The student chapter of the IEEE at Washington University in St. Louis placed third at the regional Robotics (Drone) competition hosted by Region 5 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

As part of the competition, team members were challenged to program an autonomous drone to pop helium-filled balloons in a set order in less than three minutes.

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The team members were Zhun Cheng, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering; Peter Jakiela, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering; Zhijian Long, a junior majoring in electrical engineering; Connor Monahan, a senior majoring in computer science; Arman Serpen, a junior majoring in electrical engineering; Benjamin Standaert, a first-year student majoring in computer science; Nicholas Tu, a sophomore; and Tong Wu, a dual-degree student majoring in computer science.

"This is a great bunch of students who exceeded all expectations during a challenging time," said Bob Becnel, club adviser and adjunct faculty member in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering. “They worked many hours in the DUC and outside to prepare for the event.”

Region 5 of the IEEE has more than 23,000 higher education members and more than 3,600 student members.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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