Imperial College London

AeroSoc holds its first ever virtual hackathon


The first slide of the presentation from the winning AeroHack team Ministry

Imperial’s Aeronautical Engineering Society (AeroSoc) has held its first-ever virtual hackathon.

AeroHack, which follows last year’s SpaceHack hackathon, was attended by one hundred people, with twenty teams participating in total.

Teams were asked to devise solutions to problems relating to Space Exploration and Satellite Applications. Five problem statements were sent to students in advance of the event. During the event itself, teams presented their solutions to a panel of engineers from companies such as Airbus, SpaceX and OneWeb.

Four keynote speakers from industry (including two AeroSoc alumni) also gave talks about entrepreneurship, space exploration and the Space Generation Advisory Council. 

The winning team was Team Ministry, a group of second-year Aeronautics Undergraduates (Rohit Singh, Luke Marsden, Sukhneet Gakhal, Samuel Cheung, and Charlie Aveline). They proposed using clusters of drones deployed from a mobile base station to collect detailed data of the Martian surface. The idea intends to enable more detailed data to be obtained faster and over a larger area for future landing sites and the search for life on Mars.

AeroSoc’s President, Ju Rong Tham (Ryan) said of the event: “We had some doubts about organising a completely virtual hackathon. Organising the event was a huge challenge we’d never undertaken before, and having the entire event online required a lot of preparation. I spent the entire week before the event thinking about every minute detail of the event, from facilitating interaction to coordinating our judges all over the world in California, Rome and other places.” 

Ryan adds “There were definitely hitches: we overran by an hour. But the day went well, and we saw from our feedback survey that many of the participants thoroughly enjoyed the event."

As for future AeroSoc events, Ryan says an Alumni Mentoring Scheme is in the pipeline "Our Industrial Liaison Officers Ming See and Wing Yu have been working hard at reaching out to alumni and we are really excited to kick it off!"


Tom Creese

Tom Creese
Department of Aeronautics

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