EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — New Mexico State University students are heading to the International Finals of the “Invent for the Planet” design competition on Thursday, April 20.

A team of undergraduate students, TF-575, won first place at phase one of the IFTP design competition, hosted by NMSU’s Aggie Innovation Space and Texas A&M University.

The event challenges teams from around the world to design innovative solutions to pressing issues facing the planet.

 “The AIS hosts IFTP to give NMSU students the chance to practice their engineering skills as well as learn how to work together to make a difference in the world. “said Veronica Gurrola, Industrial Engineering graduate student.  

The members of the NMSU team come from different academic backgrounds, including engineering, biology and chemistry.

Their project, which they developed over the course of the 48-hour competition, focused on addressing the issue of communication after natural disasters or crisis situations when telecommunication infrastructure is down, according to NMSU.

NMSU has been present multiple times at the invent planet design. Last year, a team from NMSU, which Gurrola was a part of, was also selected for the final round and took second place overall. In 2020, another team from NMSU was invited to the final round which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from recognition that comes with being a finalist at “Invent for the Planet”, the competition also provides an opportunity for students to hone their skills in teamwork, problem-solving and innovation.