International competitions

Politecnico di Milano offers many opportunities to live the educational experience in the field. In the various international competitions in which we participate, students can apply the knowledge acquired during their studies on concrete projects and develop at the same time soft skills fundamental in the working life.

Monaco Energy Boat Challenge

An international competition organized by the Monaco Yacht Club at the beginning of July. Physis team participates at the Energy category, consisting in three races: endurance, speed and manoeuvrability. The aim is to design a cockpit with an energy source and a power train that is installed on the catamaran provided by the organizers. Focus on sustainability and innovation, on which the project will be based.
An opportunity for students to project in the nautical field and explore green and innovative technologies, such as hydrogen fuel-cells or the lamination with eco-sustainable fibers. The participation to the team allows to make some hands-on activities that integrate theoretical skills.
Last year 32 teams from 16 different nationalities participated, from universities all over the world, such as University of Bologna, École Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Léonard de Vinci, Delft Institute of Technology, Institut Polytechnique de Paris and Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai.


In this competition, in which the Politecnico participates with the student association Skyward Experimental Rocketry, students launch experimental sounding rockets designed to reach a certain predetermined altitude in different categories of height and engine type. In addition to the flight performance, points are also awarded for the quality of the technical report and the quality of the design.
Euroc is held annually in Portugal in Pont de Sor, and is inspired by the Spaceport America Cup, which up until last year was the only student rocketry competition in the world.
The aim is to develop soft skills, technological expertise and a drive for innovation. It also encourages encounters between aerospace companies and academia, as well as dialogue between young people from all over the world.


Annual global competition offering university students practical mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyse a listed company and then write a research report on the company assigned with a recommendation to buy, sell or wait, to be defended in front of a highly qualified jury.
A global competition held annually, which allows participating university students (more than 1,100 business schools in 85 countries) to approach financial analysis from a professional perspective under the guidance of a mentor.
The participating Top Business Schools are: Politecnico di Milano, Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Cass, Oxford (Said).

Formula Student

Founded in 1981 as a competition exclusively for students, with the design and realization of a prototype with Formula style internal combustion engine.
The project offers the possibility of direct contact with the Italian industrial community. An opportunity for developing skills, including: design for manufacturing, design for cost reduction, team working skills. In fact, the team is structured like a company, following the same logic. The development of a business model based on the vehicle and a very detailed cost report complete the project.
The universities that participated in the last edition of the event include: Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Graz, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Brno, Padua, Haifa, Wroclaw , Dortmund, Munich, Berlin, Glasgow, Vienna, Plzen, St. Petersburg, Karlstad, Hamburg, Aachen, Thessaloniki, Melbourne, Birmingham, València.


A competition with the objective to promote software engineering in universities at a global level. Each group develops a software project selected from a list of proposed projects sponsored by the members of the SCORE program committee. The result to be produced is a document and an executable software system. The assessment is based on the quality of all the aspects of the group's software development process and the quality of the resulting system.
The competition is linked to the International Conference on Software Engineering, the flagship conference for the entire sector.
In addition to the Politecnico of Milan, the recurring affiliations include: University of Oregon, University of Texas at Austin, University of Ottawa, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, New Mexico State University, Aalto University, University of Adelaide).

IREC - International Real Estate Challenge

Annual competition founded in 2002, where European universities participate in the development of real estate projects based on the specific needs of the investor.
Up to 80 students from different countries make up the inter-disciplinary teams with 4-8 members. These teams prepare their activities remotely under the supervision of their professors in their respective universities.
The participants develop their projects by working together face to face for two weeks. Through a "real life" project, they develop their ideas to produce a project to be presented before a jury of experts. The best three teams present projects to investors, who select the winner.
The challenge is sponsored by RICS - Royal International of Chartered Surveyors. The participating universities are: Helsinki, Weimar, Reading, Göteborg, Washington DC, Warsaw, Bratislava, Moscow, Dublin.

