Jacobs is sponsoring a competition to identify new technologies or technical innovations that will achieve game changing / breakthrough results in support of the NASA Exploration Program

The winner of this competition will receive a $10,000 prize

Jacobs Space Tech Challenge



Describe a new material, a new manufacturing process, or a novel use of an existing material that significantly enhances at least one critical aspect of human spaceflight (safety, affordability, schedule, capability).

Contest Rules

  • The Jacobs Space Tech Challenge is open to members of the general public with a few exceptions. Employees of Jacobs and NASA are not eligible to participate.
  • Jacobs and its evaluation committee are solely responsible for the evaluation and selection of challenge winners.
  • The $10,000 prize will be paid to the designated captain of the winning team; distribution among the team participants is the responsibility of the team captain. Taxes will not be withheld, any tax obligation will be the responsibility of the winning team members.
  • Rights in data for any idea submitted will be retained by the individual teams.
  • The submitted ideas shall not contain classified, ITAR or SBU data. Entrants must certify that all information used is taken from the public domain, generated by the team, or that the team has rights to any data utilized to prepare the proposal.
  • Entrants agree that Jacobs shall have the right to publicize the award, including photographs, video, and brief summaries of the idea.

Areas of interest

  • Human environmental control and life support
  • In-space nuclear propulsion system
  • Lunar surface power using solar or nuclear
  • Lunar dust mitigation
  • In-Space Manufacturing and Assembly of Large-scale Structures
  • Human-Rated Composite Structures for Launch, Transit, and Deep Space Vehicles and Habitation
  • Materials and Structures for Extreme Environments
  • Lightweight, Multifunctional Materials, Manufacturing & Structures for Deep-Space Exploration Systems


  • Interested teams will submit a one page abstract describing their concept and projected results
  • One page abstracts are due no later than midnight August 8th, 2019
  • Teams submitting best abstracts will be invited to submit a five page proposal
  • Top three proposals will be presented via video conference, winner will be chosen from finalists

Abstract Submittal Instructions

  1. Please review the contest rules above.
  2. Fill out the Abstract Template Form.
  3. Send completed form as an attachment to SpaceTechChallenge@jacobs.com.

Winning Team

A team of Georgia Tech student researchers led by Professor W. Jud Ready were announced as winners of the Jacobs Space Technology Challenge, they’ll receive a $10,000 prize for their proposal entitled, “Ionic Liquid Interactions with Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Supercapacitors.”

The winning-project will create and characterize chip-scale electrochemical double layer (ECDL) ‘supercapacitors’ for rechargeable energy storage. Student researchers at Georgia Tech will fabricate supercapacitor electrodes using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) embedded within an etched silicon wafer. The CNTs will be further functionalized by both chemical and physical techniques and coupled with a tailored ionic-liquid-based electrolyte.