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Mar 22nd, 2023

From HPU to SpaceX

By Sam Mycroft, Class of 2021

Physics Major, Computer Science Minor, from Asheville, North Carolina

When I was looking at colleges, I spent extra time visiting HPU. I thought I’d only spend an hour or two there, but I ended up canceling my next day’s events to stay longer.

I sat in on one of Dr. Aaron Titus’ physics classes. He had a great way of connecting with students. He showed me I could thrive here.

As an HPU student, I became captain of the Rocketry Club. It includes students from multiple STEM disciplines. We competed every year at the Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest intercollegiate rocketry competition.

Our 13-foot, single-stage M-class rocket carried its 8.8-pound payload to an altitude of 9,800 feet. Our payloads conducted hydrostatic experiments, and we considered doing a muon detection experiment.

It was a great way to apply the physics we were learning to something hands-on.

Everything on our rockets was student researched and developed, including the internal hardware, detonation systems, ignitions, fuel and engines. Chemistry majors focused on the propellant. Physics students built the nozzles and containment vessels. It was collaborative and pretty cool.

SpaceX LogoToday, I’m a test and avionics test engineer at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California. I write software and build hardware we use to test components that fly on satellite vehicles.

HPU science professors genuinely care that you succeed in class and find your passion.

They’ll make sure you graduate prepared to apply what you learned to something you can do the rest of your life.

This story is featured in the Spring 2022 edition of the HPU Magazine.