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Alumni help engineering students reach for the sky in international rocketry competition

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Alumni help engineering students reach for the sky in international rocketry competition

Friday 29 January 2021

The team consists of students and lecturers from STEM departments working together to literally reach for the stars at the Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico and broke the amateur British altitude record last year.

This year the team is hoping to fly their liquid powered SunFire rocket, which will make them the first UK student team to launch a liquid fuelled rocket and one of only a few teams from the UK to enter the competition. However, the group’s ultimate aim is to send one of their rockets beyond the Karman line – the altitude where space begins – 100km above Earth!

Ben Appleby, a SHU Aerospace Engineering alumni, has continued to support the project after his own experience with Sunride during his final year. He is now working as a Technical and Engineering Graduate at Inmarsat, a global satellite communications company.

“Now I am seeing plenty of students from SHU becoming really interested and passionate about the mission. It has started a cool partnership between the two Universities, and Sunride is putting Sheffield on the map when it comes to rocketry and space innovation” Ben said.

Richard Hopkinson, an Advanced Materials Engineering SHU postgraduate student is currently part of the team. He said: “The students involved in the project look at this endeavour not as the conclusion of years of work, but as preparation for what lies ahead.”

It is clear that the students dedicated to this project will continue to support the development of SunRide when they become our alumni. The future of the space industry is in very capable hands.

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