AIAA UNSW Design Build Fly (DBF)

AIAA UNSW Design Build Fly (DBF) is a project team within the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics University of New South Wales Student Branch (AIAA UNSW).

The Design Build Fly team aims to compete in the annual AIAA Design Build Fly competition held in America - a competitive event where the top 100 university teams compete to design, build and fly an RC aircraft.

About AIAA UNSW Design Build Fly (DBF)

Who we are

The AIAA UNSW Student Branch is the society for students studying Aerospace Engineering at UNSW. Part of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the club offers resources and opportunities for members seeking to build connections with key industry professionals and explore the Aerospace industry. AIAA UNSW runs many events;  previously doing site visits to CSIRO, Qantas and Optus as well as the Sydney Section Networking Night with over 200 attendees.

The AIAA UNSW Design Build Fly team was formed in late 2018 and forms UNSW’s first entry into the annual DBF competition to be held in April 2019, in Arizona, US – here, we will be the only Australian university competing. Competition specifications vary between each year requiring fresh designs each year, with this year requiring the development of a multi-purpose aircraft to support carrier operations. Our mission is to provide students with hands-on experience and an avenue through which coursework can be applied towards an aerospace engineering project.

Major goals and achievements

  • Completely Design, Build and Fly a complex RC aircraft over 2018/2019 Summer
  • AU Competition against other Australian Universities
  • US Competition against other universities across the world
Information for Students

Why should you join?

Joining the AIAA UNSW DBF, each student will learn how to design, build and fly a complex RC aircraft as part of a multi-disciplinary team competing against the best universities from around the world.

  • Apply theoretical coursework in a highly practical and focused project
  • Learn how to operate and work within a multidisciplinary team

AIAA UNSW Student Branch is looking for students who are passionate about the aerospace industry. We welcome members from all faculties and disciplines, but if you wish to join the official AIAA executive team, you must be enrolled in an Aerospace Engineering degree.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for motivated students interested in aerospace, with our projects requiring expertise in electrical, mechanical, aerospace and software engineering.

My Story - Garen Douzian

Garen Douzian is a combined Mechanical Engineering and Law student at UNSW with a passion for aviation, design and solving problems. He joined AIAA after hearing about the 2019 DBF competition and is the current DBF Project Manager.

"From a young age I’ve always had an interest in aviation, problem solving and how things work. This interest slowly developed into a passion which led to studying Mechanical Engineering at UNSW.

The DBF competition is a fantastic opportunity for students to get real-life, hands-on experience working as a team to tackle complex design problems.  DBF provides a robust platform where I can apply the concepts I have learnt in class to tackle a relevant design problem, all whilst working with dedicated, hard working and like-minded students.

The prestigious DBF competition also provides great exposure and networking opportunities for students interested in working with international aerospace, aviation and design firms."


 “The DBF competition is a fantastic opportunity for students to get real-life, hands-on experience working as a team to tackle complex design problems.”


Find out more

To find out more send us an email at or send us a message via the AIAA UNSW Facebook page.

Information for Sponsors

Can you help?

We are actively seeking sponsors to help us achieve our goals of training Australia’s top engineers, shaping the future of sustainable transport and inspiring the next generation of engineers still in school. Any support, whether it be in-kind material or machining, financial support or advice on our designs, is invaluable.

If you are interested in sponsoring any of our Student Projects, please contact our Student Projects Officer Stephanie Bagnell


What’s in it for you?

Each project creates different opportunities to make great things happen, such as:

  • Access to and engagement with USNW Engineering’s top students
  • Ability to trial students via UNSW Engineering’s Industrial Training Program
  • Networking opportunities with other industry partners, UNSW academic and research staff and UNSW’s top students
  • Advertise graduate positions directly to UNSW Engineering students
  • Media and branding opportunities
  • News items and photos for your internal communications promotion

Get in touch to find out more about each project's sponsorship opportunities.

UNSW Engineering's Student-Led Projects