American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

AIAA is the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space and defense. As one of over 190 AIAA student branches located around the world, the Embry‑Riddle branch enables students to participate in team-based technical projects, attend professional activities, take trips to local aerospace companies such as NASA and Piper Aircraft, network with students and industry professionals, and much more.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ebenezer Gnanamanickam at

AIAA Design, Build and Fly

The AIAA Design, Build and Fly (DBF) competition provides students with the opportunity to apply aircraft design experience toward a specific mission in a team competition that takes place every year. Student teams design, fabricate and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric-powered, radio-controlled aircraft designed to meet the mission requirements. The ERAU team earned 3rd place (1st in the U.S.) in the 2023 DBF competition, with 100-plus teams competing. ERAU has placed in the top three teams for three years in a row, which is unpreceded.

For more information, please contact Dr. J. Gordon Leishman at


EagleCam is a student-led project in which a camera was designed to take the first third-person images of a spacecraft as it makes an extraterrestrial landing. The team includes students studying aerospace engineering, computer science, electrical and software engineering, and business. EagleCam flew on the Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander, which landed on the moon in February of 2024, making it the first university student-built payload on the moon. Due to the challenges of the off-nominal landing configuration of the Odysseus lander, EagleCam was not deployed as planned, but the project was overall a remarkable success and an invaluable experience for the students.

For more information, please contact Dr. Troy Henderson at

Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers and Developers Society (ERFSEDS)

The Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers and Developers Society (ERFSEDS) is the largest student rocketry club on campus, with a focus on designing, building and flying high-powered rockets. ERFSEDS Project Prometheus has successfully performed four consecutive test firings in the past year of rocket motors burning their own formulation of solid propellant. The tests are to demonstrate repeatability and reliability. They all produced around 100 pounds of thrust for three seconds. The tests were done in collaboration with ERAU Aviation Maintenance Science in one of their jet engine test cells.

For more information, please contact Dr. Rick Perrell at

Experimental Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (ERPL)

The Experimental Rocket Propulsion Lab (ERPL) is a student-run organization dedicated to designing, building and testing experimental rocket engines. Students experience hands-on learning through a wide range of projects spanning solids, liquids, hybrids and flight controls. ERPL recently completed the first successful test firing of their Odyssey 500-pound thrust hybrid rocket engine, which burns nitrous oxide with solid fuel. The ten-second burn was conducted at Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, Florida. ERPL has subsequently entered Project Odyssey in the Collegiate Lander Challenge, where teams compete in achieving a series of technical milestones for cash rewards.

For more information, please contact Dr. Rick Perrell at

Experimental Jet Engine Performance (XJEP)

The student club XJEP serves as an outlet for ERAU students to gain hands-on experience in air-breathing propulsion and jet engines. The club, currently with over 150 student members, recently presented conference papers at the AIAA SciTech conference in January 2024 in Orlando, Florida. Student researchers presented work related to their design and testing of a novel afterburner and variable nozzle system for their JetCAT P300pro turbojet engine. The group is continuing the afterburner development while also investigating the design of ramjet inlets and upgraded test stands.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mark Ricklick at

Embry-Riddle Orbital Research Association (ERORA)

The Embry-Riddle Orbital Research Association (ERORA) serves to lay the groundwork for future research in orbit using experimental satellites, providing students with industry-applicable experience for satellite design, manufacturing and operations. Currently, ERORA has three ongoing projects: Project Hermes, Project Copernicus and Project SATLASS. Project Hermes, led by Jacob Lahue, is a 1U CubeSat, named Radiation Orbital Shielding Investigation Satellite (ROSIsat), that will be researching radiation shielding with various materials, including Lunar Regolith and Martian Soil simulant. Project Copernicus, led by JT Lozano, is a 3U CubeSat that is still in its early stages of research phase and currently determining its mission objective. Project SATLASS, led by Akshay Kaudinya, started with the objective of designing a space station for in-situ satellite manufacturing; however, over the course of two years, it has evolved into a single dynamic CubeSat deployer.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Smith at

Embry-Riddle Search and Rescue Technologies (SARTEC)

Embry-Riddle Search and Rescue Technologies (SARTEC) is a student-led club dedicated to designing and constructing specialized uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) tailored for search and rescue missions. Since its inception in 2022, SARTEC has grown to over 100 members who collaborate to foster learning and achieve their goals. Employing a multidisciplinary approach to the engineering design process, members engage in conceptualizing, designing, analyzing, manufacturing and testing aircraft designs, leveraging their unique skill sets to enhance the collective experience. They extend their ethos of learning and sharing by volunteering at local schools and forging connections with seasoned aircraft industry professionals.

For more information, please contact Prof. Kim Heinzer at

Contact Us

Daytona Beach Campus
1 Aerospace Boulevard
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114