UT Aerospace Team Places Third in National Rube Goldberg Contest

Each year, the University of Texas at Austin AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) student chapter aims to build a Rube Goldberg machine, which is then presented at the University's Rube Goldberg Machine contest. The machine is based on the complicated devices featured in the famous newspaper cartoons by Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg. Groups are given an elementary challenge such as peeling an apple or sharpening a pencil, but must do so in a minimum of twenty steps - the more, the better!

This year's National Rube Goldberg Challenge was to remove both old batteries from a two-battery flashlight, install new batteries, and turn the flashlight on. UT Aerospace Engineering students chose to light up a replica of the UT Tower for their flashlight, and were chosen to represent UT Austin and Aerospace Engineering at the National Rube Goldberg Competition at Purdue on Saturday, April 9, 2005.

UPDATE: This year's AIAA Rube Goldberg team placed third in the National Rube Goldberg Competition!  Congratulations go out to all team members for their hard work and dedication:

Jesse Franceschini, Randy Lum, Ronald Lum, Julie Mitchell, Jonathan Reyes, Stephanie Sellers and Steve Walker.

For more information about the Rube Goldberg Machine contest, visit the official Rube Goldberg website.

Student Highlight

Media Coverage

  • UT’s supercomputing research arm is part of a coalition of universities behind ADCIRC, a computer program that predicts and simulates storm surges. Now the coalition is receiving a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to update the computer code, with the goal of providing more timely predictions for the emergency responders who need to make decisions on evacuations and other response efforts. (Austin-American Statesman, October 19, 2014)

  • A new $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences to further develop a high-tech, super-computer powered storm surge simulator that could help emergency officials better plan hurricane responses. (Austin Business Journal, October 20, 2014)

  • Glenn Lightsey talks about miniature satellites for Deep Space Industries's test missions occurring in 2015 (PRX, August, 25, 2014)