URI engineering students have a blast with first water rocket contest
KINGSTON, R.I. -- June 1, 1999 -- Some rockets
barely got off the ground, some tipped, spun and crashed to the ground.
Others flew beautifully, but then plummeted to the Quadrangle when their
parachutes didn't open. But then there were the rockets that flew high and
gently touched down after their parachutes deployed.
They wound up being the winning entries in the
first URI Water Rocket Contest held in May by the University of Rhode Island
Student Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Held on the Kingston Campus, the event was a mixture
of fun, science and engineering.
It was organized by Angelo Di Biasio, of Johnston,
president of the URI ASME student chapter and graduating mechanical engineering
student, and junior mechanical engineering student, Curtis Carlsten, vice
chairman of the URI chapter. Carlsten is an East Providence resident. The
rockets, made out of plastic soda bottles, were filled with water, launched
under pressure, and were supposed to descend softly when their parachutes
David Ruggieri of West Kingston, a junior mechanical
engineering student, had the honor of being the first one on the launch
pad with his test rocket. "This was a good competition. It helped us
shift our focus from our classroom studies for a little while."
Susan Rhodes, treasurer of the student ASME chapter,
of Middletown, watched as her rocket flew successfully, but failed to deploy
its parachute. "I was very please with the flight; at least it got
off the launch pad."
Ronald Barraza, a mechanical engineering student
from Providence, was the first to get his parachute to come out.
By far the highest flying rocket of the day and
the first-place finisher belonged to a team of civil engineering students,
which included: Joe Moniz, of Warwick; Eric Baxter of West Warwick; Scot
Deledda, of North Stonington, Conn., Laura Landry of Lincoln, Adrian Johnson
of Noank, Conn., Rajan Ray of Prospect, Conn.
Finishing second were graduate students Jove Farley,
of North Kingstown, and graduate student Zachary Nardi, of Smithfield.
Mike Smith, of Highland, N.Y., a junior electrical
engineering student, was third.
The event was sponsored by Brown & Sharpe,
Toray Plastics, Texas Instruments, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
and URI's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Pepsi supplied 60 bottles
for the competition.
For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116