ULA Sponsors Student Design Projects Through Donation to CU-Boulder Aerospace Department

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Feb. 1, 2010

United Launch Alliance, a 3-year-old joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin based in Centennial, Colorado, has donated $30,000 to the University of Colorado at Boulder department of aerospace engineering sciences to support two senior capstone design projects.

One team of aerospace engineering undergraduates is working to develop an innovative, electrically conducting tether system for multiple small cubical space satellites. The second team is developing a probe to study the characteristics of dust particles on the moon’s surface, information that is crucial to astronaut safety when returning to the moon.

“United Launch Alliance is committed to a robust corporate citizenship program that targets the need to excite our next generation of engineers and rocket scientists,” said George Sowers, ULA's vice president of business development.  “We have a national crisis in not inspiring enough of our young people to pursue careers in science and technology. Together with the University of Colorado, ULA is working to address this challenge in many ways, including supporting creative student design projects. CU's aerospace engineering sciences department is a great partner.”

 Each project team is composed of seven students, who are working on their project as part of their two-semester senior capstone design course requirement.  During the spring semester, the teams will focus on the fabrication, integration, testing, verification and validation of the engineering designs they produced in the fall.

 ULA’s sponsorship provides each team with a project budget. The funds also benefit the entire aerospace student body through the support of technical staff, maintenance of equipment needed by the design teams, student travel support to attend conferences, and other teaching expenses.

 “This generous gift from ULA is immensely important to sustaining the quality of our educational program,” said Jeffrey Forbes, department chair.

CU-Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences department enrolls 400 undergraduates and about 160 graduate students, and is ranked among the top aerospace engineering programs in the nation.



Chris Chavez, 303-269-5550
Carol Rowe, 303-492-7426

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