P19102: Hybrid Rocket Engine


Project Summary Project Information

Our Problem

In 2020, the RIT Launch Initiative will compete in the Advanced category of IREC [Inetercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition]. By competing in the challenge, the RIT Launch Initiative will be competing with the likes of Perdue, Yale, McGill, Embry-Riddle, and others. Launch hopes to gain greater recognition for RIT in the field of Aerospace Engineering among other peer universities.

In order to compete in the challenge, Launch requires a rocket engine capable of powering a rocket to exactly 30,000 feet. The engine will need to be designed, analyzed, and manufactured within IREC, RIT, and government regulations. RIT Launch Initiative will need to be provided with a functional and tested hybrid rocket engine complying with their design specifications.

In order to determine if the developed hybrid engine is functional and safe to use, a hot fire test will take place by the spring of 2019. Before the test, the rocket engine will be integrated with a Test Stand developed by Test Stand Team. Once both of these projects are integrated, the hot fire test will commence in a bunker on RIT's campus. During testing, the data will be collected and analyzed to verified and validated that the custom hybrid engine is adequate for RIT Launch Initiative's needs.

What is a Hybrid Rocket?

  • A form of rocket chemical propulsion
  • A classical hybrid uses a solid fuel grain (located in the combustion chamber) with a liquid/gaseous oxidizer injected through the feed system to develop thrust
  • Chemical Energy --> Thermal Energy --> Mechanical Energy
A Hybrid Rocket Engine

Additional Project Deliverables

  • A detailed & well documented design that can be handed off to Launch Initiative
  • An auto-ignition system
  • A user guide for operation and integration into a certain sized rocket body
  • Test data verifying all IREC requirements related to pressure vessel, electronics and range safety
  • Well-documented & safe bunker testing procedures for future use
  • Design considerations for future iterations when more resources (i.e. time, money, personnel) are available
Project Name
RIT Launch Initiative Hybrid Rocket Engine
Project Number
Project Family
Aerospace Engineering
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Martin Pepe, mjpastro@gmail.com
Primary Customer
RIT Launch Initiative, launchinitiative@rit.edu
Swagelock, RIT Launch Initiative
public/Photo Gallery/Phx.png
public/Photo Gallery/Launch.png

Team Members

Pictured from left to right: Alec Greenspan, John Judge, Felix Blanco, Bailey Reid, Justin Napieralski, Martin Pepe, and Ashely Kosak

Pictured from left to right: Alec Greenspan, John Judge, Felix Blanco, Bailey Reid, Justin Napieralski, Martin Pepe, and Ashely Kosak

Member Role Contact
Bailey Reid Lead Engineer bxr8484@rit.edu
Justin Napieralski Structural Engineer jxn6082@rit.edu
John Judge Control Systems Engineer jjj4008@rit.edu
Alec Greenspan Project Manager ajg6338@rit.edu
Ashley Kosak Propulsion Engineer axk3053@rit.edu
Felix Blanco Control Systems Engineer fxb6476@rit.edu

Additional Customer Information

RIT Launch Initiative website

Work Breakdown: By Phase


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation (Verification & Validation)

Work Breakdown: By Topic

Project Management Design Tools Design Documentation Implementation Validation Presentation & Dissemination




Risk Management

Communication & Minutes

Use Cases


Functional Decomposition


Mechanical Drawings

Electrical Schematics

Software Diagrams

Facility Layout



Test Fixtures


Test Plans

Analysis Results


Test Results

Design Review Documents

Technical Paper


Imagine RIT Exhibit


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