1001 Vela Cup

Inter-university project that combines research, innovation and sports in a sailing competition open to vessels designed and built by university students. An invaluable occasion for activating and experimenting new integrated educational models in the field, based on the inter-disciplinary nature of the teams of educators and students, as well as for developing soft skills and managerial capabilities.
The POLIMI Sailing Team was founded in 2007. Developing and building boats, combining advanced technologies and ambitious expectations. Research is concentrated on BAAM additive technologies for nautical uses, control sensors for stress exerted on the hull and sails and on the loT.
Polimi Sailing Team activities have involved more than 120 students, who today are filling important roles in the nautical world. The event has taken on an international character with the participation of Göteborg, Karlsruhe, Nantes. Asian and Middle Eastern universities have also shown interest in future

Global Student Challenge

International competition that offers the participants the chance to experience the life of a manager and manage their own business. It includes a simulation articulated into several games with increasing complexity, played by teams of 4 students.
Each student, taking on a different corporate role, must make heterogeneous decisions with the objective of keeping a company financially solid and profitable on the market, with earnings that are greater than those of their opponents.
Participation in the Global Student Challenge has three phases: curricular, as part of specific courses; regional, where the best students are selected at a national level; global, where the winners of the regional competitions compete against the best 30 teams at a global level.
The participating universities abroad are: Windesheim University of Applied Science, Franhofer Institute of Technology, Warwick, St. Gallen, Coppead Graduate School of Business and many others.


Biennial international competition open to all engineering universities around the world, for students who design, create and compete with a prototype motorcycle.
There are two categories: Petrol, with an internal combustion engine, and Electric. Each team receives only the motor, hubs, a set of slick tires and the braking system from the organization. The rest of the motorcycle is built by the teams, which designs and creates all the missing components: the chassis, suspension system, exhaust, hull, electronics. The prototype is then tested and evaluated by the jury at the finals at the Motorland Aragòn FIM Circuit.
The two main phases of the competition are the project report and the performance assessment with testing on the track: braking, gymkhana, acceleration, timed hull disassembly, and race.
The following universities participated: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Madrid, València, Konstanz, Stralsund, Lisbon, ETH Zurich, Nottingham.

SWERC - Southwestern Europe Regional Contest

This event is held annually with 3-person teams of students studying computer engineering and similar subjects.
The competition is focused on problem-solving skills, and present students with several algorithmic problems to be solved within a limited timeframe. In addition to the typical basic technical computer skills, the 3 participants must also coordinate well together and demonstrate the ability to rapidly identify the easiest problem to resolve, as well as precision.
The major European universities participate in the competition, sending 1 - 3 teams.
In 2018, several universities participated on behalf of France from Paris, Lyon, Rennes, Rouen, Artois, ,Montpellier, Grenoble; for Switzerland, ETH, USI; For Spain UPC, UPV, Murcia, Complutense, Harbor Space, Rey Juan Carlos, Valladolid, Pompeu Fabra; For Portugal, Porto, Lisbon, Beira; for Israel, Haifa, Technion, HIT; for Italy, in addition to Politecnico of Milan, also Bologna, Rome, Milan, Trento, and Pisa.

IPT - International Physicist Tournament

Experimental physics competition totally organized and managed by bachelor's and master's program university students, involving teams from Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Asia. The event is reaching its 10th edition in 2019, where the finals, the actual tournament, will be held in Lausanne, at EPFL in April. The competition requires solving a set of 15 physics problems on a wide range of topics using elementary, economical instruments. The winners of the national tournaments represent their countries at the finals, with the six top teams.
The participating universities are: Queensland, Colombia, Los Andes, Zagabria, Technical University of Denmark, Lyon, Paris-Ulm, Ecole Polytechnique, Francoforte, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Atene, Creta, Shiv Nadar, Aymi, Milano, Bologna, Varsavia, Voronezh State, Mosca, Lubiana, Madrid, Gotheborg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Losanna, Lviv Polytechnic, Kharkiv National, Kiev, Nottingham, Harvard, Dartmouth, Columbia, Simon Bolivar.

