Student Project Manufacturing Ramps Up!

All eyes have been focused on the Kummer Student Design Center for months, but it’s time we turned our focus back to the student teams, the real reason we’re building a bigger design center, anyway.
Record-cold temperatures, near-constant snow since Christmas and cancelled classes haven’t slowed down the Miner designers at all. Jason Brown and Dave Althuis of the Advanced Aero Vehicle Group’s rocket squad braved a 100-mile drive, January’s freezing temps and 4″ of snow to test their 1/2-scale rocket and its critical payload recovery system, only to see it stumble across the sky. Launch officials quickly determined that a faulty motor prevented the bird from attaining enough speed to become stable, so it became as they say, an unguided missile, a pretty good reason never to turn your back on a rocket launch. The good news? The defective motor sputtered so badly that Jason and Dave had no trouble recovering the rocket, as it fell to earth just a few dozen yards from the launch rail.
SUN_3388D.jpgMeanwhile, back at the shop, the full-sized rocket and the cargo airplane are taking shape. We even have reports that the 10′ tall rocket and human-powered-vehicle team’s bike will sport the same ubercool paint scheme.
Our new home? The Kummer Student Design Center is nearly ready for occupancy*. Office carpeting is in, the electrical crews are gone, and the shop floors are undergoing some serious buffing and waxing, but the design teams won’t suddenly stampede across Highway 63 in the middle of the night to claim the shop’s high ground. Instead, individual teams will vacate the old barn when they head to their April and May competitions, and move into the Kummer Center on the return trip, one at a time in an orderly (RIGHT!!!!) fashion. In theory they’ll only have to unpack once and the only thing left at the old shop will be dirt and empty Mountain Dew cans.
*Note to UM System: When you have an office furniture contract with only one firm, things don’t necessarily go as smoothly or quickly as the customer might need. A little competition might light a fire under their, uh, chairs