Team

Be our Rocket Fuel by Sharing Ursa's Mission!

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Page Contents

Gerard

Luke

Michael

Brian

Ben

Ian

Elizan

Manny

Mentor: Tom Atchison

Mentor: Dick Matthews

Overview

Ursa Team after Ursa 2.1 launch

Team Ursa is a dedicated group of primarily mechanical engineers, although there is a computer engineer, an electrical engineer, a draftsman, a machinist, and even a social worker on the team! Everyone communicates and works together remotely, however, several members all live in the northeast which allows more personal collaboration. The team gathers from across the country when the time comes to test hardware or launch a vehicle! All Ursa members are volunteers.

Gerard

Gerard is one of the original members of Team Ursa's first project, the Ursa 1.0. Gerard has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine and has worked at various aerospace firms, most recently Pratt and Whitney. For the Ursa 2.1 project, Gerard has worked on nosecone design and electronics hardware design. Gerard has also been leading much of the 3D printing work for the team.

Luke

Luke is a founding member of Ursa in 2011 and continued to act as team lead after graduating from the University of Maine in 2012 with a mechanical engineering degree and led the team up until fall 2016. He specializes in propulsion hardware, flight simulations, and general system engineering with a focus on airframe design and separation.

Michael

Michael is a Mechanical Engineer on Team Ursa, and a partner of the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation.

He currently lives in Old Town, Maine after recently completing studies at the University of Maine.

Michael joined the team after spending countless nights hanging around the lab observing the original team develop the Ursa 1.0. After joining the team he worked on the static test of the booster motor, integration of the avionics and recovery systems, as well as the end stages of the Ursa 1.0 fabrication process.

Often acting as an intermediary between the team and the public, Michael helps fund development by connecting with companies, outreach to private donors and increasing public awareness through the media.

As a USPA certified skydiver Michael is continuing development of autonomous recovery systems for the next generation of Ursa class vehicles. He looks forward to working in the aerospace industry.

In his spare time Michael enjoys skydiving, building UAVs and travelling the world.

Brian

Brian is the Public Relations/Promotional Consultant on Team Ursa.

Brian joined Team Ursa after being invited to the group by Gerard due to his experience writing grants and raising funds for local non-profits.

Brian's passion for Team Ursa is driven by providing schools the opportunity to extend the classroom into space and to empower local communities and businesses to utilize the technology developed by Ursa for the betterment of science and society.

Ben

Originally from the town of Machias, Maine, Ben is a recent graduate from the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering program. Although Ben currently works in the power industry as a Substation Design Engineer, his electrical hobbies usually align with signal processing and computer programming. Whether it’s home brewing, traveling, weight training or playing music with friends, Ben is always quite busy. Ben is new to rocket engineering; however, he has had an interest since childhood and plans on staying in the field. After some modification, Ben also plans on destroying Luke Saindon’s Porsche on the track with his recently acquired Camaro.

Ian

Ian first joined the team in the Black Rock Desert during the Ursa 1.0 launch. He recently graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree computer engineering. He has the software expertise to compliment Ben’s hardware knowledge, and will be developing the next generation of attitude control and payload modules.

Elizan

Elizan is a Draftsman on Team Ursa.

He joined Team Ursa after being invited to the group by Gerard due to his experience in drafting and skills in CAD programs.

His interest in space exploration is what fuels his determination to play his part in Team Ursa.

After attending college in his hometown of Presque Isle, Maine, Elizan worked as a water irrigation technician in Portland before returning home as a structural engineer designing trusses.

In his spare time Elizan can be found reading and visiting with friends and family as well as working on plans for his own tiny house.

Manny

Manny joined the team during the Ursa 2.1 launch efforts in 2016 and was able to attend his first launch in the Black Rock Desert in June. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, a minor in mathematics, and a minor in robotics. He will be working on design of the canard actuation system for upcoming vehicles. In his free time, Manny enjoys hand-balancing, personal training, listening to music, and photography.

Mentor: Tom Atchison

Tom Atchison is the mentor and experienced supervision for the Ursa group. He has a fantastically impressive background and has enabled the team from day one. Tom has spent 30 years as an entrepreneur and executive in Silicon Valley as well as NASA. Currently he is the president of the nonprofit Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation. Mavericks is the organization for which Ursa develops the reference designs, and if the prototypes perform to Tom's standards then they become integrated into the open source knowledge base which he uses for many educational programs around the country.

Mentor: Dick Matthews

Dick is a second mentor from the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation and a self-made rocket scientist. He brings the fabrication and practical skills to the table. His experience with many other large vehicles from other Mavericks projects gives him excellent insight into what works.

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