ACM RecSys Challenge

Annual international competition on Recommender Systems, in the Data Science field, organized every year by the ACM RecSys, in partnership with a sponsor company, which provides the field for the competition.
Participation stimulates students in the application of various Data Science techniques learned in courses in Computer Engineering, among which Recommender Systems, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Game Theory, Soft Computing.
The students challenge corporate and university teams from around the world, working on real problems. If they fall into the top rankings, they are also invited to write a scientific paper and present their solution to a jury of international experts.
Every year more than 100 teams participate, many coming from the most prestigious corporate and university research centers. Some of the large universities and companies that participated in the competition: MIT, UCLA, UCL, University of Toronto, NTU, UPM, Google and Microsoft.

Shell Eco-marathon

An international competition for student teams coming from high schools and universities from around the world. It offers a collaborative platform for obtaining practical experience in reaching energy efficiency.
The objective is to stimulate the teams through a racing competition, where they are involved in designing and creating high energy efficiency vehicles. The competition awards the teams that have the lowest energy consumption on a specific race track.
The team from the Politecnico of Milan, "Mecc E-", has been participating in the competition regularly since 2005. The team has participated with an electric battery-powered vehicle in the "Shell Eco Marathon Europa" in the "Urban Concept" class since 2011.
The international event involves: Munich, Twente, Technical University of Denmark, INSA Tolouse, Liege, Politecnico of Turin, Aalborg, Saskatchewan, Brigham Young, Toronto, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Student Design Competition - Vertical Flight Society

It is the main competition at a global level in the vertical take-off aircraft sector.
The them is conceptual and preliminary design of an aircraft with vertical take-off and landing capabilities, according to specific performance parameters, typically very challenging and different for each edition.
The Vertical Flight Society design competitions offer an excellent opportunity for participating students to solve a real problem, focusing on the the rotary-wing, an excellent component in the curriculum of the Master's Degree course in Aeronautics Engineering at Politecnico.
The participating universities include: University of Maryland, Georgia Institute of Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Pennsylvania State University, St. Louis University, TU Delft, University of Liverpool, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beihang University.


People with disabilities compete in performing daily tasks using latest generation assistive technologies.The POLIMI team is participating in the FES bike category (Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike), where a paraplegic pilot is competing using a passive trike and electrical muscle stimulator capable of sending chains of coordinated impulses through superficial electrodes that induce contraction in paralyzed muscles. Work groups optimize the mechanics and seat of the trike starting with a commercial system; installation of sensors on the trike; identification and optimization of stimulation strategy; transfer of the control system to an embedded system; development of user interface and a diagnostics software. In the previous editions: Brasilia, Lyon, Berlin, Sydney, Cleveland, Case Western Reserve, Hong Kong, University of Electro-Communications, Mahidol, Burgdorf and Nottwil.


A project involving companies that would like to expand in international markets and students who want to learn how to help them. Participants are divided into teams composed of students from different universities, each of whom chooses an internationalisation project from those suggested by the companies taking part. Students work together remotely for 8 weeks in order to draw up an international business plan. The projects are then submitted for assessment by an international team, and then submitted to the companies, who may decide to implement one or more of them. The goal is to develop practical skills through a process of experiential learning and learning by doing, as well as a variety of soft-skills.
Organised by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA), the challenge has featured 5000 students over the years from 130 different universities in 102 countries, in almost 1000 teams of 5-7 students each.


Inter-university sailing competition based on the principles of innovation, research, eco-sustainability and sport. The teams design and build a foil boat, one of the latest innovations in the nautical world. The final goal is to take part in a regatta, during the Foiling Week event at Lake Garda. A challenging and interesting opportunity to get involved and develop new managerial soft skills.
Polimi Sailing Team consists of five departments with responsibility for various aspects, from structural design to fluid and aero-dynamics, without neglecting the innovative sensor technology, including the study of very specific materials such as basalt and carbon fibre. Hundreds of students have been involved in the project over the years and some of them now hold important positions in the sailing industry.