The IREC is an international competition each June in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hosted by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association in partnership with Spaceport America, it is the flagship event of the Spaceport America Cup. Student teams compete in one of six categories, split between two different altitude categories and three different engine types. Each rocket carries a four kilogram payload. Students are strongly encouraged to design and construct each of their rocket's myriad systems themselves: everything from propulsion and structures to avionics, recovery, and payload. Overuse of commercial components is discouraged. In this way, the IREC promotes student design and a spirit of simple, holistic design: excess complexity is the bane of the student rocket engineering team.
Visit the official competition page here.