Designing for a VUCA World Competition

Challenge yourself to innovate, impact, and build a solution to directly address one of the world’s most VOLATILE, UNCERTAIN, COMPLEX, and AMBIGUOUS (VUCA) problems!


The Designing for a VUCA World competition is a challenge where YOU will Innovate, Impact, and Build products and / or services that will directly address social problems within your community. Over $14,000 in cash prizes will be rewarded to those who succeed!

During this event, teams of Builders, Programmers, Creators, Project Managers and Engineers (all types welcome) along with technologists will meet virtually and create new product or service solutions to address current challenges that are specific to your geographic region. This is a great opportunity to showcase your technical skills, collaboratively work with a team in a virtual setting and get hands on experience. Are you up for the challenge?

"It really is a life-changing experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn and research about new world technology, but you also are able to network with all the students and professionals involved." -Aaron Tanvir, University of Houston

The VUCA competition will be entirely virtual with teams from around the country competing against each other.

The competitions kick-off on Saturday, February 19, 2022 when you will receive an email announcing your teammates!* At that time, you will be invited to join us for the virtual Opening Session and Phase 1 Kick-off. See the schedule details below. This competition will empower YOU to use your STEM backgrounds to create new and innovative products and or services to help some of the world’s most VOLATILE, UNCERTAIN, COMPLEX, and AMBIGUOUS (VUCA) problems!

Congratulations to our 2022 Winning Teams!


Arick Iglesias, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Region 4
Julie Romano, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Region 5


Murli Singh Rajpurohit, CalPoly, Region 1
Brian Torres, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Region 5
Adrian Paredes, University of North Texas, Region 5


Ryan Valtierra, Sacramento City Poly, Region 1
Daniel Chamorro, Texas A&M University, Region 5

Thank you to everyone who competed! We hope to see you again next year!


  • Must be a student enrolled in a bachelor or graduate degree
  • Active SHPE Member


Cash prizes over $14,000 will be awarded to each team as follows -

First Place $5000 + National Convention registrations
Second Place $2500 + National Convention registrations
Third Place $1000 + National Convention registrations

The three team members will split the prize money.

"I would say my favorite memory in the competition would be bonding with my team. We were all in different backgrounds and first-timers." -Samantha Parrena, California State University, Long Beach

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can participate?

    Everyone! This event is open to all SHPE student members. All levels of experience are welcome! Beginner? No problem! We'll have mentors and a bootcamp to help and your team develop new skills.

  • Do I need to know how to code?

    All majors are welcome and encouraged to participate - even those without coding knowledge! We will give you all the tools you need!

  • Do I need to be online the entire time?

    Nope! We will provide you a schedule on when you need to join sessions and networking opportunities as well as a timeline for submissions. You and your team can decide on the best time to collaborate.


For questions regarding the Designing for a VUCA World competition, please contact

"As a Latina in engineering, this is proof to myself that I am more than capable of succeeding in my field. Winning this competition has given me the self-confidence I need to succeed in interviews." -Andrea Martinez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign