Two Metro Detroit brothers fly high after airport design contest

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NORTHVILLE, Mich. – Two local brothers showed off their engineering skills in a global design competition.

Their work was inspiring and can make you see airports in a whole new way.

The Akinyemi brothers of Northville won top honors with their teams in the FAA’s 2022 Airport Design Challenge. It was a global contest with over three thousand entries from eighteen countries.

“Setting goals and achieving them was very important, and I saw them do it throughout the eight-week competition. I’m really proud of that,” said father of the two brothers, Dayo Akinyemi.

Ayo, the younger brother, and his team (Team Aero) placed third at the K-6th level.

Iyi, the older brother, and his team (Northville High School’s Aireos team) won first place in high school as a freshman.

“Seeing that we won was a real shock,” Iyi said.

So what did they do after winning and placing?

The brother chose the Minecraft video game, which is fitting because the competition was to design the airport of the future using it.

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Their mother was a coach in the primary school team and their father is an engineer. Their sons’ designs for a future Detroit Metro Airport and Ford’s Grand Rapids International Airport included new automated baggage systems, see-through solar panels, and even the notion of a spaceport at future airports for high-speed flights. high altitude and lunar missions.

“I was just amazed. Things that you don’t really think are necessary or even think about,” their father said. “They are able to come up with these solutions on their own.”

Although they were on separate teams, the brothers inspired each other. Ayo saw the success of his brother Iyi, and it motivated him to work harder this year.

Both look forward to being future physicists and engineers themselves.

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