Engineering senior reaches new heights in rocketry

Evan Eidt discusses his draw to the engineering discipline, his experience with the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association, and his post-graduation plans.

Computer engineering student Evan Eidt has known the University of Michigan would be his home for as long as he can remember — the walls of his nursery were maize and blue. With two parents in the automotive industry, Eidt found himself in an environment filled with innovation and creation.

“Growing up, I always wanted to build things. So, engineering was kind of a natural draw,” Eidt said.

Evan Eidt standing in a garage bay in front of a piece of equipment that looks like a white robot.
Evan Eidt

Fascinated with programming and electronics throughout middle school and high school, Eidt was first introduced to aerospace engineering during his first semester at U-M. A friend had told him about the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association.

U-M’s collegiate liquid rocketry team has built some of the largest liquid rockets at the student level in the world. As director of MASA’s avionics team, Eidt is responsible for the rocket’s electronic and software subsystems, constructing circuit boards, executing electrical interfacing and writing the code that operates the rocket during flight.

In May 2023, the team launched its rocket, Clementine, the most powerful liquid bi-propellant engine ever flown by a student team.

Eidt is leading the group developing the team’s next rocket, Limelight. Their goal is to break the collegiate liquid altitude record and reach more than 50,000 feet. With a scheduled launch in spring 2025, Eidt will have graduated, but he plans to stay in contact with the team and provide advice as needed.

“The time (with MASA) has pretty much been the defining part of my time in college. It’s been really important to me, so I want to provide as much knowledge as I can for the future generations,” Eidt said.

Eidt spent the summer of 2023 interning with NASA’s Mars sample return mission. He helped their avionics integration test team build and test new elements and software for the Mars rovers to help them retrieve rock samples.

Eidt’s passion for engineering fills his free time as well. His main hobby involves thinking up and designing new machines. His current projects include an automated pizza oven and an automated cornhole scoring system.

After graduating from the College of Engineering, Eidt will begin a position at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Working with the laboratory’s tactical space systems group, Eidt will focus on electrical design for satellite systems.

“It was a place that I felt like I could contribute to in a meaningful way, that I could make the world a better place in some small way … and so right now I’m just super excited,” Eidt said.

This story was originally published in The University Record.