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Rocket Lab - UC collaborating to educate aerospace engineers

Rocket Lab and university collaborating to educate aerospace engineers

Auckland-based Rocket Lab and the University of Canterbury are collaborating to help educate New Zealanders in the specialist field of aerospace engineering.

The collaboration has involved the development of a PhD programme, which has seen three graduates specialise in various aspects of rocketry.

Rocket Lab has also participated as the industry supporter of the university’s UC Rocketry Group, which has worked on numerous projects including the development of supersonic rockets and orbital trajectory optimisation. The rocketry project broke the world altitude record for a small sized rocket motor last year.

A number of graduates from the UC Rocketry Group have been employed by Rocket Lab in roles including guidance-navigation control, propulsion and vehicle design. Among the graduates employed is Rocket Lab’s head of propulsion, Lachlan Matchett, who received his Masters degree in engineering from the University of Canterbury.

“What inspired me to be an engineer was the desire to design and develop rocket engines. To be working on liquid rocket engines is an incredibly unique opportunity. I use the skills I developed at Canterbury to help me every day,”Matchett says.

“Rocket Lab is creating a vibrant space industry within New Zealand. We’re pleased to see the growing number of New Zealand engineers with aerospace qualifications.”

Dr Chris Hann is running an associated course for final year engineering students, the first of its kind in New Zealand. This course will be run bi-annually.


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