Project Teams

Applied Hands-on Learning. Collaborative. Innovative.

Cornell Engineering Project Teams mimic real-world engineering by bringing Cornell students, faculty, and staff together to solve complex problems in team-based settings. Breaking the rules of conventional wisdom is not foreign to our engineers and the spirit of innovation is alive and well in our state-or-the-art labs and workshops. Many of our teams compete regionally, nationally, and internationally in engineering design and build competitions and/or travel the globe for service learning projects and programs.
Upson Hall Student Project team working on project
Engineering Project Teams by the Numbers:

  • 29 teams in 2018-19
  • Largest program of its kind in the country with over 1,100 student participants
  • Over $1 million dollars of funding for 2018-2019
  • Representation across the 14 Engineering majors
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration across Cornell’s seven undergraduate colleges/schools

Learn more about our teams!

ACM Programming

ACM Programming is devoted to competitive programming. We conquer challenging problems of different topics that can be roughly divided into three categories. Implementation: implementation-focused ones such as backtracking problems require good code and carefulness to excel. Combinatorics (dynamic programming, enumerative combinatorics, graph theory, greedy algorithms): usually require delicate-designed data structures and algorithms to get accepted. Geometry and Number Theory (vector operations, convex hull, primes, modular arithmetic): demonstrates beautiful mathematical applications in the contest.

AguaClara Cornell

AguaClara upholds and protects the fundamental human right to access safe drinking water. We are committed to the ongoing development of resilient, gravity-powered drinking water and wastewater treatment technologies. Students lead the innovation process, learn from each other, and foster a collaborative environment where diversity is celebrated, failures are learning opportunities, and success is shared. We research, invent, and design technologies that are implemented by partner organizations and managed by communities to bring safe water on tap!

Cornell App Dev

AppDev is a project team at Cornell University dedicated to creating open-source applications on the App Store and Google Play Store. All of our code is open-source and hosted on GitHub, and our team works in a startup-like environment. We have members with various specializations, including software engineering, product design, marketing, and product management.


Autonomous Bicycle

The Autonomous Bicycle is an undergraduate project team at Cornell University working to build a self-balancing, self-navigating, robotic bicycle. We are solving problems involving balance, navigation, localization, obstacle avoidance, and autonomous starting/stopping. We also work on a human-rideable bicycle with balance assist features. The students on our team study mechanical engineering, computer science, and business.

Baja Racing

Baja SAE is an engineering project team which annually designs, builds and races an off-road vehicle to compete in the SAE Collegiate Baja Design Series. By encouraging hands-on engineering and project-based learning, Cornell Baja takes engineering out of the classroom (and onto the track) for 40 students annually. The competition requires students to balance design and cost with dynamic performance while following a strict set of safety guidelines and standardized rules. There are three North American competitions annually, each with 100 competing teams. The competition is broken down into static and dynamic events.

Cornell ChemE Car

ChemE Car is a student-run Cornell University project team of approximately fifty members with the goal to build model cars entirely operated by chemical reactions. Since it started in 2004, the team has won first place in the AIChE Regional and National Conferences several times, and is currently preparing for the Northeast Regional Conference that will be held in the coming spring.

Cornell Univesity Concrete Canoe

The Concrete Canoe team constructs a canoe made of concrete and competes in the annual Upstate NY Regional ASCE Conference each spring. Through designing the canoe’s structure and composition, team members learn creative engineering, problem solving skills, and collaborative teamwork. Our team is comprised of six subteams: Mix Design, Mold, Logistics, Analysis, Aesthetics, and Paddling.

Cornell Cup Robotics

Cornell Cup Robotics is a student run organization at Cornell University that designs, manufactures, and creates innovative robotics oriented projects. Over 50 Cornell students work to create dynamic projects that bolster the ingenuity of embedded technologies. The objective of this team is to provide a valuable, practical experience for students with robotics and embedded systems, and to demonstrate the extraordinary technology that we are able to create.

Cornell Hyperloop

Cornell Hyperloop is a team of students from Cornell University aiming to accelerate the development of Hyperloop by designing and building a pod to compete in the annual SpaceX Hyperloop competition.

Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems

CUAir, Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems, is an interdisciplinary project team working to design, build, and test a custom search and rescue unmanned aerial system. This includes tasks such as autonomous take-off and landing, waypoint navigation, automatic in-flight obstacle avoidance, target detection, classification and localization, and payload delivery.

Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

The Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (CUAUV) team designs and builds AUVs for competition and research. The team and its vehicle have received acclaim and support from industry professionals as a result of its performance and long-standing tradition of excellence.

CU Sail

CU Sail  is a Cornell University engineering project that designs and manufactures an inexpensive, autonomous robotic sailboat each year for the SailBot International Robotic Sailboat Regatta. Building upon the skills required in competition, we hope to one day have a fleet of autonomous sailboats that can independently navigate across the world to collect oceanic data. CUSail offers students across many disciplines the opportunity to apply what they have been learning in the classroom to real world engineering problems of tomorrow. Using cutting-edge technology and advanced mechanical design, our team is exploring the uncharted waters that is the field of autonomous sailboats.

Cornell Data Science

Cornell Data Science is an undergraduate project team which builds data-driven solutions to a variety of real-world problems. Current initiatives range from a scalable mapping system for better natural disaster response to a tool which can summarize Amazon reviews for a better user experience. Our team of 80 students is a great place to meet people with diverse interests, gain experience at the intersection of theory and application, and contribute to the greater community through initiatives like the machine learning course we teach.

Cornell Seismic Design

The Cornell Seismic Design team designs, builds, and tests a scaled multi-story balsa wood tower for an international undergraduate competition hosted every spring at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s (EERI) annual meeting. At competition, the tower is scored on a number of categories including architecture, model predictions, building revenue and costs, team presentations, and most importantly whether or not the structure survives all three ground motions. Our team offers a great opportunity for students interested in all engineering disciplines, especially those focused in construction, structures, architecture, seismology and more, to experience the process of bringing a project from an abstract thought to a tangible product.

Desgin by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams

The Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) is an engineering project team of undergraduate students across 17 majors who come together to develop innovative solutions for current biomedical concerns. After two years of in-depth research and development, our project is submitted to VentureWell’s DEBUT competition, where it is judged based on innovation, marketability, and patentability.

Cornell Design and Tech Logo

The Cornell Design & Tech Initiative is an engineering project team dedicated to creating technology for community impact. Our diverse team of over 70 team members work as designers, developers, product managers, and business analysts to help build websites and mobile applications for Cornell and beyond. We share our knowledge with others through initiatives like student-run classes, technical workshops, and local community events.

Cornell Mars Rover logo

The Cornell Mars Rover is a student-run engineering project team on campus, comprised of 7 rovers and over 45 members organized into 6 sub-teams. Cornell Mars Rover aims to design an innovative mars rover to compete in the University Rover Challenge, which is held annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Since its inception as a student project team in 2010 at Cornell University, Cornell Mars Rover has constantly performed well in the University Rover Challenge.

Cornell Racing logo

Founded in 1986, Cornell Racing designs, builds and tests a new Formula-style racecar to compete in the Formula SAE series every year. Our team is composed of 60 undergraduate and graduate students divided into 14 technical and non-technical subteams. The majority of our team members are technical subteam leads and members who are responsible for the design of each component on the car.

Cornell Rocketry Team

Cornell Rocketry is an engineering project team dedicated to designing, assembling, and launching high-powered rockets. Each year, the team participates in the NASA Student Launch, a competition with over 60 teams from all across the country. This involves launching a high-powered rocket to an altitude of 5,280 ft with a specific and challenging payload that changes yearly. We are always committed to facing the next challenge and hope our accomplishments showcase our passion to you.

Design Build Fly

Design Build Fly (DBF) is a student-run project team in which members develop, build, test, and optimize a custom radio-controlled aircraft to compete in the international DBF competition. Since our founding in 2011, we have placed sixth and eighth out of 80 international teams and have taken first place for our written technical report, which is now publicly showcased. The team’s success in its short existence is predicated upon our innovative design approach, use of cutting edge methods and materials, and dedicated members. Cornell DBF provides interested students a venue to apply theoretical coursework to formulate practical engineering solutions. By applying the same technology and manufacturing methods as industry professionals, our team provides graduating members with the knowledge and experience for success.

