Maui News

University of Hawai‘i Maui College Students Win International Engineering Competition

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The University of Hawai‘i Maui College’s Engineering Technology Program fielded two teams in the 2020 International CanSat Competition. Team Onipa‘a placed first and Team Paka‘a, placed 23.

Thirty-three teams from more than a dozen countries around the world competed in the competition which requires teams to design, build and launch a container holding a science payload.

“The CanSat competition is designed to reflect, on a small scale, a typical aerospace program. The competition includes all aspects of an aerospace program from the preliminary design review to post-mission review. The mission and its requirements are designed to reflect various aspects of real world missions. This includes the telemetry requirements, communications, and autonomous operations,” said Dr. Jung Park (Associate Professor, UHMC Engineering Technology Program and Associate Director, NASA Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium) who was the Faculty Advisor.

“The CanSat project was an excellent way for us to showcase all that we have learned at UHMC,” said Team Onipa‘a leader, Arthur Agdeppa.  “It pushed us to be creative on our CanSat design, be resilient on failures, be a team player, and be receptive to the process involved in creating a real-world engineering project. It was a great learning experience overall.”


Team Paka‘a leader, Alexander Meyer, who also participated in the 2019 CanSat Competition said, “CanSat Competition was an extraordinary opportunity for the members of my team to gain aerospace industry experience. They rapidly adjusted to working in a collaborative environment and learned how to rely on one another to work towards a greater goal. Their effort paid off and earned them a seat amongst the finalists of the prestigious competition, an achievement they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

The competition was organized by the American Astronautical Society. The UHMC teams were sponsored by the NASA Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium and Dr. Park.

Team name: Onipa’a, 1st place
Arthur S. Agdeppa (Team Leader), Senior, Engineering Technology (BAS)
Jhaymar Mendez – Senior, Engineering Technology (BAS)
Guillermo Martin – Junior, Engineering Technology(BAS)
Tim Marcello – Sophomore, Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology (AS)


Team name: Paka’a, 23rd place
Alexander T. Meyer (Team Leader) – Senior, Engineering Technology (BAS)
Noah E. Franco – Junior, Engineering Technology (BAS)
Jerico Mark Olpinodo – Sophomore, Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology (AS)
Eleomar N. Cabbat – Sophomore, Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology (AS)
Randolf D. Rayo – Sophomore, Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology (AS)

File photo from 2019 CanSat Competition. This year’s launch, scheduled to take place at Virginia Tech was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s entries were judged on all criteria except for launch. CanSat Competition 2019 Stephenville, Texas from left to right: Kurt Matillano, Suntana Villanueva, Alexander T. Meyer, Preston Rodrigues, Jhaymar Mendez, Kyle Rayo. Meyer and Mendez also participated in this year’s 2020 CanSat Competition.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments