November Newsletter

Welcome to the AIAA UW-Madison November Newsletter,

This Friday, Astronaut Brewster Shaw will be visiting UW-Madison to speak about his experiences as a NASA astronaut and discuss the impact of STEM education during a lecture and scholarship presentation. Brewster Shaw is a veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and is an Alumni of the EMA program at UW-Madison. The event is being held this Friday, November 8th at 2:30 PM in Engineering Centers Building Room 1003 and is open to the public.

Senior Project Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation, Greg Meholic is giving a talk titled, “Advanced Space Propulsion: Concepts for Interstellar Travel”, on November 14th, at 6PM in Mechanical Engineering Room 1163. This is a great place to meet and learn from a practicing aerospace engineer. You MUST RSVP to attend this event: You can do so by visiting this link.

We will be hosting one more FAC this semester. On November 22nd at 3PM we will be visiting the Flight Simulator Lab to learn about the Private Pilot Courses taught at UW-Madison and to fly in the simulator. The flight simulator lab is in Mechanical Engineering Room 3014.

This Spring we will be taking a trip to New Orleans to tour NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, Stennis Space Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center. This has been put into motion by Brewster Shaw. If you are at all interested in learning more about the  Spring Trip (costs, dates, etc.) please contact Sam Jaeger. Furthermore, if you have any interest in attending the Spring Trip and you are not a US Citizen, you must contact Sam Jaeger as soon as possible.

If you would like to order an official 2019-2020 AIAA Shirt please fill out this form by Friday, November 8th. These will be $20 and payment will be due when you pick up your shirt.

We unfortunately have not made the cut to compete in the IREC competition this year. The IREC team plans to continue working on developing their solid rocket motors and test stand. Instead of launching at Spaceport America this summer we plan to launch at the Midwest Rocket Launch in May of 2020. If you would like to be a part of this team please contact Sam Jaeger. The 2020 Midwest Rocket Launch rules can be found here.



Jacob Keip:

Launch Ops team has been working hard on putting together a list of things that need to be considered in shipping, storing, and working away from our workshop here in Madison. This project is headed by our logistics lead, Nick Thuli. He has been reaching out to different companies that are involved in shipping, packaging, or rentals. We’re currently looking into what the logistics are of getting this rocket actually to the pad, not just down to New Mexico. The rabbit hole has proven fairly deep.

We’re also looking into getting safety crates, such as pelican/gun cases for any impact or vibration sensitive hardware that will be on the rocket. We have been pinging the whole team to get their list of hardware that falls under that category, as well as electrostatic discharge sensitive hardware.

Along different lines, our team is putting together a generalized assembly template that will be team wide, so we can be sure to have the proper documentation to submit to the competition.


Brandon Wilson:

The propulsion team is currently preparing for the test design review. This review consists of a recorded meeting with SNC on all of our designs, procedures, checklists, etc. Getting a GO from this review will allow us to begin building our test setup for the engine. We have most of the facility design complete and are in the process of procuring all of the hardware and instrumentation to begin testing. We will begin the test campaign with igniter testing using gaseous hydrogen and gaseous oxygen around January. During that time we will also begin assembling all of the valves and plumbing for testing of the 4000 lbf LOX/RP-1 engine, with the goal of being the first students on campus to hot fire a liquid bi-propellant engine by March (optimistically, but no later than june).

The team as a whole has been gaining a lot of momentum lately thanks to a few key junior members that have stepped up to take on tasks that are beyond their educational background, and thanks to their efforts, I feel like we are in a good position to be a key competitor in this competition.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to anyone on our leadership board. If you plan to be active within the club (i.e. attend events like Friday After Class or participate on a competition team) please pay your dues.


Ad Astra!


AIAA Leadership Team

Andrew Marek

AIAA President


Sam Jaeger

AIAA Vice President


Moubarak Jeje



Artun Kadaster

Communications Officer