On a much more personal scale, representing Texas A&M on a national level means the world to me."

This is more than just a university to me, so getting the opportunity to compete on behalf of our institution is an honor and privilege.

Taha Rahman

The second-round Texas A&M teams are Time Flies, Reveille’s Engineers, PBEtamu, Wright On, PBEBC and Soar Higher.

Time Flies included Moss Misiaszek, Vic Lee and Joshua Tharakan. Reveille’s Engineers consisted of Nathanael Markle and Korbin San Miguel. Team PBEtamu included Jesus Covarrubias, Kyle Jungbluth and Jose Maldonado. Making up Wright On was Ali Hasnain Khowaja, Brady Allen and Mitchell Mu. PBEBC consisted of Connor McMunn and Blake Neuendorf. Finally, Soar Higher included Taha Rahman, Rushi Patel and Rami Ayari.

On Jan. 10, all teams had a chance to pitch their idea in a virtual meeting and the 10 best ideas were selected for the hackathon event. From here, students were assigned new teams based on their interest in the selected ideas, and partnered with other students across the nation to develop solutions in a hackathon-style event from Jan. 20-22 in Mukilteo, Washington. There, they will be meeting with Boeing leaders to discuss project ideas, career aspirations and upcoming internship opportunities. At the end of the event, they will present their ideas to a panel of Boeing judges.

Students who have worked on creating new inventions for the company during this process will be included on any future patent applications as an inventor.

“We were incredibly excited to see so many of our students selected for the Boeing Innovation Challenge,” said Magda Lagoudas, executive director of industry and nonprofit partnerships. “It demonstrates the innovative spirit of our students and their interest to pursue new challenges, solve real-world problems, and gain valuable skills outside the classroom.”