Competes in ‘America’s Cup of Rocket Science’
Published : Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 2:54 PM
Christopher Andre, a 2014 graduate of Don Bosco Technical Institute (Bosco Tech), has earned a place in the 8th annual Global Trajectory Optimization Competition (GTOC), also called “the America’s Cup of Rocket Science.”
The GTOC is a competition drawing leading aerospace engineers and mathematicians worldwide who challenge themselves to solve an open-ended interplanetary trajectory design problem. This year’s problem was devised and judged by the Outer Planets Mission Analysis Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
Andre’s GTOC entree surpassed those of teams lead by aeronautics and astronautics experts, ranking 15/18 for teams that submitted solutions (of 36 entrants). Already considered a junior in his second year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Andre studied Computer Science & Electrical Engineering while at Bosco Tech.
“We’re incredibly proud of Christopher,” said Bosco Tech President Xavier Jimenez. “His extraordinary grasp of the nearly-impossible problem posed and his complex solution earned him a spot alongside experienced aeronautic and engineering professionals. We’re expecting to see many more great things from this gifted young man.”
“It was relieving to find that my solution had even passed the validation stage,” Andre said. “A valid solution is not easy to construct or verify, no matter how simple it is. Even some of the advanced teams have had trouble with this and have occasionally been disqualified for it. Even though most of the competitors were beyond me in skill and experience, I’m still proud that I was able to put together a solution with no issues.” Andre plans to pursue a degree in either aeronautical or mechanical engineering and is considering graduate school for optimization and controls systems engineering.
Celebrating its sixtieth year, Bosco Tech is an all-male Catholic high school that combines a rigorous college-preparatory program with a technology-focused education. The innovative science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) curriculum allows students to exceed university admission requirements while completing extensive integrated coursework in one of several applied science and engineering fields. Each year for the past several years, one hundred percent of the graduating class has earned college acceptances. Visit www.boscotech.edu for more information.