About the MASA Team

Our mission is to design and fabricate sounding rockets, focusing on projects involving new hybrid propulsion technologies and composite structures. Every year, we enter into the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) in order to launch these rockets and compete against teams worldwide. MASA's rocket projects range from simple introduction rockets which familiarize engineering students with practical design challenges, to high-tech rockets which travel to up to 23,000 feet in altitude.

MASA is also committed to giving back to the community by starting a new initiative involving local high school students in the design of each year's payload. At the bi-annual university Aerospace Day, MASA members also give tours to young prospective students and demonstrate small rocket launches. We believe that youth interest in STEM fields is vital to the growth of the community, and we strive to take the lead in this endeavor.

At the University of Michigan, MASA boasts members from a wide range of science and engineering majors, and we welcome new members from any department at the university. There are certainly a variety of ways to get involved, ranging from the development of sophisticated propulsion systems, to state-of-the-art composite structural analysis, to high-tech flight electronics systems design.

Meet the Leads


President: Robyn Hinchman
Robyn Hinchman is currently a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering. As President, she is the team's external face to the University, and she keeps all of the other leads in check. She is also a member of the propulsion subteam, where she helps develop MASA's hybrid rocket engine. You can contact Robyn at rhinch@umich.edu.



Vice President: Nishant Gohel
Nishant Gohel is currently a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. As Vice President, he is in charge of planning for competition, outreach events and social events. In addition, he is leading the integration of new members. He is also a member of the airframe team. You can contact Nishant at nngohel@umich.edu.




Business Manager: Abhiram Krishnan
Abhiram Krishnan is a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering, with minors in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. As Business Manager, he works with suppliers and donors to ensure that MASA has the resources to continue building rockets. He also maintains MASA's external image and is in charge of social media. Despite being an administrative lead, he plans to remain fully involved in all three technical subteams. You can contact Abhiram at abhiram@umich.edu.


Treasurer: Alex Philpott
Alex Philpott is currently a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering. As Treasurer, he manages the team's budgets, tracks spending, and issues reimbursements to any team member who uses personal funds to buy materials for MASA. Alex is also a member of the propulsion subteam; last year, he worked on the fill and ignition systems. You can contact Alex at alexphi@umich.edu.


Safety Officer: Madhav Goli
Madhav Goli is a sophomore in Electrical Engineering . As Safety Officer, it is his job to make sure everyone on the team works safely and that no one gets hurt. He is also a part of the avionics and propulsion subteams. You can contact Madhav at yomn@umich.edu.


Chief Engineer: Jacob Sigler
Jacob Sigler is a junior studying electrical engineering. As chief engineer, he is responsible for the overall construction and design of both competition rockets. In addition to this, Jacob is active on the avionics team, helping design and test flight hardware and software. You can contact Jacob at jmsigler@umich.edu.




Propulsion Lead: Tyler Sandberg
Tyler Sandberg is a junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering, and is responsible for overseeing the team's rocket engine development efforts. He has been a part of MASA since his freshman year, and enjoys the opportunities the team provides to apply classroom knowledge to hands on problems. You can contact Tyler at tksandy@umich.edu.



Airframe Lead: Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson is currently a junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering. As Airframe Lead, he oversees the design of the rocket's structure and analysis of the aerodynamics ensuring the flight is stable and reaches the required altitude. He also leads the development of the recovery system so that the rocket returns safely and can be reused. You can contact Michael at mikegj@umich.edu.



Avionics Lead: Nick Sterenberg
Nick Sterenberg is the Avionics (Aerospace Electronics) Lead in MASA, and he is a sophomore Electrical Engineering student. As avionics lead, he oversees the the flight critical electrical systems, as well as experimental avionics projects to fly on the rockets. He also manages integrating ground support systems with propulsion for engine testing. Anyone with an interest in electronics should contact him at nsternie@umich.edu. Nick is currently in California on an internship with SpaceX, and Alex will be leading the avionics subteam in his place.


Interim Avionics Lead: Alexander Monticciolo
Alexander Monticciolo is a freshman studying electrical engineering who is the Interim Avionics team lead in Nick's absence. He is responsible for the on-board electronics, as well as ground support systems used to test and record engine data. You can contact Alexander at amonticc@umich.edu.




Production Manager: Austin Harms
Austin Harms is currently a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering. As Production Manager, he is responsible for machining various components for MASA's rockets, training new members on machines, researching new manufacturing techniques, and setting/maintaining build deadlines. In addition to serving as Production Manager, he is a member of the ATLO and propulsion subteams. You can contact Austin at harmsat@umich.edu. Austin is currently in Seattle on an internship with Blue Origin, and Sophia will be running production in his place.


Interim Production Manager: Sophia Yu
Sophia Yu is currently a sophomore majoring in Aerospace Engineering. As Interim Production Manager, she is in charge of organizing MASA's production processes and researching new machining techniques. She is also a member of the propulsion subteam, where she works on redesigning the oxidizer injector. You can contact Sophia at swy@umich.edu.


Assembly, Test, & Launch Operations: Ben Corson
Ben Corson is the Assembly, Test, & Launch Operations (ATLO) lead and a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. As ATLO Lead, he runs and coordinates launches and tests, creates their procedures, prepares work sessions, and oversees the test site. Previously, he worked on structures for the propulsion subteam. You can contact Ben at bencor@umich.edu.




Payload Lead: Rishi Jashnani
Rishi Jashnani is currently a sophomore majoring in Aerospace Engineering. As interim Payload Lead, he is in charge of designing and building the payload for the Basic Category Rocket. This payload will study the effects of high gravity and low gravity on flames. He is also on the propulsion and airframe subteams. You can contact Rishi at rishiji@umich.edu.