Schreiner University Engineering Students Place 3rd in National Competition

Kerrville, TX – Schreiner University Engineering professor, Dr. Brian Bernard, and Engineering students, Joe Nava (junior) and Alee Schott (sophomore), won 3rd place and $5,000 in the virtual HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned Track 3 Top Model event. The event took place from Nov 16 through Dec 15, and the winners were announced Dec 17.

HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned is the first in a series of public-facing technology challenges designed to accelerate the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Task Force. This challenge will forge a community of partnership between the Navy, industry and academia for the creation of new high-end unmanned vehicle capabilities.

HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned offers three challenge tracks to appeal to a broad range of talents and skill sets. Competitors participated virtually from anywhere in the world.

The description for Track 3 says “Show the Navy how to create model-based definitions of requirements for wide-area search that can be tested against real system models in unmanned mission simulations!”

“The U.S. Navy needs a better way of presenting problems via models and algorithms and are seeking model and algorithm-based responses in our engagement with industry.” Track 3 is a three-challenge series that lasts past the end of HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned. Participants were given a set of mission goals and were asked to build a simulation scenario of a wide-area search, then were asked to create model-based solutions for defined situations within the created model. Finally, participants determined if the model-based solutions they created can outperform a heterogenous collection of objects combatting the scenario.

For more information on Schreiner University’s Engineering program or the HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned Track 3, please contact Dr. Brian Bernard at

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