My name is Nicholas Morrison and I am a first graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) program at Duke University. I have a great passion for all things that fly whether they be manned or unmanned aircraft, spacecraft, and any other weird and wonderful machines that can challenge gravity.


Over the years, I have worked on a variety of personal projects to help me develop my skills while working on projects that peak my interests. This page showcases some of those projects.

High Altitude Lander Deployment

The first project was a 16ft tall two stage high powered amateur rocket that was launched in the Black Rock Desert with the purpose of deploying a small landing vehicle at the rocket’s apogee. The vehicle is intended to simulate rocket control systems without the expense or hazard of attempting to do so on a rocket for the first attempt.

The landing vehicle was designed to fit within the 3.98″ diameter rocket which required the utilization of folding propellers as well as retractable landing gear.

This vehicle utilizes gimbaled contra-rotating motors to mimic the control methodology used to control most modern launch vehicles. To see a version of this vehicle flying, please view the attached video: IMG_0110