Student rockets propel Norwegian space exploration forward

Propulse NTNU is a student organization that designs, builds, and launches rockets. The project aims to provide students with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience through realistic engineering projects that can help strengthen their skills as engineers in future projects and careers.

The biggest rocket project so far

This year’s project, Bifrost, is the largest and most ambitious so far. The goal of the project is to design a brand-new student-developed bi-propellant liquid engine that will be used in the rocket. By developing this engine, Propulse aims to contribute to driving Norwegian space exploration forward. This is something that helps provide students with an opportunity to work with technology that will be important for the future of space exploration, while also gaining valuable experience and knowledge.

– GKN is a key contributor to Bifrost’s ability to reach its goal through training, technical guidance, and financial support. The collaboration represents GKN Aerospace Norway’s recognition of our organization, which helps strengthen our position in the face of the Norwegian and international space industry. Furthermore, the project is dependent on the direct support that GKN provides, says William Dugan, Chief Propulsion Engineer at Propulse.

What is Bifrost?

Project Bifrost is a large rocket project that involves the development of a rocket with a self-developed bi-propellant liquid engine. The project is based on previous successes in student rocket design and is the largest rocket mission to date for Propulse. The goal of the project is to develop a rocket that can serve as a guide for future Norwegian space exploration.

What is Bifrost?

Project Bifrost is a large rocket project that involves the development of a rocket with a self-developed bi-propellant liquid engine. The project is based on previous successes in student rocket design and is the largest rocket mission to date for Propulse. The goal of the project is to develop a rocket that can serve as a guide for future Norwegian space exploration.

Dedicated students

The Propulse project is driven by a group of dedicated students at NTNU. The team consists of students from all years, from first-year students to those writing their master’s thesis with us. We have a diverse membership with varying backgrounds and expertise, including technical fields such as mechanics, software, electronics, and physics, as well as members working in marketing, administration, management, and finance.

–  My biggest motivation for joining Propulse was that I wanted to learn through practical work. You learn a lot at university, but seeing the laws of physics unfold through testing and analysis provides an understanding that cannot be found in textbooks. Propulse is also a good social arena; close teamwork and high ambitions make for good friendships! Additionally, it’s naturally a bit exciting to brag to family that you work as a rocket scientist, says William Dugan.

– As the Chief Propulsion Engineer at Propulse, my tasks include planning, organizing, and documenting the work related to engine development, while also ensuring that the engine fits in with the other systems in the rocket. It’s an exciting and demanding role that requires close collaboration with the rest of the team to ensure that we reach our goals and deliver a successful project.

Ambitious goals

The project was launched in full in August 2022 and has an ambitious timeframe, with the goal of being completed in a little over a year. It benefits from previous experience with rockets and an R&D project with a hybrid engine, with the plan to participate in the European Rocketry Competition in October, which is a European student competition in rocket development.

Propulse has sponsors in most of the fields they work with. The mechanical group has sponsors who support with production, while the avionics department also has support partners in electronics, measuring instruments, radio equipment, and more.

All their sponsors can be found on their website.

– For many of the members in Propulse, GKN Aerospace is an attractive workplace due to its affiliation with the aerospace industry. It provides us with the opportunity to further develop our skills and abilities, as well as work closely with other engineers in the same industry and learn from their experiences and knowledge. At GKN, one also has the opportunity to contribute their own ideas in their work and be challenged on it. The tasks performed at GKN are also relevant for us, and can be a natural progression in one’s career after a role in Propulse. All in all, these factors make GKN Aerospace an attractive workplace for many of the members in Propulse, concludes William Dugan.

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