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UA engineering students succeed at Lockheed Martin challenge

1909028, Lockheed-Martin Cube competition winner Christopher Simpson, shot 09-11-19

Aerospace engineering doctoral student Chris Simpson, center, solved the high-value problem first and was offered a job at Lockheed Martin.

Three University of Alabama engineering students opened Lockheed Martin’s Space Challenge Box by correctly solving a high-value problem and unlocking a future of opportunities with the company.

Lockheed Martin visited UA’s campus Sep. 9-11 to recruit the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, through the Space Challenge Box. Three problems were offered to students each day of Lockheed Martin’s visit, while a high-value problem was available for the duration of the event.

“Engineering is so diverse that it’s difficult to make direct comparisons between fields or to know what the day-to-day tasks of engineers in different or more obscure fields are like,” said Colin Adreon, a senior electrical engineering major. “I appreciated that [Lockheed Martin] had so many different departments and fields all in one place.”

Adreon, Chris Simpson and Jacob Grimaldi, all UA engineering students, were able to solve the high-value problem during this event. Simpson, an aerospace engineering doctoral candidate, was the first participant to solve the problem and was issued an on-the-spot job offer from Lockheed Martin. In the eight other campus visits Lockheed Martin organized before coming to UA, only seven students were able to solve the high-value equation.

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Lockheed Martin’s Space Challenge Box was in UA’s Ferguson Student Center for three days.

“[This accomplishment] really shows that the University is giving us the fundamental knowledge we need to pick apart a question like that and take it step by step and get an answer,” said Simpson.

UA students were extremely successful during this challenge. During the three-day event, 96 percent of the 1,086 UA students who participated in the Space Box Challenge were engineering students. More than 120 UA students were able to solve at least one problem.

In addition to the Space Box Challenge, Lockheed Martin also hosted an open house during their visit. Eighty-five UA students were extended employment opportunities during this event. Of those 85 offers, 78 full-time and internship position invitations were extended to engineering students due to their strong academic achievements and accomplishments during Lockheed Martin’s visit.

“UA is a place where legends are forged,” Grimaldi, a senior aerospace engineering major said. “[The University] can hone you, focus you [and] unlock [your] potential.”

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 130 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.