FAU Teams Place in Top Three at Hybrid Rocket Competition

by Kelsie Weekes | Monday, Mar 20, 2017
FAU Teams Place in Top Three at Hybrid Rocket Competition

Florida Atlantic University’s Technology and Aerospace Club (TAC) within the College of Engineering and Computer Science placed third in two categories at the 2016-17 Hybrid Motor High-Powered Rocket Competition in Bunnell, Florida.

Team "FAU Skywalkers" placed third out of 14 teams in the "Maximum Altitude" category, while team "FAU Owl Out of Ideas" placed third out of 10 teams in the "Closest to 2,000 Feet" category. FAU’s highest launch was 2,175 feet. While FAU has entered the competition in previous years, this was the first time an FAU team had a successful launch at the competition.

“The faculty of the department of ocean and mechanical engineering are extremely proud of the accomplishments of this relatively new club. The club’s impressive performance is strictly because of the passion and hard work of the officers and team members,” said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., professor and chair of FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, and team faculty advisor. “We hope to initiate a tradition of excellence in this aerospace field that showcases their continued success.”

Twenty-four teams from Florida colleges and universities participated in the two competitions, which were sponsored by the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium and the Northeast Florida Association of Rocketry. Teams built their rockets from scratch or a kit, and were awarded points based on successful flights and an engineering notebook, which detailed the team’s data, calculations, drawings, test results, notes and ideas.

“Our success is notable not just because this was our first launch at the competition, but also because nearly all of the students participating had no prior aerospace experience,” said Kavita Braun, president of TAC. “We achieved our goal of placing in the top three by increased communication among members, more time practicing inside and outside the lab and amazing mentors in the community helping us along the way.”

In addition to Braun, other team members of TAC include Tyler Ekstrom (motor/power systems team leader), Adam Prey (electronics team leader), Roberto Sanchez-Giron (design team leader), Michael Padron, Jeffrey Basiliere, Dudrine Richemond, Daniel Rodriguez, Daniel Marra, Carlos Herrera, Brandon Nava, Tahir Farrukh, Heather Crawford, Victoria Brace and Jade Minkoff.

Photo front row l-r: Tyler Ekstrom, Adam Prey, Daniel Marra, Brian Holguin, Jeffrey Basiliere, Michael Padron, Kavita Braun, Roberto Sanchez-Giron