University of Southern Indiana

USI students take top spot in engineering robotics competition

USI students take top spot in engineering robotics competition

4/7/2017 | University Communications
News Photo

A team of students representing the University of Southern Indiana took first place in a robotics competition hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) on April 1.

Participating teams were tasked with building a robot designed to compete in four distinct events themed around the “Star Wars” franchise. The USI team’s robot, “Aluminum Falcon,” beat out 41 other student teams, including teams from the University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama – Birmingham and the Georgia Institute of Technology in the final round.

Students represented in the group were:

  • Joe Bretz, Wadesville, IN
  • Valerie McKinney, Evansville, IN
  • Jesse Derrington, Evansville, IN
  • Bryan Mitchell, Evansville, IN
  • Andrew Choate, Evansville, IN
  • Justin Sitzman, Ferdinand, IN
  • Brady Webb, Norris City, IL

USI robot The Aluminum Falcon“The team made a near perfect run” in the final round, according to Dr. Ron Diersing, USI associate professor of engineering and one of two team faculty sponsors along with Dr. Art Chlebowski, assistant professor of engineering.

The competition was part of the IEEE’s SoutheastCon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The USI chapter of IEEE is part of the Engineering Department housed in USI’s Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.

For more information, contact Diersing at

News Photo

Photo Credit: Ron Diersing

From left: Justin Sitzman, Jesse Derrington, Andrew Choate, Joe Bretz, Valerie Kappert, Brady Webb, Bryan Mitchell

Contact John Farless


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