A NSW Government website

STEM Student Competition Sponsorship Program

SSCSP Program highlights

Over the Dusty Moon challenge - University of New South Wales, Sydney

The competition overview was to develop a prototype that can transport lunar regolith simulant (moon soil) from a silo to a processing plant, to help support the Artemis missions. Teams had to overcome dust tolerance, power and weight restrictions, maintenance issues, and assume temperature challenges. UNSW Aussienauts came 2nd in the world (1st Poland, 2nd UNSW, and 3rd ESA).

‘The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer grant allowed the UNSW Aussienaut team to achieve amazing success internationally and showcase Australian talent. Thanks to the grant, the UNSW Aussienauts have been able to establish strong connections with Australian space engineering organisations including the Australian Space Agency, as well as international organisations including NASA and Lockheed Martin. And even had the opportunity to meet ESA Astronaut in Training, Meganne Christian. Through our outreach programs, the UNSW Aussienauts hope to have helped inspire the next generation of Australian students to explore opportunities in space’. Mr Nicholas Barnett, UNSW Sydney.

Over the Dusty Moon

Spaceport America Cup - UNSW Rocketry

The Spaceport America Cup is an annual intercollegiate rocketry competition held at Spaceport America, a commercial spaceport located in New Mexico, USA. This event serves as the premier platform for student rocketry teams from around the world to showcase their engineering skills, innovative designs, and knowledge in the field of aerospace engineering. With nearly 160 teams from across the world, the innovation and engineering prowess on display were very insightful and sparked healthy competition.

‘Our journey with UNSW Rocketry at the Spaceport America Cup was undeniably extraordinary. Achieving 3rd place in the 30K COTS category stood as a testament to our dedication and innovative spirit, earning us a well-deserved spot on the winners' podium. We were thrilled to receive the "Best Media" award, underscoring not only our technical expertise but also our exceptional communication skills in sharing our rocketry passion. Connecting with teams worldwide was an invaluable experience. Interacting with diverse and talented groups allowed us to exchange ideas, gain fresh perspectives, and foster crucial international collaborations, expanding our horizons and deepening our knowledge. In summary, our journey at the Spaceport America Cup showcased our team's strength, innovation, and the bonds formed with like-minded enthusiasts worldwide. We take pride in our accomplishments and look forward to the future of rocketry’. Mr Erik Mueller, UNSW.


2023 Formula SAE-Australasia competition – Western Sydney University

The Formula SAE competition and its variants, like Formula SAE-A, provide university students a practical platform to apply engineering knowledge, bridging theory with real-world challenges. Participants develop race cars from concept to reality, gaining experience in research, design, manufacturing, management, and finance. These globally operated competitions attract universities worldwide, emphasizing student engineering skills, innovation, and industry readiness. Adhering to competition rules, students lead autonomous projects, promoting accountability. Formula SAE events enhance students' research and design capabilities, challenging them to create high-performing race cars and apply theoretical knowledge. Formula SAE-A specifically offers universities a rewarding environment to showcase academic skills. These competitions empower students to translate classroom learning into practical solutions, preparing them for successful engineering careers through fostering innovation, teamwork, and problem-solving.

‘Participating in Formula SAE has been a transformative experience, enriching both my academic and personal growth. The hands-on learning in engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship has equipped me with essential skills for my STEM career. Representing Western Sydney University has not only showcased our research capabilities but also forged valuable industry partnerships, enhancing our academic standing. Formula SAE goes beyond the university, driving innovation, economic growth, and STEM education in the community. Despite challenges in the 2023 competition, it deepened my understanding of engineering and fostered strong bonds with peers, strengthening collaboration. The experience prompted reflection on commitment to engineering, reaffirming my dedication to success. While tangible achievements were limited, the intangible insights gained in engineering and personal growth have prepared me for future endeavours. I'm grateful for the opportunity and confident that Formula SAE has shaped me into a capable engineer and leader in the field’. Mr Bowen Fucile, Western Sydney University.


2021 Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition -School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, Western Sydney University,

The second Urban Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition highlighted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) with a specific focus on innovative, multidisciplinary, and impactful concepts. Teams were required to showcase the capacity to drive future increase in employment, contribution to 17 UNSDGs, social values, and ability to improve life quality. Projects should present new ideas, technologies, products, and business models with a clear start-up plan. CO2 Concrete team actively participated in this competition, presenting a clear startup plan cantered around the promotion of CO2 Concrete as an environmentally friendly construction material. The competition spanned from April to November 2021, and after two competitive rounds, the team emerged as the Gold Prize winner, receiving RMB 100,000 (equivalent to AUD 20,000).


The 2023 Australasian Synthetic Biology Challenge - The University Technology of Sydney Team, ‘GRAVILAB’

Synthetic Biology (referred to as “SynBio”), is an exciting scientific field that re-engineers biology to make sustainable products (e.g., textiles, fuels, foods, medicines). The Australasian SynBio Challenge is an inter-university competition that aims to grow the SynBio community in Australia and abroad. As a unique educational platform, the SynBio Challenge provides university students with the opportunity to carry-out their very own SynBio research project.

‘The Australasian Synthetic Biology Challenge was a hugely beneficial learning experience. It challenged me to think critically and apply my newly acquired science knowledge in unique ways. The lab skills I learnt have also provided me with increased confidence in my abilities. The opportunity to present our research at the Challenge's Final Showcase in Canberra was amazing, and allowed us to network other students and scientists. I can see that this whole experience will assist my future scientific career’. Nathan O’Brien, UTS Science UG Student.

Robocup 2023 – The University of NSW - rUNSWift team

Robocup is the largest robotics and artificial intelligence competition in the world, bringing together student teams from hundreds of countries to learn from each other, gain new skills, demonstrate new approaches to complex real-world problems, and of course, to compete and win!

The rUNSWift team competed in the highest robotic soccer league (Champions Cup) among very capable teams from Europe and the US. The team members had to face many challenges with the robotic hardware, dynamic lighting conditions and of course all

competitors have made significant improvements to their code since last year. The game for the 3rd place against a German team HULKs has ended in a 1-1 tie and had to be resolved in the penalty shootout, which has been very exciting for everyone involved, because it happens very rarely. In the end, rUNSWift prevailed and took bronze medals home.

‘We are very grateful for the support we have received our robotic soccer competition. It has been a great experience for the students to go overseas and compete on the international stage and put Australia on the world robotics pedestal once again’. Mr Claude Sammut, University of New South Wales.