McMaster SAE Aerospace Team – It’s About Teamwork

McMaster University SAE Aerospace Team (MAST) Hamilton, Ontario, Canada competed in SAE AERO Design EAST 2024 in Lakeland, Florida, USA. The SOLIDWORKS EDU team got a chance to visit with MAST.

We also received a great thank you note and newsletter about their successful season from Aquinn Hazenberg, graduating team manager and fuselage co-lead.

New MAST team co-captains Isabella Feagan and Ben Stone got a chance to talk Wednesday night about the  team, engineering, SAE AERO Design Competition and SOLIDWORKS.

Isabella is majoring in Mechanical Engineering & Society with a minor in Astrophysics, year 4 of a 5-year program.  Ben, who learned SOLIDWORKS as a member of FIRST Robotics Team 5549 Gryphon Robotics Chesapeake, VA, USA  is a senior, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I asked Isabella why she chose engineering and why McMaster University.  Isabella stated, “I always had fun solving problems.  Playing with LEGOS and circuits growing up led me to problem solving.  McMaster University has an “experimental learning” program that really makes a great fit. For Ben, “Engineering allows you to solve real world problems. With FIRST Robotics, I created real parts and assemblies for the robot.  Now I get to solve real problems with the Aerospace Team.”

Team.  The conversation shifted to the Team.  MAST has 50 hard working and dedicated team members with sub-teams in design, manufacturing, avionics, fuselage, wings and tail, and payload & landing. For Isabella and Ben, it is truly a team effort. MAST is under the direction of faculty advisor, Christopher Morton, who remains at hand for advice, but truly lets MAST students work through their problems.

For MAST, it’s more than a competition.  It is a passion.  There are many late nights in the shop.

The Team also hosts events on campus and with the community,

For a new competition, the team reviews new rules and brainstorms on the whiteboard.  Next, it’s time to create some concept sketches in SOLIDWORKS.  Sketches are developed and Parts are made.  From Parts, the Assemblies get created.

The final assembly is one of the best use of Ribs I have seen!

As I reviewed their engineering and manufacturing processes, I thought this was a mature SAE team.  Then I was informed  – it is only MAST’s second year in competition.

Goal year 1:  Have a plane that could get off the ground and fly.  Goal accomplished.

Goal year 2: Compete and succeed in Lakeland.  MAST received 7th place overall.

Goal for 2025: Place top 3.

MAST is well on their way in achieving their goal.  This summer they will be running classes in SOLIDWORKS to train new members.  They also will be able to provide SOLIDWORKS Certification exams to members as part of their SOLIDWORKS Student Team Sponsorship.

You can find out more about MAST:

MAST Instagram

MAST Linked In

MAST Website

Thank you Isabella, Ben and MAST for sharing with the SOLIDWORKS community.


Design well.  Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard