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CES - Tom '22

Tom Powell’s CES: Engineering & Design: An Exercise In Murphy’s Law was carefully conceived, planned, initiated, and…terminated. Tom Powell’s expertise in all things engineering set the stage for his CES, a plan to design and build a supersonic model rocket that would use no off-the-shelf components. An undeniably ambitious goal, for sure, but certainly within reach for a four-year rocketeer, programmer, fabricator, and all-around big thinker. Tom built his flight computer, wrote code, began to fabricate his rocket, prepare for launch day; in walked Murphy, ready to enforce his eponymous law. Supply chain issues, the untimely demise of a particular parachute builder, FAA regulations, and other vagaries of amateur space flight began to accumulate, effectively aborting the mission. His computer models provided a look at what might’ve been: an altitude of 11,952 feet and a maximum speed of 1,167.68 mph during a four-minute flight. Faced with challenges at every step, Tom’s CES demonstrated his uniquely divergent thinking and ability to change course to attempt a lofty goal.