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SEDS chapter wins two awards at national conference

Mizzou SEDS members Jeremy Conrad, Juhey Hyun, Chris Andress and Nick Rotts at the conference.

Mizzou SEDS members Jeremy Conrad, Juhee Hyun, Chris Andress and Nick Rotts pose with the awards from the SEDS Space Vision 2015 conference. Not pictured: Mizzou SEDS President Jonathan Jennings. Photo via SEDS Facebook

The University of Missouri College of Engineering chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) received two awards at the SEDS SpaceVision 2015 conference, in Boston, Nov. 12-15, 2015.

Mizzou SEDS received awards for New Chapter of the Year and Best Technical Project. The chapter was founded last fall. Officers Jonathan Jennings and Juhee Hyun, as well as members Chris Andress, Jeremy Conrad and Nick Rotts, attended the conference.

In its inaugural year, Mizzou SEDS has undertaken a variety of projects, including high-altitude balloon launches, outreach and club recruitment and networking. Last Spring, three members traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Satellite 2015 conference and March Storm, a Capitol Hill advisory committee for space policy, organized by the Space Frontier Foundation and National Space Society.

The technical project was from the organization’s high-altitude balloon launch last spring. The team sent carbon nanotubes (CNTs), supplied by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Assistant Professor Matthew Maschmann, up with a high-altitude balloon to see if there were any changes in the CNT characteristics at high altitudes.

SpaceVision 2015 is a student-organized conference held by the national SEDS organization that brings together people and ideas for advancing the exploration of space. Mizzou SEDS incoming Vice President Hyun said the awards were only part of the conference, which introduced her and the other members to industry researchers and innovators.

“There were a lot of networking opportunities,” Hyun said. “I asked a question at one of the panel discussions, and ended talking to a propulsion engineer from ULA [United Launch Alliance], which is where I’d love to work.”

Hyun added there were several ideas she was eager to take back and incorporate into Mizzou SEDS. The group already has several projects coming up, including another high-altitude balloon, rocket building and working toward a Tripoli Level 1 certification that will allow the organization to use higher-grade rocket fuel.