It IS rocket science, but don’t let that intimidate you. A group of civilian engineering students are calling on their peers from across campus to help them launch a rocket up to 10,000 feet.
The newly formed UNSW Canberra Rocket Team comprises electrical, aeronautical and mechanical engineering students and they’re looking to expand the team.
Founded and directed by Andrew Gibbs, a third-year electrical engineering student, the group adds to UNSW Canberra’s suite of extra-curricular offerings.
“We’ve already got the Formula SAE team and the UAV team, we wanted to give another option of getting in some engineering in a practical environment,” Andrew said.
The mission: the Australian Universities Rocket Competition. The team is engineering a rocket that will soar three kilometres high.
Organised by the Australian Youth Aerospace Association, the inaugural 2019 competition included 10 universities from across Australia and New Zealand. 2020 will be the first year UNSW Canberra competes.
Second-year aeronautical engineering student Teddy Zvidza said the engineers are well-placed to design a rocket, however they’re looking for business and humanities students to complete the team.
“When building a rocket, we need every other skill,” Teddy said.
“We need to market it, we need someone who can do the finances for it, we need someone to design it, we need someone who can do the speaking and be at the forefront of it. I feel this just combines all these things together.”
The Australian Universities Rocket Competition includes a significant business component that includes pitching for sponsorships.
“The really cool part about being on the team is that everyone is starting off, so you’re not going to come in and feel like everybody is miles ahead,” Andrew said.
“It’s good because it’s in the early stages, so we can work out what we’re all doing all together and hopefully everyone can really feel like they’re a part of it.”
The team launches with the Canberra Rocketry Group and they go across the border to Yass each month to test their rockets.
“If you want to come and watch the launches, there’s the capacity to do that,” Andrew said.
“The Canberra Rocketry Group are always happy to have lots of people up there and we’re happy to have lots of people to show our rockets to.”