Six BTech Aerospace Engineering students from the School of Mechanical Engineering of Lovely Professional University (LPU) have won top international Gold, Silver & Bronze Honour awards by proving their deftness and creativity in academic course-related fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The occasion was ‘International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition (IAAC)-2021, held online, for students from all across the world.

Tough competitors were from the countries including the US, UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, China, France, Italy, Spain, South Korea, New Zealand, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore and many more. This competition was divided into three stages of submission, pre-final and final rounds. Since 2019 more than 8500 students from across the world participated in these stages. The idea of this competition is to incite students’ interest in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, which are closely related to aerospace and aeronautical engineering.

LPU students have won top six honour awards including ‘3 Gold, 2 Silver and one Bronze’. To win Gold Honours, LPU students Gopalchetty Brahma (Youth Category) got 28 points and ranked among the top 1% of all participants; Sathwik Bikumalla (Junior Category) got 24, ranked among the top 2%; and, Vinay Kumar Reddy Andluri (Youth Category) got 22 points and ranked among top 5% of all 4700 participants. For Silver Honours, MS Ragul (Youth Category) got 20 points, ranked among the top 7% of all; and, Akash Sharma got 18 points and ranked among 10% of all. Similarly, for winning Bronze Honour, Bhanu Kapeendra Majety (Junior Category) scored 15 points and ranked among the top 15% of all participants.

COD-Department of Aerospace Engineering at LPU, Dr Amit Kumar Thakur informs: “Astronomy is an interesting scientific subject, and by participating in such competitions students get a global perspective.  We feel proud when our students perform well on such global platforms, which are a testimony that we prepare our students with a hands-on approach.” LPU Chancellor Mr Ashok Mittal congratulated the winners and invoked them to keep up the spirit of always excelling others.

The IAAC is the biggest online international astronomy competition for students from all countries, where they win awards, cash prizes or become official IAAC ambassadors in their respective countries. It is accessible to students regardless of their background, school, or institution. For this, IAAC uses today’s technologies and the global connection to make the competition possible worldwide. Despite all the challenges being faced worldwide presently, the keen interest of the participants and their teachers from across the world made this year’s edition possible.