The 2021 Southwest Security Conference: Exploring Interest in Security-Related Fields

by Austin Perez

ASIS – Eagle Committee at the Fall 2021 ERAU Career Fair with ASIS Phoenix Chapter Leadership (from left to right: Beth Chwialkowski, Michael Tokos, Jordan Coté, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg. P. Parker, Stephanie Switz, Erik Lechleitner, Austin Perez)

Hello, My name is Austin Perez, Secretary of the ASIS – Eagle Committee at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This committee is based on our relationship and partnership with the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the ASIS Phoenix chapter, one of the many chapters in the internationally recognized ASIS Organization.

Recently, members of the ASIS – Eagle Committee were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Security Conference, hosted by ASIS Phoenix Chapter. This conference featured industry professionals across security-related fields, including experts in airline and airport security, supply chain professionals, law enforcement, and security managers from multistate supermarket chains discussing ongoing and emerging threats. Other speaking events included a presentation from the Scottsdale Police Department, in which they gave an in-depth, after-action report on the Scottsdale Riots at the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

The 2021 Southwest Security Conference presented opportunities for students to network with industry professionals.

Thanks to this incredible opportunity to hear from industry experts, students were not only able to network with potential employers but understand that the needs and demands for security are exponentially growing and constantly evolving in the private industrial security sector. This experience encourages students to tailor their education at Embry-Riddle to reflect their field interests and pursue industry experience while still in college.

ASIS – Eagle Committee‘s table at the Southwest Security Conference (from left to right: Prof. Reg P. Parker, Marissa Owens, Kaden Gaede, Michael Tokos, Josh Onabanjo).

Two of Embry-Riddle’s own professors were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Conference as guest speakers: Professors Alan Saquella and Reginald P. Parker. Both professors are active members of ASIS and have presented on private sector security at ASIS – Eagle Committee. Their presentations at the conference encouraged ASIS to provide resources and support to student members in order to cultivate the next generation of security professionals. Because of these two wonderful professors, ASIS International is looking at developing a more efficient way of training students in security fields, which includes a better working relationship between the ASIS – Eagle Committee, micro-internships, and mentorships.

Our professors Reginald P. Parker and Alan Saquella with Marisa Owens, Assistant Director of Career Services, giving a presentation on Emerging Threats.

Overall, our time spent at the 2021 Southwest Security Conference greatly benefited our new student members, many of whom had never met with industrial professionals, and expanded interest in private sector security fields.

The ASIS – Eagle Committee (from left to right: Jackson Owings, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg P. Parker, Erik Lechleitner, Michael Tokos, Austin Perez)

Cybersecurity: A Growing Industry and Major at ERAU

Welcome back to the blog! Although a fairly new field, cybersecurity is a growing industry and major at ERAU Prescott. As a senior in the cyber department, I have been exposed to numerous different opportunities and experiences I have thoroughly enjoyed thus far. In my Riddle education, I have taken specialized courses in topics like Network Security, Database Security, Penetration Testing, and Operating Systems, to name a few. This program has opened doors where I can use these learned skills in real-world cyber scenarios, with internships at Northrop Grumman and the Army Cyber Futures Command, focusing on RMF compliance and vehicular network integrity respectively.  

This is an image of our distinguished Cyber Lab, a classroom every cyber student will step into at least once in their four years here. 

Participating in cyber organizations on campus has also provided an outlet in which I can practice and test my cyber skills in a recreational fashion with friends. I fondly recall my trip with the Cyber Defense Club to the RSA Conference in San Francisco in 2020, before COVID times. Not only did I get to see new cyber practices and innovations, but I also professionally networked and participated in workshops and CTFs. 

That being said, the cyber clubs are a great resource for networking, learning, and meeting other students of similar interests. When asked about their involvement, students shared their favorite experiences in their respective cyber organizations: 


William Noujaim

Ethical Hacking Club

William Noujaim, President of Embry-Riddle’s Ethical Hacking Club

What is your favorite part of leading the Ethical Hacking Club?

“As president of the Ethical Hacking Club, knowing that students will get to understand legal and ethical cybersecurity tools and techniques makes all the long hours of preparation worth it. Seeing students participate in competitions and succeed makes the club a success.”

What is the Ethical Hacking Club’s goal for its members?

“The Ethical Hacking Club is a community of individuals with one goal in mind, learning and performing ethical cybersecurity techniques through offensive and defensive practices. The Ethical Hacking Club’s motto is to encourage students to understand cybersecurity rules and practices. Knowing how to protect yourself online is the biggest takeaway from the EHC. Knowing what qualifies as legal and ethical practices in cybersecurity while having fun in competitions helps students of all majors learn best practices while understanding how to protect their personal data and understand how necessary cybersecurity is in the workforce.”

Mohammed Dalloul

Cyber Defense Club

Mohammed Dalloul, Vice President of Embry-Riddle’s Cyber Defense Club

What’s your favorite part of leading the Cyber Defense Club?

“My favorite part of leading Cyber Defense Club was planning and going on the club trip to the RSA conference in San Francisco, Ca, February 2020. We met a lot of industry leaders, built on teamwork, and friendships with fellow students during the trip. Overall, it was just one of the best experiences I’ve had in my college journey.” 

What is the Cyber Defense Club’s goal for its members?

“Cyber Defense Club is a cyber club on campus that aims to help and guide students and prepare them for a future in the job market as well as work on capture the flag competitions. We at CDC help our students with whatever they need to succeed we have guest speakers, competitions, trips to conferences, and informative PowerPoints.”

Hannah Ohm

Women in Cybersecurity

Hannah Ohm, President of the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Club

What’s your favorite part of leading the Women in Cybersecurity Club?

“During our meetings we try to engage our members in activities that will deepen their knowledge of cybersecurity. This semester we not only participated in NCL, but we also received licenses for CyberStart recently. Being able to teach them and see their excitement is one of the best experiences anyone can ever have.” 

What is the Women in Cybersecurity Club’s goal for its members?

“Our goal is to help support underrepresented students in cybersecurity and to foster a passion for cybersecurity within our members.”


As mentioned by these cyber student leaders, participating in said cyber clubs can help students understand how their class curriculum materializes in real-world environments. These organizations contribute to our technical knowledge and abilities, teaching cybersecurity topics not necessarily covered in the classroom. For example, to name a few, the WiCys team recently held an interactive Web Scraping exercise and is now working on a CyberAero project, diving into the crossover of cybersecurity and aerospace industries.

Hitting the Trail: Glassford Hill

On the cusp of the Prescott border into Prescott Valley, sits Glassford Hill and its corresponding Glassford Summit Trail. Although a fairly popular, multi-use path with much foot traffic, the hike isn’t overcrowded nor did I feel the uncomfortable pressure to walk faster. It is great trail to get outside and hike, not too strenuous and not too steep, rated at roughly 964 ft. of elevation. I appreciate this hike because I can enjoy nature whilst also being able to socialize with a hiking buddy without losing too much breathe.  

Watch my hike on Embry-Riddle Prescott’s Instagram account.

As a 4.6 mile out-and-back trail, Glassford Summit Trail is a great morning hike where you can be sheltered in the cool shade until you reach the top of the hill to feel the warmth of the morning sun. It has a gradual incline with a few switchbacks constituting the trail. The climax of the hike offers generous views, overseeing all of Prescott Valley. 

Glassford Summit Trail is unique in its ability to educate on the history of Glassford Hill and the surrounding natural structures, with its numerous plaques and descriptions scattered throughout the trail. Targeting a different audience than Granite Mountain, Glassford Hill hosts many seating options throughout the journey for anyone wishing to rest or picnic. In this fashion, I recommend taking friends and family on this hike, for it offers a little bit of everything the casual hiker is looking for.  

Advice to Freshmen

A popular hangout spot on campus: The Hazy Library.

Welcome new students to the fall semester! As you have likely noticed, the ERAU college experience is much different than its high school counterpart. Traversing this new university can be challenging, but I have comprised a few pieces of advice I would have liked to know prior to being immersed in the university’s community and hopefully it can help you:

The Prescott campus has over 200 clubs and organizations.

Of course, meet new people! It is more difficult to make friends in the later years of college. First-years tend to be more enthusiastic and open to new, friendly faces. You can do this by getting involved in clubs / organizations / Greek Life to find friends of shared interests. It is also a good way to form relationships with your professors out of the classroom, as each organization has a faculty advisor. Although we are not the most athletically-driven university, if you enjoy sports, I encourage you to join intramurals, with games starting 9/20 this semester.

