Shoal Group are delighted to announce that we have secured Silver sponsorship of The Australian Universities Rocket Competition 2020 (AURC). The AURC is hosted by the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA) and attracts teams of students, from universities across Australia and New Zealand, who work together to design, build and launch a single stage, high powered rocket.

“At Shoal, we get involved with a whole range of projects and initiatives, universities and research centres to share our own passion and expertise, learn from those around us and inspire the next generation of systems thinkers,” says Michael Waite, CEO, Shoal Group. “AURC enables us to mentor and support student development, share our expertise in the Space sector, and grow Australian talent.”

Shoal has almost two decades of experience in the Australian Space sector, having enabled space launches, researched international approaches, explored opportunities, and revolutionised the digital transformation in space systems engineering since our company was founded in 2001. From designing a nano-sat based high quality communications service for the Antarctic Broadband program, to ensuring the JAXA Hayabusa Spacecraft returned to earth safely, Shoal has broad and deep coverage in the Australian Space sector and is a significant sovereign asset. Most recently, Shoal and Asia Pacific Aerospace Consultants (APAC) worked closely with the Australian Space Agency to revise the Flight Safety Code and Maximum Probable Loss Methodology, including the development of a Maximum Probable Loss Estimator Tool. This was the Australian Space Agency’s first technical services contract, resulting in the update of the Space Launch regulatory Framework. Shoal are now leading experts in the Space Launch regulatory framework and will be applying this expertise to assist students to reduce risk and improve safety through application of modelling and simulation in their rocket design and development.

The AURC first began in 2019, although it was an idea conceived by one of Shoal’s own Systems Engineers, Conor MacDonald, in 2017. He led the development of the competition with a team at the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA), a not-for-profit managed by student volunteers, with the objective of promoting the aerospace industry to young Australians. His passion has continued to grow since joining Shoal and, it’s fair to say, is matched by others in the Shoal team. As such, our sponsorship of the competition extends to mentoring teams in their modelling, simulation and risk analysis approaches and creating a new award category called the Shoal Award for Modelling and Simulation.

“Last year’s competition attracted over 400 students from Australia and New Zealand, with 13 teams competing and 11 successful launches,” says Myrthe Snoeks, Director of the AURC for the 2020 competition. “The competition has proven to be an incredible opportunity for students, universities and industry alike. We are thrilled to have Shoal Group on Board.”

The AURC is an annual challenge, bridging the gap between university and industry, from scientific application, to project management, interdisciplinary collaboration and international exposure.