In the competition, which was held May 17, student teams designed, built and tested reusable rockets capable of carrying working science payloads into the sky and returning them safely to Earth.

More than 20 colleges and universities participated in the event. Vanderbilt University finished first, and Mississippi State University was second.

Besides designing and building their rockets, NASA Student Launch teams also must design and operate science payloads, maintain websites that document their work and create local educational campaigns to share their enthusiasm for rocketry. A goal is to inspire younger students to pursue technical learning fields, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition to its overall third-place finish, UofL’s River City Rocketry team also won the safety award at the NASA competition for maximizing safety and science value in its design.

UofL’s River City Rocketry team consists of students from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering who share an interest in aerospace and aeronautics.

Team members are: Austin Lassell, Carlos Gonzalez, Dhwani Shah, Emily Robison, Gregg Blincoe, Justin Lord, Kareem Moulana, Benjamin Mueller, Daniel Neel, Patrick Duffy, Samuel Miller, Sherman Dowell and Zack Wright.

John Karman, III
John Karman joined the Office of Communications and Marketing in 2014 after a 20-plus year career as a Louisville journalist. He has served as director of media relations since 2015. In that role, he answers reporters’ inquiries and is the university’s main spokesperson. John was a reporter for Business First of Louisville from 1999 to 2013. There, he won numerous awards from the Louisville chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and American City Business Journals, parent company to Business First. John can die happy after seeing the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series, although he would also enjoy another title.