Large Space Design Capstone (LSDC)

Appian Construction
Industry Mentor:
Charles Vaughan
Faculty Adviser:
Dr. Carl Knowlen
  • Grayson Steele
  • Garrett Allen-Dunn
  • Justin Carpenter
  • Greg Derk
  • Nathan Drechsler
  • Alexis Harroun
  • Lucas Heflin
  • Stephanie Klue
  • Hunter Mellema
  • Tyler Mundt
  • Michael O'Dell
  • Riley Pratt
  • Mathew Riling
  • Julien Robert
  • Kyle Shipley
  • Shray Singh
  • Carmen-Ioana Ursachi
  • Xiuqui Yang
LSDC team, links to a larger image
The LSDC team
The LSDC team
icon of pressure vessel linking to larger image
pressure vessel
This is a pressure vessel designed and machined by the student members on the propulsion team. We will eventually send out the tank for welding and heat treatment and then begin testing.
icon of Charlie Yang linking to larger image
Charlie Yang
Charlie Yang, propulsion team member working in the AA Machine Shop.
icon of chief engineer displaying ignition box linking to larger image
chief engineer displaying ignition box
The SARP chief engineer (Garret Allen-Dunn) displays the inside of the ignition box which is used to ensure safety before the final ignition when the team begins static and full scale launches.
Icon of fluid dynamic analysis linking to larger image
fluid dynamic analysis
Computational fluid dynamic analysis on the curved tubing that precedes our injection nozzle was used by the propulsion team to ensure structural integrity.
icon of the team around an arduino linking to larger image
the team around an arduino
The avionics team conducts initial tests on the Arduino microcontroller to prepare for use on the payload.
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solidworks render
The first look at the full Solidworks render of the sleek, new Big Dawg rocket.
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student connecting vacuum tubing
Structures sub-team lead Nate Drechsler connecting vacuum tubing to the port of a sub-scale carbon fiber layup to verify the integrity of the composite material, prior to the construction of the full scale body tube.

The Large Space Design Capstone (LSDC) is a group of senior students at the University of Washington Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Department that have come together to design, build, test, and launch an experimental hybrid rocket. Our mission is to develop reusable hybrid rocket technology as well as to apply scientific and engineering theory with hands on experience.

Charles Vaughan
Industry Mentor:
Charles Vaughan

Dr. Vaguhan has an expansive 30 year career in engineering. He obtained his BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Irvine, and then proceeded to get his Phd in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, where he was involved specifically a variety of biomedical applications. He continued to work on biomedical projects up to 1989 when he began a nearly 20 year long career at Aerojet Rocketdyne moving from a staff engineer up to managing a 55 person team involved in design and analysis of propulsion systems. He became involved as an associate professor for the A&A department at UW in 1999.

He began a second career in 2008 when he returned to the medical field and obtained his BSN from the UW School of Nursing. He continued to work in the UWMC ICU for 4 years and obtained his MN and ARNP certification in 2013. Dr. Vaughan currently works as a Nurse Practitioner for the Harborview Medical Center in Neurosurgery.

Space Design Capstone Funding

The Large Space Design Capstone is closely integrated with the Society for Advanced Rocket Propulsion (SARP) student club. Both programs work together to accomplish challenging missions and receive project funding from private donors and multiple corporate sponsors.

UW Big Space Capstone Space Financial Donors:

UW Big Space Capstone Space Material Donors:

If you would like to support our student rocket club, send a gift to the Society of Advanced Rocket Propulsion (SARP) Support Fund.