Cornell Engineering World Health logo

Cornell's Engineering World Health (EWH) chapter was founded in the fall of 2012 by a group of undergraduates who wanted to make a meaningful impact in the world, even as students. This mission has become the core foundation of EWH as a project team that seeks to make innovative and low-cost medical devices for developing countries and low-resource communities. From idea conception, to design, to final prototyping, Cornell EWH has created several devices with the potential for impact. While in the past the team has submitted prototype designs to an international competition, and placed 3rd in their first submission, the team is now working on building devices that will be directly implemented by health care workers in low-resource communities.

Engineers for a Sustainable World Biofuels

Engineers for a Sustainable World: Biofuels is a student project team at Cornell University that strives to improve campus and local sustainability through biofuels initiatives and implementation. As part of the Cornell Chapter of ESW-Global, ESW Biofuels fosters technical skills, engineering knowledge of biofuels processes, and dedication to sustainability through work with Cornell and the greater Ithaca community.

Engineers in Action

Engineers in Action, Cornell University's bridge program(formerly Bridges to Prosperity), is a student-led branch of Engineers in Action. Fueled by the passion of university students and the wisdom of our local partners, we build footbridges with isolated communities to ensure they have year-round safe access to essential resources such as education, healthcare, and markets. The team prepares all design work, construction plans, and funds to travel and build pedestrian suspended bridges in Central America, South America, and Africa in collaboration with the local people in under-served communities.

Engineers without Borders

Cornell's Engineers Without Borders chapter is a group of passionate and highly motivated students who aim to create long-lasting solutions to problems in international communities. Members are given the opportunity to nurture their creative and technical expertise by designing and implementing sustainable engineering projects. Through collaboration with communities in developing countries around the world, our members are exposed to diverse cultures while gaining academic experience outside of the classroom environment.

Cornell iGem logo

The Cornell Cornell Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM)team is an award-winning synthetic biology research team comprised of 30 undergraduate students. The team is comprised of five subteams: Wet Lab, Product Development, Policy and Practices, Business, and Wiki/Design. The team works throughout the school year and summer to solve local and global problems related to medical applications, environmental concerns, and human and animal health. We compete against 300+ multidisciplinary teams from all around the world at the iGEM Giant Jamboree, hosted annually by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation.

Micro-g logo

The Cornell University Microgravity (Micro-G) project team is a group of students who are passionate about pushing the boundaries of space technology. Working in coordination with NASA, the team designs and develops tools to aid in space exploration. Each year, the team starts from scratch, choosing a new challenge and designing an instrument to achieve the desired purpose. At the end of the year, Cornell Micro-g travels to the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to test the device with trained astronaut divers. Our team takes on a large variety of tasks including CADing, machining, electrical engineering, human factors, rapid prototyping, sourcing funds, technical writing, and outreach coordination. 

Resistance Racing

Founded in 2014, Resistance Racing is a Cornell University engineering project team that designs, builds and tests energy-efficient electric vehicles. As the first project team at Cornell University to explore completely electric vehicles, and one of the teams affiliated with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Resistance Racing gives students of all majors and ages the distinct opportunity to apply knowledge from classes to modern issues in engineering such as sustainable design and electric mobility.

Cornell Solar Boat

Solar Boat is an engineering project team that designs and builds a seventeen foot, single occupant, purely solar powered speed boat for the Intercollegiate Solar Splash Competition. Founded in 2015, Solar Boat is one of Cornell University's youngest project teams. Despite this, Solar Boat provides students of all ages and majors with practical experience, a cooperative team environment, and a chance to apply their knowledge to modern engineering problems.

Steel Bridge

Steel Bridge is an undergraduate project team under the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that annually competes in the American Institute of Steel Construction Student (AISC) Steel Bridge Competition. Each year, students spend the year designing, analyzing, fabricating, and constructing a bridge. Team members are able to utilize their classroom knowledge to optimize a bridge with the lightest weight, fastest constructability, and lowest deflection. All members of the team are additionally encouraged to participate in the hands-on experience of bringing the bridge from theory to reality.

Cornell Engineering student Katie

Getting involved in AguaClara, a research group that has been successfully developing water purification systems in impoverished areas in Honduras and India was something extraordinary. 

— Katie, Chemical Engineering '17