The Australian Universities Rocket Competition (AURC) is Australia’s first national university rocketry competition hosted by the Australian Youth Aerospace Association. Commencing in 2018, the AURC was designed with the aim to provide graduate engineers and scientists with the skills required for the growing aerospace industry in Australia. It also aims to provide a practical competition for Australian students passionate about rocketry. The AURC was inspired by a number of rocket competitions around the world, with the intention is to integrate the best parts of other rocket competitions around the globe to design the greatest tertiary rocket competition in the world. Furthermore, the AURC aims to encourage student teams to be as multidisciplinary as possible to reflect complex, real life space projects that require a mix of engineers and scientists from different backgrounds. This event continues the AYAA’s legacy of promoting education, awareness and involvement in the aerospace industry to young Australians.
Australia is no stranger to space; the nation’s involvement can be dated back as far as the 1940’s when the Woomera Rocket Range was established in South Australia. This site eventually became a landmark in the west as the world’s second largest launch and tracking facility. Paul Scully-Power, the first Australian to enter space as an Oceanographer in 1985, and Andy Thomas the first Professional Australian Astronaut acting as payload commander in 1996 are a few famous names in Australia’s space adventures. Fast forwarding to recent times, in 2017, South Australia hosted the International Astronautical Congress, where the Australian Space Agency was announced. Exciting times are certainly abound for Australians, and the AYAA hopes to strengthen this by fostering a greater interest in aerospace with a national rocketry competition. Additionally, this competition aims to increase the interest in STEM careers for Australian university students and provide them with a practical outlet to extend themselves beyond the lecture halls to design and build rockets themselves. The students that compete will develop their skills in a team environment, solving real-world problems under the same pressures they would experience in their future careers. This will be the inaugural AURC and the AYAA hope to continue this as an annual competition. Find out more here.