Yale Aerospace Team Named 'Best New Chapter'

The Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA) has been named the 2014 Best New Chapter by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). The award honors a recently founded SEDS chapter that through innovative and involving projects, tremendous growth, and external recognition has inspired both new and older chapters.

Founded in 2009 by Stephen Hall ('14) and Jan Kolmas (’14), YUAA earned SEDS membership in 2013. In their first year as a SEDS chapter, YUAA met all of the group’s stated milestones, including the year-long creation of Chronos, a rocket containing an experimental control system and relativity experiment that won second place in the payload category of the 2014 Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. As well, a team of new YUAA members successfully and safely navigated a team-constructed blimp through the obstacle course at the 2014 ASME Lighter than Air Competition.

Though not in competitions, the team’s other projects were equally visible, especially the 15-foot tall rocket that the team worked on over their 2014 spring break; the rocket was created to carry a swivel-wing plane—also designed and constructed by YUAA—that could then be released into flight at the rocket’s peak altitude. Additionally, the team’s quadcopter project, begun in 2012-2013 academic year, was completed and ultimately used to shoot aerial video footage of the campus for use in online videos by Yale Admissions.

In April 2014, YUAA showcased all of these projects at their second annual Aeronautica, a state-of-the-union address by Hall and Kolmas about the organization’s growth and achievements.

SEDS is a nonprofit organization of passionate and driven students dedicated to expanding the role of human exploration and development of space. Founded in 1980 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Washington University, SEDS is now an international chapter-based organization of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who inspire others through their involvement in space-related projects.