METU NCC team brings home first prize from Drone Competition

The first prize was awarded to the METU Cyprus team at the Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Competition, which was organized by Boeing, the leading aerospace company, in collaboration with METU.

Boeing, which is a leader in the aerospace industry in the world, organized a competition in collaboration with METU to increase students’ interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, and to contribute to the development of drone technology in Turkey. The competition was open to students from all universities. Participants were asked to design a UAV having vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability.

Search-and-rescue drones were developed 

The competition aimed to encourage students to explore the future use of drone technology in search and rescue –an area where drones have long been used. Thus, competitiors were asked to develop search and rescue drones that will enable them, based on the assigned scenario, to find the two students who were lost in forest and to deliver a bottle of water to them. 11 projects, developed accordingly by students from various universities, were submitted to the competition. Of those, 9 projects achieved to pass the primary screening and competed at the METU Stadium on November 11-12. 

The drone designers selected as finalists demonstrated their prototypes’ take-off and landing during flight in front of a jury consisting of academicians. The jury awarded the first prize to Kübra Koparan, Deha Karahan and Baybora Tuna Süer, who represent the METU Northern Cyprus Campus Aerospace Society in the competition. In the drone design process, Asst. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Perçin served as the project advisor of the winning team. Besides, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tuncay Yalçınkaya and Instructor Uğur Karban, provided support to the team as the academic advisors of the Aerospace Society.

The team representing Necmettin Erbakan University was the second prize winner of the competition. The third prize went to the Ondokuz Mayıs University team. 

Ayşem Sargın, the Managing Director of Boeing Turkey, said: “As a worldwide pioneer of cutting edge technology in aerospace, Boeing uses its resources to improve the aerospace technologies in Turkey.” Commenting on their collaboration with METU, Sargın explained: “We aim to inspire passion for aerospace among young generation and strengthen the core competencies of Turkey in this field using our collaborative effort based on the resources and capabilities of Boeing and METU.” The Managing Director of Boeing Turkey, Ayşem Sargın pointed out that it would be possible to touch the lives of many young individuals through such projects and to shed a light on their future, as well as planting the seeds today for the future of Turkey’s aerospace industry. 

Prof. Dr. Ozan Tekinalp,  the Head of Department of Aerospace Engineering at METU, said: “Since it was established, the Department of Aerospace Engineering has played a key role in all pioneering projects carried out in the field of aerospace.” Professor Tekinalp stated that the competition, organized for the first time in Turkey with the support of the Boeing company, aimed to encourage students, not only from METU but also from other universities, to explore the field of robotic flying systems, and that it would be held in the years ahead. “It will attract more and more interest and make significant contributions to the process of developing the generation of highly talented engineers that possess great skills”, Professor Tekinalp added.