Get to know us

Meet the people behind Project Boom

Project Boom is a global team of innovating and hard-working students. We are open, collaborative and use our experience, design and aerospace expertise to push the envelope with limited resources. We are young and scrappy, with the passion for solving problems and the heart to push through tough challenges. 

What is Project Boom?

Project Boom is a student-led initiative created to accomplish amazing engineering tasks but also wants to promote student empowerment and education. Project Boom began as a design project inspired by projects like the GoJett and Operation Space with a new lofty goal – breaking the sound barrier with an RC jet powered plane.

What started from a small group of kids became a Reddit sensation, growing the team overnight to over 100 members worldwide. Our team presents a unique opportunity to many students locked down because of quarantine as all of our meetings and work is held online through platforms like Zoom.

“A group of highly-motivated kids from all over the world facing more than one barrier. Cost, experience, time-zones, expectations – these are all barriers that will be broken.

The sound barrier is just the destination. This is the journey.”

Phase I

During phase one our team will design and build a high sub-sonic aircraft to test our manufacturing, avionics, aerodynamics, and recovery without the complications of a supersonic aircraft propulsion system. This aircraft will be manufactured early next year and will fly in the summer of 2021. 

Phase II

The ultimate goal is to go supersonic. With Phase Two, Project Boom will take everything we learned from our first flight and develop a Mach 1 capable aircraft. This flight is planned for the very end of 2021 or early 2022.

Record Breaking

The current Guinness World Record for the fastest RC aircraft is 451 mph. With our two-phased plan, we plan to break this record not once, but twice. Our Phase One aircraft will break the world record while our Phase Two aircraft will achieve our namesake. 

Team Leads

Colin Watson

Project Lead & Co-Founder

Colin Watson is the Project Lead and Founder of Project Boom. Colin will be going into his second year at the University of Oklahoma studying Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science. Colin is an active member of OU’s student government and FSAE competition team. During the fall of 2021, Colin will be working in OU’s Heat Transfer lab performing research on multiphase flow using phase change materials. 

Cole Replogle

Co-Founder

Cole Replogle is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University where he earned B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. He is currently an intern at Southwest Research Institute within the Rotating Machinery Dynamics group. He will begin an MRes & PhD in Future Propulsion and Power at the University of Cambridge beginning in the fall of 2020.

Johnathan Burgess

Chief engineer

Johnathan Burgess graduated in the spring from Oklahoma State University with degrees in B.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He is returning to OSU to earn a Masters in MAE, while continuing research on turboelectric propulsion systems for unmanned aircraft. Johnathan is the Aerodynamics Lead for Project Boom and is responsible for the overall shape of their aircraft(s). He enjoys surfing and being able to enjoy the outdoors with his family and two kids.

Jake Compton

Integration Lead

Jake is a current Senior in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University and will receive his B.S. in May 2021. Jake also interned at General Atomics – Electromagnetics in their Missile Defense and Space Systems group where he worked with a team of interns in developing the conceptual design of a low-cost missile. Jake also enjoys hiking, running, as well as playing and writing music.

Gaurav Jalan

Structures Lead

Gaurav is a recent graduate from the University of Manchester with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. With a passion for effective mechanical design, he supplemented his studies by working with competitive Design-Make-Test groups on campus such as the Manchester CanSat Project and Underwater Robotics at Berkeley. He has also interned with HiPeRLab Berkeley, working on UAV control. With an avid interest in aviation and motorsport, he looks forward to pursuing a career in those industries. In his free time, he likes to sketch, play music and tennis.

Skyler Jacob

Aero Lead

Skyler Jacob is a senior at Oklahoma State University who is currently applying to continue his study of aircraft design and engineering management through a Master’s program starting Spring of 2021. Skyler has experience building planes through SpeedFest, a design, build, fly program at OSU. 

Abdalrahman Mansy

Propulsion Lead

Abdalrahman (Mann) Mansy is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University where he earned B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. Mann was heavily involved on campus during his undergraduate career, from conducting undergraduate research to participating on the college student council. Mann was also involved with propulsion technology, working on a hybrid turboelectric propulsion system for his senior capstone project. He will be continuing his academic career at Oklahoma State University, pursuing a M.S in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on UAS development. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, gaming, and playing music.