On-campus jobs outweigh off-campus jobs in most aspects, as I have personally encountered. While your hours will vary depending on the school job, all positions prioritize your status as a student and will work around your class schedule. I have cycled through a few positions, including writing for Horizons, being a Temperature Taker, and a Student Media Assistant. Other common jobs on campus are tutors, TAs, graders, tour guides, Mailroom workers, Sodexo employees, and various assistant positions (located on ERNIE > Workday > Search ‘Find Student Jobs’).

One of our on-campus housing complexes, the Thumb Butte Suites (T2).

Try things out and take advantage of the opportunities presented. For example, if you enjoy helping students transition into college and desire free housing, consider applying to be an RA for the Housing Department. If you have leadership qualities, like to be involved, and can talk to students of all walks of life, look at joining the SGA. Try new opportunities out, and if you don’t enjoy it, move on. It is better to try it now then to regret not being involved by the time graduation rolls around. 

Me (Center) together with my Student Government Association (SGA) colleagues.

Meet with your Academic Advisors. While often overlooked, our Academic Advisors are great resources to ensure you stay on track to graduate over the years, the main goal of college. For an accurate assessment of your progress and how many credits the Registrar has you recorded for, go to ERNIE > Campus Solutions > Academic Advising > Academic Progress > View ERAU Report. The Registrar is the office that either approves or disapproves your credits for graduation, so ensuring your files are in alignment with theirs can be worthwhile in forecasting your schedules.

Overall, enjoy the ERAU campus and community because time does fly by quickly, as is a common phrase our parents like to enlighten us with as students. Good luck this semester!

Hitting the Trail: Granite Mountain

In the network of trails that constitute Prescott’s National Forest, the 7.9 mile Granite Mountain trail is a great option to hike. Driving past the Prescott Walmart and Starbucks, this trailhead is located roughly 20 minutes from campus. I personally enjoy this hike for the peace and quiet it provides, with minimal foot traffic, especially in the scorching heat of the summer season. The breathtaking views you are rewarded with at the top of the mountain aren’t too shabby either.

Here’s my full hiking vlog on ERAU’s official Instagram account.

Contrary to my previous hike at Thumb Butte, Granite Mountain is quite a long and more rigorous trek; so much so, that I was sweating at the bottom of the hike and chilled by the heavy wind at the highest climax of the path. I prefer Granite Mountain over Thumb Butte simply because Granite Mountain offers more opportunities to climb and explore when reaching the top of the trail, unlike Thumb Butte that is blocked off with signs and fences.

With an elevation of 1,656 ft. and scarce shade, the Granite Mountain trail can be either a relaxing morning hike or the next test in expanding your hiking endurance, depending on your skill level. No matter your abilities, I highly recommend trying out the Granite Mountain trail. Make sure to pack lots of water!

The World’s Oldest Rodeo and 4th of July Celebration in Prescott

Arriving in Prescott, many college students experience a slower, traditional small-town vibe. Yet, when Christmas or patriotic holidays roll around, Prescott awakens. It is a festive Hallmark town, colored with cheer and décor. This 4th of July was no different. Drawing people from all over Arizona, Prescott was bustling with numerous events, like the World’s Oldest Rodeo, the 4th of July Parade, Northern Arizona’s Annual Tattoo Fest, and, of course, a fireworks show.

Taken in an alley, this gem of a Prescott mural was nicely hidden behind Whiskey Row.

To kick off the weekend, Prescott hosted the World’s Oldest Rodeo. Surprisingly, this was a culture shock like no other, a country culture shock if you will. I was not prepared, cowboy hat and boot-less. In awe, I watched as cowboy after cowboy competed in various horse-riding and animal lassoing events. Many times, I had to Google the competition I was watching, for I had never seen such a thing. But, like the large crowd of country folk in attendance, I was entertained and thoroughly enjoyed my time.

These friends (alumni Timmy Casnellie, alumni Ashley Carlson, student Keliz White) joined me in experiencing the rodeo life.

The annual 4th of July Parade processed down the streets of the downtown Courthouse Square, ultimately testing my parallel parking skills. Hundreds of Prescott locals showed up to support our veterans, lining the streets with red, white, and blue. The streets were overflowing with retro cars, local law enforcement, motorcycles, and tons of floats, from our own Golden Eagles Flight team’s float to a Democratic float, sporting a huge cutout poster of President Biden. If this puts into context how busy it was, I had to risk getting kicked by a flipping cheerleader just to cross the street for a coffee.

