The full video for this interview is available, please check it out.
In this episode, Peter Dalmaris talks with George Katz.
George has been making things ever since he can remember. As a child, he used to make paper models of all kinds of things, until his parents bought him a 2-transistor radio kit. From that point, he was interested in all things electronic.
He studied electronics in high school and later completed his Degree in Computer Engineering from UNSW. He enjoyed the course because it combined electronics with software and so that computers would interact with the real world. There, he also became interested in robotics and built a number of research robots for his thesis and for the AI department for other students to use. After university, his day job was on developing software for various companies, but electronics remained his hobby.
About 13 years ago he saw an episode of MythBusters that featured water rockets.
Searching online, he discovered a whole world of DIY makers that made rockets and posted instructions on how to do that. George talked to father, and within 3 hours, they had built a launcher and launched their first rocket in the backyard. From that point on, the whole family was hooked on building ever more complex and higher performing rockets. They also joined the local rocketry club (NSWRA) which opened a whole new world of like-minded individuals with a lot of experience in the field to learn from.
To this day, George and his family still very much enjoy the engineering challenge of building and flying rockets. He uses his electronics knowledge for rocketry payloads and ground launch equipment. Though he occasionally does fly solid propellant rockets, his passion still is building water rockets. Both of George’s teenage boys are also a great help with all aspects of the hobby.
George shares his experiences as much as possible online and runs a website with instructional videos as well as launch and experiment reports. The website contains many of the hard to find details about water rockets so that others can learn from his successes and mistakes the same way people shared their knowledge with him when he started out.
This is Tech Explorations Podcast episode 1.
The Tech Explorations Podcast is a podcast produced by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to techexplorations.com to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and electronics.
- [0:00:00] Introducing George Katz
- [0:03:06] George’s background
- [0:17:42] Hardware
- [0:30:48] The evolution of Air Command Water Rockets
- [0:50:08] Thunda 2019 – Rocket Launch Event
- [0:56:48] Rocketry Clubs
- [1:00:39] Resources & Contact Information:
- Air Command Rockets – YouTube
- MythBusters Episode 42: Bottle Rocket Blast-off
- Dean’s Benchtop – Experimental Thrust Curve of a Water Rocket
- Thunda 2019 – Rocket Launch Event Info
- Australian Rocketry’s Thunda Down Under 2015
- NSW Rocketry Association
- Air Command Water Rockets Contact Details
- Twitter: @aircommand