Minos Park

Avionics Lead

Minos Park is a graudating senior at University of California at Berkeley. With a background in computer science and robotics, Minos is interested in finding novel approaches to solving problems using computation, and validating them with experiments. Previously interned as a data engineer, and currently working at Cal’s robotics lab doing UAV related research.

Shiva Vallabhaneni

Marketing Lead

Shiva Vallabhaneni is a senior at Purdue University studying Aerospace Engineering with a focus in dynamics and controls as well as propulsion. Shiva has also worked as a visual artist and a brand/identity designer. Currently he also works as a Supplemental Instruction leader for Fluid Mechanics at Purdue.

Advisors

Aldo Martinez

Multidicipline Engineer | Boeing

Aldo Martinez is a USC graduate and current Aerodynamics engineer at Boeing. Along with providing his engineering expertise, Aldo has helped guide our team of young engineers into the professional aerospace world. His support is has been a critical part of our team’s continued professional development.

Craig Damlo

Senior Systems Engineer | Blue Origin

Craig Damlo is a Senior Systems Engineer at Blue Origin and an early advisor for Project Boom. Craig’s experience working as a systems engineer has been a crucial part of getting our team set up to design our supersonic aircraft.

Lucien Junkin

Space Exploration Vehicle Chief Engineer | NASA

Lucien Junkin is the Chief Engineer for NASA’s Space Exploration Vehicle. Since joining the project on July 2nd, Lucien Junkin has provided vital guidance to our leadership. Lucien’s many years in the industry offers our team a perspective that would be otherwise impossible to obtain.

Bryce Fong

Aeronautical Engineer | Lockheed Martin

Bryce Fong is an Aeronautical Engineer at Lockheed Martin and has actively worked with our engineering teams to help design our aircraft. His constant technical guidance has had a key role in many of the engineering decisions made throughout the project.

Matt Stott

Aerospace Program management professional

After graduating from the University of Leeds in 2011, Matt Stott went on to work at Cobham as a project and program manager. Matt Stott’s years of program management experience has helped our team develop into an efficient engineering design team. Along with this, he has used his experience with data export regulations to help guide our team’s global collaborative efforts.

Gonzalo Espinoza Graham

Entrepreneur and Founder of Watfly

Gonzalo Graham is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and a former Tesla engineer. My. Graha is now the CEO and founder of Watfly Flying Cars. His experience running his company and working on engineering design teams similar to Project Boom has been crucial to our success.

Norris Tie

CEO and Founder of Exosonic

Norris Tie received his Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA and his Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University. Mr. Tie is now the CEO of Exosonic, a start-up aiming to design and build a low boom supersonic commercial airliner. Mr. Tie’s technical and administrative background is a perfect fit for Project Boom. 

Josh Farahzad

Founder of whatimbuilding.com and Operation Space

Josh Farahzad was the Founder and Project Lead for Operation Space, a collaborative design team that successfully launched a two-stage rocket to 150,000 ft. After the conclusion of Operation Space, Josh went on to become the Founder and CEO of whatimbuilding.com. Josh has been a supporter and advisor of Project Boom since the beginning. 

Khushbu Patel Profile Picture

Khushbu Patel

Avionics HITL Engineer | Relativity Space

Khushbu Patel is an Avionics hardware in the loop engineer at Relativity Space. Graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Aerospace, Ms. Patel worked with some of the coolest new aerospace startups like Virgin Orbit and Relativity space. The team is excited to have Ms.Patel’s advisement.

Rob Sherrard

Rob was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early in his career while working at AudioNet, which later became Broadcast.com, a Mark Cuban venture. Since the late ’90s, he has been building and delivering online services and data-centers for media, banking, advertising, and content platforms. He is passionate about technology, large-scale, the customer experience–and his Atari 2600. When not playing his Atari, Rob also had time to earn five utility patents.

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