Ryerson Propulsion Group keeps students connected during COVID-19 pandemic
The Ryerson Propulsion Group, external link (RPG) has been working on overcoming the unique challenges that COVID-19 has created for students. Throughout the pandemic, RPG has placed an emphasis on ensuring that team members continue to feel connected and are able to collaborate remotely as they work towards the Launch Canada, external link rocket competition in the summer.
Members of RPG come from undergraduate and graduate programs at Ryerson, including students from a variety of engineering disciplines.
Team Director Matthew Ho, Mechanical Engineering ‘21, shares how the Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science (FEAS) has continued to support and fund design teams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of other schools are taking steps to limit team operations during the pandemic. As a team, we understand the importance of a strong sense of community, and FEAS giving us the resources to operate allows us to bring a lot of people closer together.”
Matthew shares how RPG continues to keep students engaged with both technical and casual events.
“On the technical side, we present tutorials on the software we use, and we participate in the Launch Canada Lecture Series, external link, talks presented to Canadian rocketry teams from captains of industry and figureheads in propulsion,” says Matthew. “We also keep it fun by hosting game nights and movie nights, with a focus on virtual meetings since we can’t meet in person.”
Team Combustion Dynamics Lead and master of engineering in aerospace student Antonella Ruta, says RPG leads engage with team members during virtual meetings to maintain a sense of community.
“We ask about progress, concerns and any other feedback to improve their experience with RPG. We make sure we assign tasks in groups so students can collaborate throughout the semester.”
RPG’s Marketing Lead Umar Shabbir, Aerospace Engineering ‘23, says the design team has helped him feel connected throughout his time at Ryerson.
“It’s quite uplifting being on a team with such motivated members who would go above and beyond to help ensure RPG’s best performance at Launch Canada,” says Umar. “Personally, joining RPG has been an eye-opening experience for me. I’ve learned more about the aerospace industry by being on this team than I had since I started at Ryerson.”