The Michigan Engineer News Center

MASA student rocketry team featured on MGoBlue

The Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA) was recently featured on MGoBlue for its innovative work with student rocketry.| Short Read
MASA Featured on MGoBlue

The Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA) was recently featured on MGoBlue for its innovative work with student rocketry. As expressed in the MASA mission statement:

“Our goal is to teach students about the basics of rocketry and to provide hands-on exposure to the design, build, and test phases of engineering. The program also seeks to research and experiment with growing areas of rocketry such as hybrid propulsion and composite materials.”

Each year, MASA student participants develop rockets to compete in the annual Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). This year, they will compete in two categories – Basic and Advanced – with the goal of designing rockets that can reach altitudes of 10,000 feet and 30,000 feet respectively. Robyn Hinchman, Aerospace graduate student and MASA President, explains:

“Being in this group provides you with a lot of real-world experience that you won’t get in the classroom. We hold tutorials for software, we teach you how to build things in our build sessions, we [introduce you] to avionics, the basis of propulsion, even if you haven’t taken the required classes yet.”


"Being in this group provides you with real-world experience that you won’t get in the classroom."Robyn Hinchman

This year, the MASA team will leverage their success in 2016 IREC competition to continue develop of a hybrid rocket motor. Last year, MASA took home 2nd place in the Advanced category as the only student-built hybrid rocket to make it off the launch pad.

Tyler Sandberg, Aerospace Engineering undergraduate and MASA Propulsion Lead, describes the uniqueness of the experience:

“We build rockets that fly and things that fly are just a lot cooler than things that don’t. It’s a lot of fun – you get to make a lot of fire, a lot of loud noises and send something up to 30,000 feet. It’s not every day that you can design and build something with your own hands that can do that.”

Portrait of Ariel Sandberg


Ariel Sandberg
Web Content Intern

Aerospace Engineering

(303) 681-6262

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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