The Friday Harbor team has been named World Champions in this design competition!
The following is a letter from Daniel Garner of FHHS…
Kennedy Space Center
Center for Space Education
2019 International Space Settlement Design Competition World Finals
The Friday Harbor Aerospace Design Team, also known as Island Orbital Technologies (IOTech), has just completed their 42 hour design challenge and is now preparing for their design brief, scheduled for 10:50 am. This year’s world finals of the International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) asked the Friday Harbor team to combine ranks with four other schools in order to create one 60-person aerospace corporation. Dubbed “Rockdonnell”, this corporation included teams from India, Uruguay, Canada and the US.
On Saturday morning, Rockdonnell elected a number of Friday Harbor students to leadership positions. Notably, Arlo Harold (’20) was elected to be Vice President of Engineering, Joely Loucks (’19) was elected the head of Automations Design, Brandon Payne (’19) was elected head of Operations and Lucy Urbach (’19) took the post of Systems Engineer.
Beginning at 2pm on Saturday, teams received the RFP from the competition, which asked teams to propose the future construction, operations and maintenance for a settlement of 16,000 on the far side of the lunar surface. The ISSDC slated this scenario to take place in the year 2053, so part of this design competition is predictive, but based on current and projected developments.
The entirety of Saturday was spent organizing Rockdonnell into the following design departments: Structural Engineering, Operations and Infrastructure, Human Factors, Automations and Computing Design, and Business and Marketing. FHHS student Julian Brown (’19) worked in Structural Engineering, Emma Mughal (’21) worked in Operations, Sander VanHamersfeld (’20), Emmett Carrier (’20), Darcy Ayers (’21), and Evan Foley (’20) worked in Human Factors, Hank Erickson (’21) worked in Automations Design and Jaden Jones (’20) worked in Business and Marketing.
As Saturday progressed, it became clear that Arlo Harold and the Rockdonnell president had created a great team dynamic, with Nahuel providing the vision for the settlement and Arlo providing design time lines and constant oversight of the design process. As the competition continued, Arlo Harold took on more responsibilities and became the driving force for clarity and scheduling, whereas Lucy Urbach created a comprehensive compliance matrix of hundreds of design points that needed to be addressed. She then created a schedule for ‘tiger teams’ which addressed design points that bridged multiple departments. Overall she lead 6 tiger teams over the span of Sunday morning and went on to be the main designer behind the 50-slide design brief as well.
The Rockdonnell team continued to work constantly through Sunday and well into Monday morning, with many students going without sleep and was the first corporation to turn in its design proposal (5 minutes before the 7:30am deadline).
Their 50 slide design briefing is the result of an incredible amount of work, collaboration, communication, design, redesign, compromise, ingenuity, and imagination. It was particularly impressive to see how the Friday Harbor team took leadership roles and were respected for their experience, but most importantly, they were respected because of their work ethic and genuine kindness.
Rarely have I had the pleasure of working with such amazingly good people as the students on this team– the quality of their character shone through in how the Friday Harbor students were often the ones providing clarity and exuding calmness. The inevitable engineering and personal conflicts inherent in this process were quickly taken care of in the process, which showed this morning as the proposal was turned in and team members turned and gave each other very tired yet relieved hugs and high fives.
In just a few moments, we will begin the design brief, with 35 minutes to present 50 slides followed by a harrowing 10 minute question and answer period by the NASA and Aerospace industry judges.
We will then have to wait until 6pm to hear the results!
Teacher of English
Friday Harbor High School