Team Lead


David Lafferty

“As an engineer, I have the freedom to not only apply the theory I’ve gain from university, but learn how to work effectively in a team and how to interact with others in a way which is encouraging.”

Team Members



Recovery is one of the most integral parts of a rocket system, we make sure the rocket gets down safely so that we can continue to reuse it! We measure the forces the rocket will experience throughout its flight, as well as analysing the space and stability requirements of the rocket and carefully choose appropriate hardware. Hardware may include, eye bolts, swivels, parachutes, shock cord. We then verify each component against the manufacturers rating using mechanical testing techniques, as well as software, such as ANSYS and Solidworks.

The team undertakes a range of systems engineering activities, namely requirements analysis, trade-off studies and verification/test procedure development. We select the commercial-off-the-shelf motors and recovery components and manufacture rockets using various methods, such as 3D printing, composite layup, machining and welding.  

Having just split from aerostructures and recovery, we have successfully designed the recovery system of our current competition rocket, Dyurra. We have machined testing jigs for testing our hardware in an axial testing machine, and have already conducted testing, attempting to quantify the percentage reduction in strength of shock cord using various knots.

As a relatively young sub-team, we hope to first establish a generalised method of approaching recovery in a competition rocket. Following this, our members will be focused on R&D, to facilitate the construction of larger and larger rockets as we look to one day launching a rocket to space. Of course, we hope to develop each and everyone of our members knowledge and skills throughout their time at ANU rocketry.