Launch is produced by the Kansas State College of Engineering to document the accomplishments in building our student creative inquiry teams and solving extreme technical challenges. Each year, hundreds of students participate on more than 20 creative inquiry teams, K-State’s highly successful blend of undergraduate research and practice, to compete in regional, national and international events on topics ranging from wind power to unmanned aircraft. Most competitions are sponsored by technical societies, such as SAE International — the global association of engineers — and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. Working professionals create challenging problems they know from first-hand experience are difficult to solve and will test skills needed in industrial practice after graduation. Competition organizers know the winning solutions will require innovative ideas that can be shaped to meet realistic constraints such as safety, cost or time limits, the way real-world research and development is done. These are daunting tasks and here we show how K-State students have risen to these challenges.