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Rockets and motorsports engineering combine with UMaine grad

Episode 346

January 21, 2021

Rocket Man? Gearhead? Each?

What does it take to be a “rocket scientist” and the way does a motorsports background assist, if in any respect? Typically it appears that evidently gearhead varieties that I make the acquaintance of appear to pop up in a wide range of different roles. Possibly it’s the small-town environment of New England.

A type of tales from the previous is an actual rocket scientist, Luke Saindon, now dwelling in Wiscasset, Maine. I first met Luke and Heman Norris once they have been college students on the College of Maine at Orono in November 2010. They’d simply shaped the UMaine Components SAE workforce.

Keith Dumond and I labored for Caribou Tech Heart and have been on a mission to see if our college students may take a small position in constructing the UMaine Components SAE automobile. Our college students finally went on to construct suspension mounting tabs, suspension mounting rails, interior a-arm inserts, and gasoline tank.

Laptop generated plans for UMaine Components SAE automobile which exhibits a number of the a-arm inserts and mounting tabs inbuilt collaboration with the Agriculture Mechanics, and Welding class at Caribou Tech Heart. The machine work was accomplished by Dick McNeal, a former kart racing champion from Presque Isle, Maine (UMaine Components SAE plans)

I do wish to carry people up-to-speed on what the Deer Isle native has been as much as since I featured him in Episode 36 on December 2014. You’ll be able to learn that episode for a few of Luke’s motorsports background with UMaine Components SAE in addition to rising up in Maine.

Luke Saindon in UpNorth Motorsports Dec 28, 2014

In the meantime some background not coated within the above episode

I observed on social media that bluShift Aerospace was on the brink of launch an experimental bio-fueled rocket on the former Loring Air Pressure in Limestone, Maine. Whereas pouring by the information and press releases, I observed a man who seemed acquainted. I requested the parents at bluShift if that was Luke Saindon? Positive, sufficient it was him.  Luke is the Senior Mechanical Engineer at bluShift Aerospace headquartered on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Luke would be the first to inform anybody that he is part of the workforce at bluShift and needs no particular recognition with reference to his work for the corporate since September 2019.

In Luke’s phrases, “I used to be born in 1990 and raised on Deer Isle, off the coast of Maine, in a wind powered home. Till attending Deer Isle Stonington Excessive College from 2004-2008 I used to be home-schooled.”

A self-described tinkerer, Saindon constructed this full scale trebuchet or catapult whereas at Deer Isle-Stonington Excessive College. It launched the rock “payload” over 300 toes. These expertise would come in useful when designing launch platforms later in his profession.(Luke Saindon photograph)

“I all the time had an curiosity in engineering, which began within the store serving to my father. Throughout highschool, I began constructing small rocket engines, a fascination that also continues. After highschool I obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2012, from the College of Maine.”

“Throughout and after undergraduate college I took a number of internships to broaden my areas of experience. They ranged from NASA to environmental engineering. Following commencement, I additionally spent 4 months visiting France, engaged on a farm, and bettering my French.”

“An essential a part of life has additionally been artwork, which I’ve all the time been uncovered to by taking lessons and constructing sculpture since I can keep in mind. My mom all the time inspired and facilitated that facet of my life.”

“I consider that engineering and artwork ought to work collectively extra intently, and would each profit consequently. Folks that mix the 2 efficiently create stunning work and encourage me. To be happy, each areas must be part of my life, and I’m all the time trying to find methods to have a foot in each doorways. Consequently, a lot of my artwork items are kinetic sculpture with engineering parts, and my engineering initiatives all the time must be aesthetically pleasing.”

Luke’s curiosity in excessive efficiency rockets goes means again in his youth. It is a 3-stage rocket he constructed for physics class in highschool. (Luke Saindon photograph)

“I had dabbled in Estes rockets, however nothing larger, and I wished to try to go to the following scale. One rocket I designed and helped construct was for my highschool physics class. I additionally determined to aim my Tripoli Stage I certification, which was labeled as a ‘excessive powered rocket’”.

“I led a workforce in my physics class to construct a small three stage rocket.  Labored because the draftsman on the workforce. I used Google SketchUp to mannequin the autos after which helped the remainder of the workforce observe my plans. It was on this mission that I discovered the significance of airframe middle of strain and middle of gravity and the way they relate to stability.”

“The Tripoli Stage I certification rocket went up and not using a hitch.  The smaller class-built rocket failed as a result of one of many booster engines didn’t gentle, inflicting off middle thrust.”

Luke was a founding member of Crew URSA. Crew URSA is a multidisciplinary workforce that’s enhancing STEM training by designing and fabricating reference designs for sub-orbital house exploration.

Crew URSA finally launched a multi-stage rocket within the Mojave Desert in 2016 at the side of Mavericks Civilian Area Basis and founder Thomas Atchison who is sort of a mentor to Saindon.

Mide Expertise and bluShift Aerospace

Saindon went to work for Mide Expertise Company in Woburn, Massachusetts in June 2013 which developed into full-time employment. Mide is an aerospace and mechanical engineering agency.

Saindon labored as a volunteer for the beginning up bluShift Aerospace after founder/CEO Sascha Deri reached out to him a couple of paper written in school about hybrid rocket motors. Deri knew that kind of rocket was what his firm wanted to make use of to show the bio-based gasoline he developed could be used as a rocket propellant.

When Saindon efficiently wrote a Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) grant, he was in a position to work full-time for bluShift and return to Maine.

The corporate web site proclaims, “bluShift Aerospace is growing our rocket in another way. Our small workforce just isn’t afraid to fail; speedy testing and iterations of design have resulted in drastic adjustments and nice discoveries {that a} larger workforce would have been slower to realize.”

“We focus our experience in aerospace, pc science, physics, manufacturing, and mechanical design utilizing Scrum framework, retaining bSA gentle on its toes and fast to adapt. The outcome being a rocket developed to have an ultra-efficient nozzle, cutting-edge supplies, and stellar gasoline efficiency.”

Engine check hearth at Brunswick previous to Loring

This group tried to launch from Loring Air Pressure Base January 15, 2021. The launch needed to be scrubbed as a consequence of a low 3,900-foot ceiling. They want 6,000-feet to launch the rocket about one mile vertical.

A view from the bottom of the bluShift Stardust 1.0 rocket Made in Maine on launch pad at Loring runway. The launch needed to be scrubbed as a consequence of low cloud cowl. (Luke Saindon photograph)

Following is a brief video from bluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri on the Loring journey.

The Porsche with a Corvette engine

Luke’s 1986 Porsche 944 with Chevrolet V8 changing the unique engine. Saindon constructed many items that allowed the engine to be bolted in. (Luke Saindon photograph)

Saindon has bought his 1986 Porsche 944. He swapped the Porsche turbo engine for a extra highly effective Chevrolet LS V8. He ran the automobile at Loring a pair occasions in the course of the Cumberland Motor Membership Mega Autocross. He additionally used it for a Observe Day occasion at Blackhawk Farms race monitor in Wisconsin whereas visiting kin.

His present mode of transportation is a Mercedes field van transformed to dwelling quarters. He famous that he was nonetheless inquisitive about autocross, nevertheless, is leaning closely towards utilizing an electrical sports activities automobile in the event that they make such a car.

Luke Saindon together with his Mercedes van on the scrubbed launch at Loring January 15, 2021. (HTF Motorsports photograph)

He and fellow bluShift mechanical engineer Brook Halvorson share a love for Components 1 racing. They evaluate notes earlier than and after races and discuss in regards to the sport.

The Components SAE Expertise helped

Article within the UMaine Engineering publication in 2010 that caught my eye when it arrived within the mail. Contact was made with school advisor Mick Peterson. A face-to-face assembly at UMaine Orono in November 2010 which started a three-season relationship with the Components SAE workforce. (Photograph of article in UMaine Engineering journal)

When given a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best score, I requested what Saindon’s expertise on the UMaine Components SAE workforce meant to his profession improvement. He stated, “8”.

“Components SAE made me who I’m as we speak. It was instrumental in getting internships and taught me tips on how to work in teams. It was nice on my resume. Since I began it (UMaine Components SAE) I discovered an excellent deal about management.