Who Are We?

Missouri S&T’s Mars Rover Design Team was founded with and continues to uphold one mission:

"To provide students with the expertise to overcome today’s challenges, become tomorrow’s visionaries, and to keep humanity forever curious."

Our Mission

We the members and associates of the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Mars Rover Design Team establish this organization for the purpose of providing students with pertinent experience that will aid them in becoming tomorrow’s innovators and instigators. The purpose of the team is to pursue intercollegiate competitions that allow us to demonstrate our mastery of engineering processes and implementation. The team hopes to inspire and empower students to enter fields of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while creating a positive and educational environment for this development. The team hopes to foster collaboration and communication across disciplines, while building lifelong skills such as organization, commitment, and leadership. Most importantly, the Mars Rover Design team wishes to support and further technologies with applications in the field of space exploration, so that a unified humanity may step beyond its cradle, and embrace its birthright of the stars.


Today, we are challenging ourselves to build the next generation of Mars rover, by competing in competitions designed to prepare humanity for the challenges of making the Red Planet our home. We challenge ourselves to build a rover able to perform complex tasks and movements under real-world constraints, such as time, weight, and budget, to gain a competitive advantage among the cutting edge of student designers and makers.


Within our team, we are also building students’ abilities that extend beyond the classroom. Technical, communication, and leadership skills that are learned only through experience better prepare our members to move beyond their roles as today’s students to become tomorrow’s critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, team players and leaders.


Every team member is entrusted with the vision of keeping humanity forever curious. Whether that curiosity leads to breakthroughs that extend our species to the stars abound, or increase the efficiency of task performance in the rapidly expanding workplace, we can more effectively build any team, group, or society around us. By continually identifying areas of innovation and improvement, we aim to turn every problem we discover into a solvable one.

Executive Board

Cameron Shilko
Chief Executive Officer

The CEO serves as the official representative of MRDT, both on and outside of campus. Beyond representing Mars Rover in all university-related matters, it is the goal of the CEO position to constantly stretch our reach outward, both in our external communication, and in our education of the next generation of Mars Rover. By reaching out to local schools and STEM organizations, we can better ensure that MRDT will keep students forever curious.

Jonathan Boyson
Chief Technology Officer

The CTO is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the design, construction, testing, and operation of the rover. As the voice of the progress of the rover, it is his/her duty to communicate all general technical reports for the rover. As the overseer of all technical teams and officers, the CTO is responsible for ensuring that the rover is kept to specifications consistent with our competition.

Téa Thomas
Chief Financial Officer

The CFO manages all financial transactions, including the collection and presentation of member dues. It is the responsibility of the CFO to present the budget to the team and the Executive Board. Through his/her committees and officers, it is ultimately the duty of the CFO to oversee fundraising, and to budget for the trip to competition. If the CEO is absent, it is the role of the CFO to assume his/her duties until further action is taken.

Morgan Long
Chief Administrative Officer

The CAO is responsible for documenting the general administrative progress of the rover, including minutes at all-team events. As the official contact for all inter-team communication, the CAO keeps member information accurate and up-to-date. The office of the CAO presides over the logistical aspects of competition, such as travel and housing arrangements, to ensure the team is well accommodated for the challenge ahead. The CAO has oversight of publicized documents, including paperwork submitted to pertinent competition and university entities.


"The University Rover Challenge (URC) is the world's premier robotics competition for college students. Held annually in the desert of southern Utah in the United States, URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the Red Planet."

All rovers in the competition are judged in the four competition tasks (as of 2017):

  • Science Cache Task
  • Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Task
  • Equipment Servicing Task
  • Autonomous Traversal Task

For more information on the competition and its tasks, visit the URC website.

Over the last five years, Mars Rover Design Team has become one of the fastest growing organizations on the Missouri S&T campus, reimagined the rover multiple times, and overcome a host of challenges. Through the pursuit of a common mission, an emphasis on continuous member development, and a startup-like culture, the team has steadily improved over past years and reached new milestones. Now, in its fifth year, MRDT has become the World Champion of the 2017 University Rover Challenge. (Read about it here). We look forward to the next competition and, until then, we won't stop showing the world how we #RoveSoHard!


Milestones are displayed in chronological order (from the team's founding to the current year) and grouped by the name of the rover that was built during the year the milestones were reached.


  • Spring 2012: MRDT becomes an official design team
  • Spring 2013: The team hosts first ever Rover Reveal
  • May 2013: MRDT competes in the University Rover Challenge for the first time and takes 10th place


  • Fall 2013: Motivated from their first competition, MRDT takes on redesigning their rover completely
  • November 2013: The first ever Spaceweek is hosted
  • May 2014: The team competes in URC and leaves with the title of 2nd in the world


  • March 2014: MRDT becomes the first organization to crowdfund on campus and raises over $19,000
  • May 2015: The team competes in the University Rover Challenge for the 3rd consecutive year
  • September 2015: MRDT becomes the first ever American team to compete in the European Rover Challenge


  • November 2015: MRDT becomes one of the most interdisciplinary S&T design teams with 16 different majors represented
  • May 2016: MRDT takes first in their division at URC and wins the John Berenka Science Award!


  • October 2016: MRDT is invited to present at the Boeing 'What's Next?' Conference, an event dedicated to highlighting the importance of organizations in future fields of business, health, science, and technology
  • March 2017: MRDT is accepted to compete as one of the 35 teams in the largest ever URC competition
  • June 2017: The Mars Rover Design Team is named World Champions of the 2017 University Rover Challenge!
  • July 2017: MRDT competes in the first-ever Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC)
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