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Protest held against UF keeping prize money from engineering team

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 11:28 PM EST
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The University of Florida engineering team GatorWings has been working on a project involving radios for the last three years, competing in the DARPA Spectrum Collaborative Challenge.

In 2018, they won $750,000 for the preliminary event, but that money went to the university.

In October, they won first place in the whole competition, with a two million dollar prize, but the university plans on keeping that money, too.

A group held a protest on UF campus Tuesday afternoon to spread the word about what they call an unfair and greedy policy.

GatorWings member David Greene says a share of that prize money would have been life-changing for him.

He says all the team members invested a great amount of their own time and resources to complete this prize-winning project.

"We invested a load of time. I mean, it wasn’t uncommon to work 14 or 16-hour days," said Greene. "It was two professors, several PhD students, several undergrad students. You know, we met once or twice a week physically, but other than that, we were working around the clock.”

Greene says the two professors on the team have filed grievances against the university.

He says they’re set to meet with the Public Employees Relations Commission for a hearing on December 4.

TV20 reached out to representatives with UF, but they said they can't comment since this is an active legal case.