Engineering student Jamie Sanson holds an electronic rocket component

Aiming for the sky

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours student Jamie Sanson had the opportunity to indulge a life-long interest by building a rocket as part of his study.

Inspired by SpaceX

“The rocket avionics project was one of several available in a core project management course. I’ve been inspired by the work coming out of companies like SpaceX, which produce incredibly complicated rocket recovery systems,” he says.

Designing for rocket recovery

Jamie used programming expertise and practical knowledge of electronics from his university courses to design his own rocket recovery system.

“I wanted it to be able to eject its own parachute and tell you where it is when it lands. They can reach altitudes of several kilometres, and we wanted to get the best height out of the rocket but still be able to find it again.

Gaining industry knowledge

“I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge around everything to do with rocketry, including programming and embedded technologies. It’s also a great conversation starter!”

Working at TradeMe

Jamie is working part time at Trade Me as an android developer, a role he secured after taking part in Summer of Tech, a programme connecting New Zealand employers with top local students for summer IT jobs.

“It's a fun job and I've learnt a huge amount, not just about programming but also the business side of things,” says Jamie. “I’d love to stay at Trade Me until the end of my degree, as it’s incredibly flexible and a great atmosphere.”

Like-minded community

He says the environment at Victoria sets the University apart.

“The community is my favourite thing about being an Engineering student. Classes are small and everyone wants to be there. You meet heaps of like-minded students.”

Getting set up for the future

Jamie believes his experiences have set him up well for a future in industry, where the practical skills he’s gained—such as project management—are applicable.

My dream is to get into something related to rocketry or aerospace electronics. And now I have the experience and know-how to make it happen.