Kingston University students to launch record breaking rocket engine

The Kingston University Rocket Engineering team (KURE) is gearing up to unveil the most potent 3D printed rocket engine ever crafted by students in the UK, as part of the National Propulsion Competition.


The competition is set to take place in July at the Westcott Space Cluster in Buckinghamshire. 

Vinay Williams, systems engineer and second-year doctorate student at Kingston University, said: “Building this engine has been a massive confidence booster for us.” 

The competition forms part of the Race to Space initiative, led by the University of Sheffield, aimed at equipping the UK space sector with highly skilled graduates.

Williams envisions their engine as a powerhouse for future space missions. stating: “Our engine is going to be a big improvement on last year’s, and we hope for it to be the powerhouse for our space shot within the next five years.”

The competition, judged by industry giants like Rolls Royce, McLaren, and the Alpine F1 team, provides a platform for students to showcase their innovations. 

Looking ahead, the KURE team has ambitious plans, eyeing participation in the Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest student rocket competition. 

They’re also aiming for a full launchpad test next year, bringing them one step closer to their ultimate goal – launching into space.

In addition to their technical pursuits, the team has been actively engaged in outreach activities, including visits to local primary schools like Knollmead in Worcester Park, where they inspire young minds with hands-on rocketry sessions.

The University’s state-of-the-art rocket lab at its Roehampton Vale campus has been instrumental in the team’s preparations. 

Dr. Peter Shaw, senior aerospace engineering lecturer, underscores the impact of the project on student development, emphasizing the acquisition of industrial-relevant skills. 

Snow said: “If successful, the engine will be the most powerful student-built and test-fired rocket engine in the UK.” 

With the National Propulsion Competition on the horizon, the KURE team is leaving no stone unturned in their preparations, aiming to clinch top honours in various categories, including best engine and best team.

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