Case Rocket Team lands in second place overall at Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition, first in category

Case Rocket Team poses for a photo.

Last month, the Case Rocket Team made Case Western Reserve University history. The team took second place in the overall competition at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition at Spaceport America, while picking up first in their category, the 10,000 foot commercial off the shelf.

“I could not be more proud of my team,” Max Ross, mechanical and aerospace engineering student and competition lead, said “As the project manager for the competition, our ability to bring together a group of people, some of whom had never touched a rocket before this year, and win our category our first year was beyond anything I could have imagined.”

The prestigious competition, which took place June 21–25 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is the largest international collegiate rocketry competition, with teams from all over the world. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, this was the first year the CWRU team was able to attend in person. 

“Seeing Lake Effect fly flawlessly after thousands of hours of work is something I will never forget,” Nathaniel Berntson, certifications lead, said.

The goal is to launch a rocket to a target altitude—10,000 feet above ground level in their category. After a successful test flight with no failures in any critical systems—which allowed for a full recovery of the rocket—the team’s official launch landed within 102 of their goal, placing their accuracy in the top 99th percentile.

“It was really inspiring to watch the team come together and create something amazing,” Team President Russell Lubin said. “New members and old came together to apply everything we’ve been working on for the last number of years, and we were able to achieve unprecedented success.” 

Case Rocket Team is the student rocketry organization that teaches how to build high-powered rockets and helps students gain certification to launch their own. The group is already working on new projects and are happy to welcome new members “who are passionate about working in teams to do anything from building aerostructures to writing guidance software.”

“The entire experience was incredible. I began the year believing the rockets were cool. I left this competition with a network of friends, not only at Case Western [Reserve] but across the globe,” Julian Town, treasurer and mechanical engineering student, said. 

Learn more about the Case Rocket Team and their success at last year’s competition in this Spartan Showcase.