After graduating from Temecula Valley High School, I relocated to La Jolla to study Aerospace Engineering at UCSD. I have been involved in rocketry my whole life, constructing rockets with minor electronics and low altitude range at 14 and tackling more complicated flight configurations such as airstarts and staging during high school - all using commercially available solid rocket engines and flying under FAA waivers obtained by the Rocketry Organization of California.
UCSD is rigorously academic, but I was fortunate enough to obtain many hours of hands on experience interning at Flometrics under Dr. Steve Harrington and Carl Tedesco. The experiences there proved helpful in connecting my theoretical classes to instances of actual applied engineering.
In the Spring of 2015, nearing the end of my 3rd year, I helped on the Vulcan I, a project under the UCSD Chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. The engine intended for the rocket was a nickel alloy 3D printed regenerative rocket engine with propellants of kerosene and liquid oxygen. My flight dynamics and materials knowledge proved useful to the Vulcan team, and I eventually became the Recovery Systems Lead on the Vulcan.
On May 21st 2016, the Vulcan successfully launched from the Friends of Amateur Rocketry Test Facility, with a perfect boost despite high surface winds. At apogee, none of the intended flight events occurred, and the Vulcan impacted about a mile from its launch site. Unfortunately, with no live radio telemetry, it is difficult to tell what went wrong, but residual black powder found in the parachute ejection wells after the crash suggests the electric matches never received adequate current to ignite and deploy the staged parachutes. Whether this was due to barometric sensor failure, power disconnection, programming error, or current pathway disruption couldn't be determined, however, the partial success of the launch gave the UCSD SEDS chapter enough momentum to secure funding for Colossus, their improved engine static firing stand.
I remained with SEDS for several months after the conclusion of the Vulcan Project, serving 2 more academic quarters as Recruitment Manager, for a total of 3 quarters and 21 positions filled. I also lead a small group exploring the possibility of a Vertical Takeoff and Landing Vehicle as a subsequent project for the group, now named Aurora. I ultimately decided to leave my roles at SEDS when the chapter’s leadership determined there would be no sounding rocket projects in the near future. My experiences recruiting New Members and designing VTOL craft proved pertinent to my current goals in 2018, and I’m incredibly thankful for the friendship and knowledge I’ve gained from the students I worked with.
Since then, I've set out in a new, more personal direction, spending spare time studying the flight dynamics of multirotor drones and endeavoring to design a delivery drone that exceeds both the flight time and payload capacity of current commercial options. I’m optimistic about the direction of the current design, and am taking a 1 year hiatus from my degree to found my own company, Touchdown Delivery.
The company, currently being recruited for, is continuing my current designs for a drone network that operates under federally defined traditional airspace but above our congested roadways. Touchdown Delivery is committed to providing safe and reliable drone transport for America’s Businesses and Customers. The future of commerce is aerial!
The Touchdown business model is socially and environmentally ethical. This isn’t some company owning the future; we’re introducing Main St to a new way to generate revenue Day 1 with Touchdown Delivery. Check out the images on my site, apply to help, or reach out to me!