This is an example of the numerous tattoo shop booths that lined Tattoo Fest.

Unbeknownst to most, the Northern Arizona Annual Tattoo Fest was taking place at the Prescott Resort and Casino. Although daunting at first glance, the fest was a creative chaos; the air filled with the nonstop buzz of the needle as people were getting tattooed left and right. After spending many hours browsing the line of booths, I left the resort reflecting on all the life stories that were shared and souvenirs I collected. It was a welcoming environment, and I’m appreciative of this glimpse into the tattoo world.  

To complete the weekend, the fireworks show went off over Watson Lake. While the fireworks were grand and explosive, the fair-like activities prior were more enjoyable in my opinion. Since the pandemic, I have forgotten how the simple activity of picnicking with friends could be so fun. And, the grand finale of firework burst after firework burst made the trek back to the car in the dark worth it.

This image displays the start of the fireworks’ finale.

Overall, Prescott’s support and applaudable effort in celebrating this holiday weekend was a pleasure to partake in. Growing up in a city, I do miss the hustle and bustle of typical metropolitan life. Seeing the town rise to the challenge made me appreciate the community we are a part of, here, in Prescott, Arizona.

Applying for Scholarships

Receiving scholarships is no easy task. Neither is applying for them. Yet, we, as students, do because the chance we could receive one is enough to motivate us to apply. I remember when I first toured Riddle, back in the days of 2018, and met a girl who applied to numerous scholarships and received so many that she didn’t have any student debt when she graduated. I aspired to be that girl, to have that perseverance. 

Proud logo of the College of Security and Intelligence (CSI).

Of course, the ERAU Financial Aid Office offers many good options, but they are only the starting source. I’d say, about 80% of applying to scholarships is dependent on your self-determination. Some students receive competitive scholarships through their ROTC programs, if that is what you like to do. I am not one of those students. Initially, I looked for programs through the clubs I was active in. Sometimes, clubs and national organizations may be funding scholarships for their members. I found that there were quite a few in aviation clubs, although despite going to an aeronautical university, I knew little about. In Cyber Defense Club, a group closely related to my interests, I learned about a few opportunities supported by WiCYS and applied to those. Sadly, no luck.

Entrance to the CSI Building

Then, I moved online. Gauging my status as a college student from my metadata, advertisements were popping up with sources of scholarship search engines, like FastWeb and Scholarships.com. Having had applied to many scholarships prior, I was tired of asking my professors for glowing recommendation letters, answering essay questions, and writing slightly tweaked cover letters for each scholarship. The minimal requirements for the generic scholarships online were greatly appealing, so I applied to many. Yet again, I had no luck.

This is the famous Cyber Lab, located in Room 127 of CSI Building.

At this point, I had an Excel spreadsheet of over 50 scholarships I had applied to. Fatigued but still determined to not have student debt, I traversed on. This was around year two of college, so I had already started accumulating debt. I decided that I needed to look outside my previous methods. I turned within my College of Security and Intelligence and Department of Cyber Intelligence and Security specifically. Perfect timing! Dr. Sampigethaya, the Department Chair of Cyber Security, was just promoting applications to the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program. In 2019, our Cyber Lab was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education, Cyber Defense Research, and Cyber Operations by the DHS and NSA, making ERAU students applicable for this program. Recognizing the magnitude of this opportunity, I jumped right into the application process. Five months later, I received a phone call, a scholarship, and a post-graduation job! In retrospect, the process of scholarship applying doesn’t seem that rigorous; however, when I was in it, it was horrible. The longer it takes to receive scholarships, the more debt you accumulate. If you have many disappointments like I did, don’t give up! Working hard now can only benefit your future self, and honestly your bank account.

The scholarship application process is challenging; if you need assistance on any step, a smart move would be contacting the Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships. This ERAU Office can support you in just about all aspects of the application process, from formatting your resume to requesting recommendation letters from professors. To contact them, please email uaawards@erau.edu.

Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Security Agency.

Hitting the Trail: Thumb Butte

No doubt, the town of Prescott is known for its numerous outdoor activities and hiking opportunities.

First sign entering the Thumb Butte trailhead, signifying the trail’s parking.

With such a well-known presence that ERAU even named dorms after it (T1 and T2), Thumb Butte is an ideal trail. Located in the Prescott National Forest, Thumb Butte Trail #33 is a moderate hike for people of all hiking backgrounds.

