The McGill Rocket Team soars to new heights
Initially made up of only a dozen members, the technical society that is the McGill Rocket Team now numbers more than a hundred, nearly half of them women. FÉRIQUE Fund Management could not be prouder to contribute to the success of these extraordinary rocketeers who have made their mark internationally.
Coming from a range of programs, such as engineering, science, physics, medicine and biology, the members of the Rocket Team work together to achieve the impressive common project of developing sounding rockets. “We design and build our sounding rockets, which reach 10,000 to 30,000 feet, the altitude at which planes travel,” explained Justine Fournier, team co-captain. “Initially we bought components and assembled them but now we’re doing everything ourselves,” proudly added Zi Jing Yan, the other co-captain.
The Rocket Team’s goal is above all academic: to provide concrete, hands-on experience for its members without compromising their education. “School is always our top priority. Then we dedicate our time to the Rocket Team,” Ms. Yan said. “Several associations in Quebec do this as a hobby, but we’ve made it into a school project we can learn from. We put a lot of time into it; you have to be passionate,” Ms. Fournier said. “Our goals aren’t commercial; we want to acquire and apply engineering expertise, develop our individual abilities and facilitate access to quality resources in education, innovation, industrialization and economic development,” she added.
“What the team offers is personal development,” Ms. Yan added. “It also gives us experience with the management of a major project because we have to ensure that what each person does fits into the overall effort... Plus it gives us greater opportunities for internships and jobs. I think any member of the team would say that the experience we get from our extracurricular involvement with the team enriches the quality of our education exponentially and contributes to the development and training of competent engineers.”
Like many teams of its kind, the Rocket Team has found the COVID-19 pandemic challenging because the premises where the group usually meets became inaccessible. But the members are always in solution mode, so they found ways to keep in touch and work remotely. Fortunately, financial contributions from sponsors such as FÉRIQUE Fund Management allowed the group to move forward nevertheless. “The support really helps us refine the design of our hybrid engine and ensure we get the best possible performance with a view to future competitions,” concluded a visibly grateful Ms. Fournier.
For more information on the activities of the McGill Rocket Team, visit their Website.