ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 12, 2017: Global technology leader Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today the call for participants in its year-long Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Payload Design Challenge. Launched in partnership with Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services, the program will challenge teams from across UAE universities to design, develop, and integrate payloads onto a Lockheed Martin INDAGO, an UAS with leading endurance, payload options and advanced ground control software.
In-line with the UAE’s strategic human capital development goals, the competition aims to encourage local engagement within the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields by introducing UAE youth to fun, inspiring activities that develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to take them from university to industry.
Student teams from UAE universities will submit ideas to an industry panel and the winning ideas will be selected to participate in the competition. Lockheeed Martin engineers will guide student teams through the design and prototype process, offering students a hands-on, practical application of physical engineering and technology. At the end of the year-long program, student teams will test and integrate their prototype payloads in a live field demonstration and maintain the intellectual property to the payload.
Announcing the competition and call for participants, Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive Lockheed Martin UAE, said: “Lockheed Martin is excited to provide local youth with engaging opportunities that will equip them with the critical STEM skills needed to contribute towards a sustainable future.” He added, “It is important that industry leaders provide the next generation with opportunities to learn about unmanned systems and to develop their skills in this important technology. We strongly believe that the practical training they will undertake through this challenge will enable them to take the lead in driving innovation and sustainable growth in the UAE for decades to come.”
Fatima Al Marzouqi, Head of Education & Training, Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala commented: “A new era of economical and technological development is upon us. As the region looks to new ideas to support a post-hydrocarbon based economy, it becomes essential that our youth are better-equipped for and contributing to, the new STEM fuelled and knowledge-based economy. We take pride in partnering with Lockheed Martin to better enable future UAE pioneers through a program that will challenge and inspire them to create innovative ideas today that will pave the way for a new tomorrow.”
As a trusted partner of the UAE with more than 50 years of regional experience, Lockheed Martin supports the UAE’s national STEM priorities.