Thumb Butte trail information.

Hearing such appraisal in town, I too ventured out to the Thumb Butte. Once at the trailhead, I was instantly forced to make a decision that would greatly affect my hiking experience. Choosing to hike up the left or right route first, since it is a loop, would either be a more difficult steep climb or a nice gradual incline, respectively. Of course, representing the rebellious youth, I chose to start off with the difficult left side.

The two paths hikers must choose when starting the hike.
Hiking up the trail.

Honestly, the upwards half of the 2.5-mile loop was the ultimate thigh killer, paralleling the soreness one gets after leg day. The 700 ft elevation gain, fit into one mile of switchbacks, was no simple walk in the forest, pun intended. It was quite the struggle.

However, it was worth a quick sweat and soreness. The views on the climb up and opportunities to keep climbing higher were superb and greatly appreciated. Being a well-maintained concrete path, it was nice to see a chance to continue up an unbeaten path.

If you are considering hiking “Thumb Butt”, as I humorously call it, ensure you check the forecast prior. Living near the mountain, I have done this hike a couple times a month over the years and have made the mistake of hiking in wet and snowy climates; so, don’t follow my lead unless you enjoy involuntary sliding and sloshy shoes. Overall, as proven by my consistent return to the mountain, I recommend this trail for a day when you have the desire to hike but may not have the time to take on a longer adventure.

All About Classes

by Richard Santi

Embry-Riddle of course has exceptional flight training, a beautiful campus, and lots of fun activities available in and around the Prescott area. But what about the classes?

In high school I was not by any means the type of student that absolutely loved going to class. I wasn’t a bad student but can remember spending a lot of time watching the clock and waiting for the bell to ring.

Aeronautical Science students use flight simulation software to learn advanced jet systems, including programming a FMS computer like the one pictured in the top left of the screen.

Things changed after my first couple days at Embry-Riddle. Suddenly class became not only really interesting but incredibly fun! As an Aeronautical Science student with a Business Administration minor, I have gotten the chance to learn a lot of genuinely intriguing topics in the classroom taught by some absolutely brilliant professors who carry a wide range of industry experience. I went from looking at the clock waiting to leave, to looking at the clock not wanting to run out of time. In the Embry-Riddle classroom, I can say with certainty pretty much all of my professors have been kind and understanding, have had a strong desire to help students succeed. The best of all is that they come from a lot of diverse backgrounds with a ton of industry experience.

Our 1/2 scale model of the Wright Flyer hangs proudly in the lobby of our Academic Complex 1 which was completed in 2003, the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ pioneering flight.

The fact that a professor has experience in the industry is not something I thought too much about prior to coming to college, but I can say it is the principal thing that have made classes enjoyable for me. Getting to hear a presentation made by a retired military or airline pilot about the aircraft they flew and the experiences they had or listening to an interesting business lecture from someone who held a real-world management position at one of the world’s largest corporations are experiences that I have had and greatly cherish. It makes the classroom feel a thousand times more interesting.

Our new STEM Education Center features both an R-22 Helicopter given to us by universal Helicopters and a King Air propeller given to us by Raisbeck Engineering.

Lastly, one of the great parts of going to class in my mind is the manageable classroom sizes. The largest class I have ever had at Embry-Riddle had somewhere near 40 people in it, and I have only ever needed to take a couple of those. That is nothing like the 300-person lecture halls I had worried about when coming to college. Our average class size is around 25, but I can tell you that there are many classes you will have much smaller than that. I have had numerous labs and other classes that seated around 9 or 10 people. For me, this really was the way to learn. I like to be a part of the class, raising my hand often and having a professor who knows my name and respects me as a student, not just be a number in a large crowd.

College brings with it a lot of cool experiences. You will have a lot of fun at Embry-Riddle doing a lot of activities outside of the classroom. Like with any college, however, there will be a part of your day that will be spent in class. Why not attend college at a place where the classes are genuinely fun and interesting?

Halfway to Space

By Cooper Eastwood

This blog is an update to Cooper’s first blog: Aiming for Space with a Fully Reusable Rocket

Hi again! I am Cooper Eastwood, an Aeronautical Engineering sophomore and co-investigator of the Embry-Riddle Suborbital Reusable Vehicle. The whole world put itself on pause and everyone felt the effects. I know that at my home in Los Angeles many businesses and everyday workers have been forced inside due to the pandemic. Online learning, commerce, and communication became the new norm. I and many others have witnessed the whole world adapt and change in only a few months. Now almost a year later much has changed but the goal is always the same: to get to space cheaper and more often.

