AIAA UNSW Rocketry

Current project

Project Snapshot

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UNSW Rocketry Student Project team is a unique opportunity for students to increase their employability in the Aerospace industry. Team members learn first-hand how to design and develop components of a high-powered rocket as well as manufacturing techniques, project management skills and complex problem-solving skills.


About ChallENG Student Project

In 2018, the AIAA UNSW Rocketry Student Project team was formed to compete in the largest rocketry events in the Southern Hemisphere!   

The team’s effort mostly focuses on competing in various rocketry competitions to the participate in local launch days organised by NSW Rocketry Association, who also support the team with the certification of members from low power to high power rocketry.  

In 2019 the team participated in the 'Thunda Down Under' competition in Queensland, Australia coordinated by Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA). 

In 2020, the team will be preparing to attend the Spaceport America Cup (SAC), also known as the ‘world cup’ for university rocketry. Teams from 6 continents around the world converge on the United States to have the time of their lives, representing their university, their sponsors and to take to the global rocketry stage.  

Who we are looking for 

The AIAA UNSW Rocketry Student Project team is looking for students who are passionate about the aerospace industry. We welcome members from all faculties, disciplines, backgrounds and skill levels. All that we ask for is a curious attitude for developing new skills and ultimately apply them to inch our team closer to space!

Why you should join

  • Learn how to design and develop components of a high-powered rocket as well as a range of other skills valued by industry   
  • Provides fantastic opportunities for students who are passionate about the Aerospace industry  
  • They offer the chance to expand your network both within the Aerospace industry and with your aerospace peers across multiple universities  

Your Pathways in Our Team

Our recruiting program is called "Rocketry Bootcamp", and we teach you over four weeks to build your own series of rockets to learn the overall basics of our engineering and ethos. This taster will give you enough high-level knowledge for you to decide if and how you fit into our team's engineering and business operations, at which you may choose to continue into your very first year of competing.

Within the Competition Team, you will work through the phases of:

  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Testing
  • Competition

Your first year in the team is all about coming up with the best and brightest ideas to take the top spot in Australia, and the world! Systems Engineering

will be your tool in executing a successful launch and mission, using validation and testing to ensure solid performance and safety.

Leads are responsible for designing sub-systems such as:

  • Structures & Airframe
  • Avionics
  • Recovery
  • Propulsion
  • Payload

As part of the engineering team, you are able to flexibly take on jobs under each – so no stress about being tied down. Enjoy the business or marketing side more? Leverage the AIAA network and brand, reaching out to potential sponsors, potential launch partners, researchers, and the vibrant space community at large!

Staying in the team after completing a competition will earn you a spot on the Record Team. Here, you will be more responsible for identifying future technologies that are essential to our long-term goal. This experimental approach can be risky and costly, so we're counting on you using your experience and management skills gained from time in the competition team. Each year, the Record Team will attempt a higher altitude and build progress towards a space-capable launch vehicle.

Team Academic Advisor


"To come across the UNSW Rocketry Team and Flight Labs UNSW was the perfect opportunity for me to apply myself in fields that I was passionate about- aerospace and making. Not only was I able to learn in a way that felt effortless, but I was also able to share the experience with like-minded team members."

Muhammad Iklil Arfin, AIAA Rocketry Team Manager and Flight Labs UNSW member - 3rd Year Aerospace Engineering and Commerce (2019)