West Point Takes Top Honors at Innovation Competition

By West Point Public Affairs

Date: Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021 Time: 7:02 EST RELEASE NO: 12-21

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Two West Point teams earned first and second place titles at the 2021 Warfighter Innovation in Science and Engineering Challenge during a live virtual event hosted by the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center on April 27.

Team Superstrand, a West Point multidisciplinary cadet team, won the competition by defeating 11 teams from four U.S. Service Academies. They brought home the top spot with their state-of-the-art design of a biosensing, conductive textile material for military uniforms using synthesized carbon nanotubes and cellulose nanofiber composites. Cadets Felita Zhang, Edward Tang, Paul Trackey, Danielle Lynch, Hunter Beauchamp, Jeff Tantow, and Alexa Zammit were advised by Col. John Burpo and Dr. Enoch Nagelli from the Department of Chemistry and Life Science. 

Additionally, Team Defenders, another West Point multidisciplinary cadet team, tied for second place in the WISE Challenge. Their project designed and tested an innovative armor structure system to protect military vehicles against blasts while optimizing weight. Cadets Jarrett Justice, Courtney Loomis, Tyler Kim, and Jesus Carrillo were advised by Dr. Kevin McMullen from the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering.

“West Point is extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of all teams who competed in the WISE Challenge this year,” said U.S. Military Academy Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb. “This most recent announcement not only recognizes cadets’ excellence in research to improve Army modernization and warfighter innovation for our Army and nation, but it is also a testament to the support and commitment of our faculty.”

Cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy presented their innovative Science and Engineering solutions to service-specific or joint-mission challenges. They were judged for innovation, technical approach and analysis, operational impact to the war fighter, and how well the idea was communicated to the audience.

The WISE Challenge provides a channel for service academies to network and make connections between a multitude of stakeholders across the Department of Defense. The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center and approved by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology.

For more information about the WISE Challenge, visit:

WISE | Warfighter Innovation in Science & Engineering (army.mil)

About West Point

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www.westpoint.edu.