UK Space Design Competition

What is the UKSDC?

The UK Space Design Competition is a multidisciplinary space-themed competition designed to be a simulation of life in industry! Students from multiple schools are combined to form an engineering company and take on the task of designing a crewed space settlement within our solar system.

Set between 40 and 80 years in the future, students are able to lose themselves in the elaborate and expansive SDC universe and they form one of our fictional engineering companies. The universe is complete with over 20 fictional settlements and 50 subcontractors that provide an array of goods and services that can help competitors in their quest to try and tackle the Request for Proposal. 

Open to UK students in Years 10 to 13, the UKSDC gives students a taste of the vast potential offered by future study of STEAM subjects, through this fun an engaging simulation of a career in the industry!

Roles to suit everyone!

Being an industry simulation event, the UKSDC packs in roles for students of all academic interests, with the only prerequisite being a passion for space! Whether you area a budding architect or engineer who wants to design space habitation in the Structures Department, or a young entrepreneur who wants to put their creative business vision to the test  within the Business and Marketing Department, there is a role for everybody at the UKSDC. 

Medical and psychology students will find themselves at home within the Human Factors Department, looking after residents mental and physical wellbeing, while chemists and physicists will love the Operations Department which takes a deep dive into the essential processes required to keep the settlement operational.

Last but by no means least, even the best designs in the world will not sell themselves! Each company needs a team of artists and writers to turn the technical work within the company into a flowing, persuasive, and visually appealing final presentation to wow judging panel.

How do I take part?

With so many roles  for students in the UKSDC, you have almost certainly found something that appeals to you, and now you want to take part. 

There are two ways to enter the UKSDC each year – through our regional/digital heats or through our video competition. Both are held in the Autumn term, with successful teams invited to join us in March for the national final! We invite teams of between 4 and 12 participants in years 10 to 13 (or equivalent) to enter, with most teams coming as school groups or science clubs.

If you have a team size that is less than 4 or greater than 12, please do get in touch. Special arrangements can be made to group smaller teams together or split larger teams up before the competition. We want to engage as many young people with the space industry as possible and will do our best to make sure nobody misses out!

Win a trip to NASA

The UKSDC is not alone! Not only do we have the Galactic Challenge, designed for students between 7 and 14, but we are also part of a global family of SDC partners running events across North America, Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe! These competitions culminate in the International Space Settlement Design Competition in July and a select team of 12 students from the winning UKSDC company are invited to compete.


Those who qualify for the ISSDC are sponsored to travel to the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida for the competition. This trip normally involves a couple of days of spectacular space sightseeing in a location that has been the home of human spaceflight for over 50 years!
 

Promoting STEAM since 2009

The UKSDC was founded by Dr Randall Perry back in 2009! The competition has been growing consistently and now attracts well over 1000 students to take part each year and we are always looking for new schools and student societies who wish to join the UKSDC family! We are always striving to increase our STEAM outreach to try and inspire as many young students into the educational discipline that will design our future!

Our Amazing Supporters

The SSEF and the UKSDC are proud to be supported by organisations from across industry, academia and the charity sector!