MCC engineering students finalist in NASA MINDS design challenge

May 2, 2022

Team ATLAS, a group of engineering students from McLennan Community College, is one of only seven from universities and community colleges across the country named to the finals of the NASA Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovative New Designs for Space (NASA MINDS) Challenge.

NASA MINDS is a multi-semester undergraduate level activity that supports the Artemis mission and the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD) and Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD). Specific Goals of the hands-on design and build experience are:

  • Build a diverse science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce by engaging students in authentic hands-on learning experiences involving NASA’s content and people.
  • Increase students’ capabilities to pursue STEM by empowering students to work independently on NASA Artemis technologies that interest them.
  • Create a pipeline for NASA’s future workforce needs by informing students of the technological innovations required and engaging them in these technologies at a fundamental and exploratory level.
  • Generate unique and innovative concepts from students and MSIs, which can serve as a potential resource for NASA’s scientists and engineers working on Artemis technological needs.

MCC’s ATLAS team was started to put the knowledge students are gaining through the respected engineering programs to use. MCC allows students the opportunity, resources, and guidance needed to make a measurable difference in the Artemis program. Team Atlas is comprised of some of the top engineering students at MCC including: Michael Deyo, Edward Rodriguez, Solomon Stern and Jonathan Bonilla (mechanical); Ilyass Belaribia and Ollie Wess (electrical); and Judith Marcos (civil).

Team ATLAS will present to NASA Tuesday, May 3, with winners being announced May 5. Winning teams will receive up to $5000.

For more information about NASA MINDS, visit For more information about MCC’s engineering programs, visit