The Embry-Riddle Suborbital Reusable Vehicle (ERAU-SRV) team transitioned completely online during the summer period. Gaurav Nene and I stayed on task even in different parts of the country through video calls and scheduled meetings. Our small integrated team dynamic allowed us an easy transition as we can continue working diligently on the next steps of development whenever necessary. During this time, we submitted the lengthy and necessary documentation for unguided commercial suborbital vehicle launch approval at Spaceport America. We coordinated documentation with the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. Then in June 2020 we received the launch approval for a future date in 2021. We are taking our two-stage launch vehicle past the Karman line, or 100 kilometers, and to do so we need to launch from an FAA licensed facility. As New Mexico begins the process of allowing more frequent travel to their federal sites, the team will be at Spaceport America to observe the launch facilities and finally meet the ground support members.

Me manufacturing our sustainer fins on a CNC mill

To get the final funding we needed to finish the vehicle. The College of Engineering, the Undergraduate Research Institute, and Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus opened an opportunity for student projects to win grant funding by presenting in front of the Board of Alumni. Dr. Ron Madler, Dean of the College of Engineering, extended an invitation for us to further our research and break new ground with this brand-new alumni collaboration. We submitted a proposal to the board, bidding for a chance to present. This contained our preliminary design review, our FAA package, and the AIAA published technical report regarding our avionics. We qualified as one of the top three finalists and in under a week we made our presentation. Once the dust settled, we were awarded a grant to accelerate our work! With this new thrust of momentum and enough funding to purchase the rest of the booster stage, the next step in our engineering method was to verify our vehicle.

We required a launch test of our sustainer to accomplish six objectives: verify performance and our trajectory models, qualify the structural components, validate the recovery system, validate performance of telemetry, gain experience with pre-launch operations, and gain post-launch operations experience. After five days of integration we put the vehicle on the pad at Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in Mojave, California.

The ERAU-SRV sustainer takes flight!

On December 19th, 2020 at around 12:30 PM, the rocket was launched and experienced a recovery system failure at apogee which was addressed in a 35-page post-flight report. The sustainer surpassed its goal of 31,666 feet – exactly 6 miles. The vehicle was only partially recovered due to ballistic reentry, however we received two sets of flight data from our identical on-board computers. Every piece of the rocket was sifted from the sand, meticulously inspected, and documented. By finishing the in-depth report we completed five of our six objectives and proved that we could take the step forward on construction of the booster stage to launch at Spaceport America.

Recover and inspection of the rocket underway. We found parts to the GoPro, Spot Tracker, both AIM XTRA computers, as well as all the body components. Due to this inspection we found the root cause of the failure.

Immediately after our test we welcomed a new faculty advisor as well as a member of our team. Our previous faculty advisor Dr. Michael Fabian moved on to government research and Prof. Robert Gerrick, Mechanical Engineering Chair, took the role of our mentor. William Knoblauch, a Mechanical Engineering freshman, also became a member of our team by assisting in post-flight analysis and continuing testing research on flight critical hardware. We are in the process of accepting new members aiming to grow hands on experience with suborbital launch vehicles. As our vehicle and team grow, so do our hopes of surpassing our goals.

Gaurav (left) and Me (right) holding the sustainer right before placing it on the launch rail.

When the previous post left off, we were anticipating a trip to Portland, Oregon to attend the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Student Conference Region VI and present a 30-minute presentation on our avionics system at the conference. This was cancelled only a week before taking place in March 2020 and was postponed until the same time this year. Now after resubmitting the paper to a judge’s panel for review, it was accepted to the 2021 student conference at California State Long Beach and will be taking place in April.

Being a cross-discipline undergraduate research project gives us the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of engineers who can all contribute to space flight. As we expect many more space launches, the amount of experimental data gained per flight will be exponential. After a successful launch we will be calling on all students and as well as those considering enrolling at Embry-Riddle Prescott to form ideas, build hardware, and program experiments for the vehicle. These will all be taken to space, an environment that can be exclusively reached repeatedly only at Embry-Riddle. If you have a great idea and a goal, you really can get to space with the College of Engineering and the Undergraduate Research Institute’s backing.