Woollen, sophomore in mechanical engineering and member of the Formula SAE team, won the contest hosted by Red Bull.
“One of the guys on the Formula team, our marketing director, has a contact at Red Bull,” Woollen said. “He said I should go check out the Red Bull event and I was in between classes and thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll go check it out, get some free Red Bull.’ There were six or seven people there and four of us were from Formula.”
The company's representatives were set up in the Student Activities Center.
“They had a desk sitting in the middle of the room and a bunch of paper,” Woollen said. “They told us to make our best paper airplane. There were three different events: longest hang-time, longest distance and best acrobatics. I made one I thought would stay in the air for a long time and it worked.”
The Navarre, Fla., native did not know the reward for winning the contest.
“We spent 60 seconds making a paper plane," Woollen said. "My hang-time was 9.72 seconds. It was the best one of everyone there, but I didn’t think much of it. We were happy we got our free Red Bull."
He said he was not expecting the call he received informing him of his prize.
“A week or two ago I got a call from somebody from Red Bull telling me I had the best time in the Southeast,” Woollen said. “They told me since I had the best time I was selected to go on a trip to Austria and represent the United States in the world paper airplane finals. The trip is completely paid for.”
Woollen leaves May 2 and returns May 6. This will be his first time out of the country.
“Everyone gets a crack out of it when I tell them,” Woollen said. “I’m not complaining; I get a free trip to Austria to fly a paper airplane.”